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Half of drug users mentally ill?

By johnboy 10 September 2006 132

The Canberra Times’ Victor Violante (does the CT prefer journos with alliterative names?) has the unsurprising news that half of people seeking treatment for drug addiction are suffering from mental illness.

Which raises the timeless question of the alcoholic: Did I start drinking because I was miserable or did I become miserable because of the drinking?

What’s Your opinion?


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Half of drug users mentally ill?
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user1 2:19 am 01 Oct 06

The fact is that not everyone that uses drugs is a ‘junkie’ or unable to function in society. There are alot of people that use drugs that are less damaging (also non-addictive, see MDMA, LSD) than alcohol or tobacco recreationaly and responsibly. Have a look at this story from the BBC recently regarding the potential damage of drugs and thier corrosponding classification in the UK including a graph at the bottom
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5230006.stm

seepi 5:26 pm 14 Sep 06

Simto not in my experience. Someone very close to me used to be lovely to be around, and is now totally revolting. Watching someone you know turn into a freak is one of the saddest parts of drug addiction.

Absent Diane 2:36 pm 14 Sep 06

ridiculous generalisation much?

simto 2:25 pm 14 Sep 06

I dunno – I’d suspect that most people who use drugs had pretty revolting personalities to start with, and they use the drugs as an excuse for their revoltingness…

Mr_Shab 9:56 am 14 Sep 06

Hey, a “functioning” drug user is a relative term. Of course they would be better off not taking, but you can’t force them to stop by locking them up.

I say better to deal with them smacked-out but not hurting anyone and capable of maintaing themselves till they’re ready to stop.

seepi 9:43 am 14 Sep 06

I think junkies are worse than alcoholics or gamblers. They are much harder to be around anyway. The drugs seem to change their personalities from normal/pleasant to revolting.
And does anyone here really know some of these functional injecting drug users we are always hearing about? I know one, and I still believe his life would be far better in every way, and he would be happier, healthier and more successful if he wasn’t into drugs.

BattleKath 9:17 am 14 Sep 06

people have always taken drugs, people will always do it, lets get over that.

we need to start seeing this as something bigger than “drugs are bad”. In the original link to the CT article on this thread it says that many of the ‘more than half’ of drug users had mental illnesses before they started on the drugs in the first place, the drugs have simply pushed a little harder on these people who may then not have the ‘normal’ capacities to stop or know when enough is enough… especially when coming off the drugs brings on their underlying illness much harder.

so this isn’t just about drugs or how much of an inconvenience the person is that you know, who has got themselves caught up in this.

A lot of people take drugs and don’t become ‘junkies’ because they have those capacities to stop or at least know when it’s affecting other aspects of their life.

miz 9:05 am 14 Sep 06

Drink driving regulation actually supports the view that it is better to regulate and not prohibit . . .
Danman, I think the night rider bus (around Xmas), taxis and/or your lounge room qualify as ‘safe car driving rooms’!

simto 8:55 am 14 Sep 06

Look, Nyssa, I have no problem believing that your sister is a waste of space and an evil person. However, she’d be exactly the same way and be doing largely the same things should she be addicted to, say, gambling and alcohol (endangering her child and, probably, stealing to feed her addiction). Both of which are legal. She’d remain just as hideous and just as dangerous to herself and others.

So saying “she’s hideous because she’s a junkie” is more than a little simplistic. She should be strung up because she’s a hideously bad mother and a thief, not because she’s a junkie.

Let’s put it this way – I’d rather that crimes committed by drug addicts were seen as what they are – crimes – rather than as part of their druggy lifestyles. If you want to go on being hideous, do so, just don’t clog up the legal system by making it chase stuff that it doesn’t need to.

Danman 8:32 am 14 Sep 06

Lets have safe car driving rooms.

Absent Diane 8:21 am 14 Sep 06

vg – I can understand that maybe you have seen a lot of the negative effects of drugs. hence the black and white view – personally I don’t blame you for having that view in your profession – same goes for nyssa with her sister. the issue in’t black and white but I guess you can’t argue that with people who are only willing to look at it from their own eyes.

Cars are far more dangerous than any drug.

vg 9:44 pm 13 Sep 06

I’ll look at the situation from ‘their eyes’ when they start looking at it from mine occasionally.

Prohibition hasn’t ‘failed miserably’…..don’t believe that hype. People still drink drive, should we give up on that as well

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