Drugs without the hot air: Making Sense of Legal and Illegal Drugs
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A world in which his policies are implemented would be ideal, because he focuses on minimizing harm and helping addicts recover. The War on Drugs has failed unilaterally, and Nutt argues that we should place facts, science, and reality above the emotional knee-jerk reaction that led to prohibition in the first place.
Criminalising risky behaviour”—for decades the main tool in British and American arsenals—“is only one way to reduce harm," he says, "and not always the most appropriate way. Most of our PDFs are also available to download and we're working on making the final remaining ones downloadable now. An actual expert scientific investigation of alcohol/drugs and drug policy without a bunch of misleading morality-based bullshit.
Being sacked, then, might have been a liberation for Nutt, who later cofounded the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD), where he was joined by scientists who had resigned from the ACMD for holding similar beliefs. David Nutt, whose work we’ve discussed before, is a prominent critic of the UK government’s policy on drugs. I would have loved to have learned more about the traditional relationship between the ACMD and the government, he gives something like a paragraph on this topic that I think had to be far richer and would either paint a picture of a relationship that has grown fraught recently or one that has been flawed from the start, each suggesting different ways to remedy the problem.
Such a threshold might exist where the marginal costs of enforcing a prohibition were less than the marginal benefits. In particular, Nutt compared the risks of ecstasy use with that of horse riding, claiming ecstasy use was much safer. You may not think so, because we arbitrarily divide drugs into those that are legal and those that are illegal. The book does not focus only on psychedelics (as this site does), but does devote a chapter to them and explains the relatively little harm they do to the user (or their environment).Favoured type of coffee is treated like a signifier of identity and widely used as a metaphor for personal choice and autonomy. Certain groups lobby on behalf of different diseases to overturn decisions about drug reimbursement. For many health economists, accurately comparing the costs and benefits of different health interventions is their bread and butter. However, if I took some ecstasy and collapsed from dehydration after dancing too much, but then went back and took more ecstasy the following week, you might think me a fool.
Then they got onto the subject of cannabis and spouted what I assumed were nonsensical conspiracy theories. This book is for anyone interested in learning about drugs and drug policy - it is accessible, engaging, thought-provoking and there is definitely not a hint of hot air. The dangers of illegal drugs are well known and rarely disputed, but how harmful are alcohol and tobacco by comparison?
Facts without hype or hysteria, and a lot of useful information and suggestions that could save lives and reduce harm of all kinds - not least from what is currently society's most harmful (overall) drug: alcohol. In fact, his bias is against sensationalism and the media determining drug policy - that is to say, he's not biased towards or against drugs, he is biased towards using facts and evidence to determine policies rather than impressions from unreliable sources.
The science of what drugs are and how they work lets us quantify and compare the harms caused by different drugs. The worst part about this book is that I came out feeling only marginally more informed about what we can do to minimize the harms going forward, what policies I should support and what practices I should adopt. Most purchases from business sellers are protected by the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 which give you the right to cancel the purchase within 14 days after the day you receive the item. It also covers the basics of how different drugs work (eg by blocking receptors in the brain), what the real-life effects are and how they evolved.Summary: The worst part about this book is that I came out feeling only marginally more informed about what we can do to minimize the harms going forward, about what policies I should support and what practices I should adopt. Written by one of the most distinctive voices in the field, Drugs Without the Hot Air offers the basis for a pragmatic, science-based drugs policy.