Saturday, October 18, 2003

Jesse rightly takes Ben Shapiro to task for drawing a false distinction between prescription and recreational drugs, but missed a key problem with Ben's weaksauce argument:

Unlike recreational drug addiction, prescription painkiller addiction belongs squarely in the medical arena. Recreational drug addiction is just that -- recreational. A junkie first picks up marijuana, cocaine or heroin in order to have a good time. No one prescribes heroin for back pain. But for many who become addicted to prescription painkillers, the dealer who gets them hooked is their family doctor.
Um, Ben? Oxycontin IS a drug that is abused recreationally. Constantly. The only difference between Oxycontin and heroin is that Oxy is time-release, whereas heroin does its damage all at once. Those who abuse Oxycontin illegally, as I pointed out in a previous entry, use it exactly like heroin. There's no difference between what Rush was doing and what any corner street junkie is doing.

As a point of fact, Oxycontin is the new drug of choice on the street, so they were likely using the exact same drug. That's why I personally doubt Rush's story. I think it far likelier that he was using the drugs as per instructions, found out about Oxycontin's effects when crushed, decided to give it a try, then because a junkie. Impossible to verify, but I'd say it's pretty damned likely. Fortunately for him, he has an army of supporters to tell his side of the story. Unfortunately for all those poor street junkies, they don't.

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