The new drug problem

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by arfa brane, May 30, 2015.

  1. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,332
    Imagine being able to brew narcotics as easily as brewing beer, no dangerous toxic chemicals or need to purchase anything that interests suspicious authorities.

    This apparently is going to happen, thanks to genetic engineering and yeast. Yeast is currently the preferred organism for genetic engineering and it is bound to reach the public eventually, especially those GMOs that can produce all the kinds of recreational drugs enjoyed by so many in many western countries.
    And of course the GE companies want to produce yeasts that can produce morphine and codeine and the many other kinds of pharmaceuticals currently obtained from plants, which would make their production much easier and more profitable.

    Although, when it does happen, it's unlikely to mean the end of the world as we know it because most people aren't drug addicts, it will make the war on drugs look a bit silly.

    What do you think? Is the eventual "release" into the public domain of such technology inevitable, or will there be stringent controls, and what might those be?
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
    danshawen likes this.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,830
    Drugs? Big deal.. GMO yeasts aren't even the scary thing any more.

    CRISPR/Cas9 modification ought to scare the living shit out of anything sentient. Whether we are an intelligent species will be decided sooner than later, I fear.

    Edit: Come to think of it, could manna have been a GMO? Getting high on Yaweh!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
    danshawen likes this.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    The war on drugs already looks silly. Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine cause more harm than all the illegal drugs.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,830
    Caffeine? Links, please?
     
  8. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,332
    Ok, so there aren't any governments looking at this and how to keep the cat in the bag?

    One suggestion I saw was modification of the GMOs so that growing them outside a well-equipped lab will be difficult; or they could be modified to need special nutrients which won't be in the public domain, or some kind of "kill switch", etc.

    But as we all know, attempts to keep drugs and synthetic methods out of the public domain seem to fail eventually, so it's going to happen. Will the world be a better or a worse place? What will authorities try to do, or what could they do about it?
     
  9. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,332
    Maybe people should be asking why there is a war on drugs, when humans have been using them for other than medicinal purposes since forever.

    Then ask, how can attempts to ban what amounts to the growth of certain plants, somewhere in the world (Afghanistan, Columbia, your neighbour's basement) ever succeed?
    How do you ban the growth of yeast, or homebrew kits? Beer is probably one of the easiest to make and oldest kinds of brew, and now GE is bringing you whatever you want (your tipple of choice), but not tomorrow, this is still a decade or so away.

    Will governments around the world continue the war on drugs, up to the time it becomes a waste of time and money? (..wait a minute)

    Will they raid houses suspected of home-brewing beer?
    "We smelled yeast and saw a bag of sugar! So we went in." the officer was quoted as saying.
     
  10. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    This is cataclysmic alright. You should understand that those complex chemical rewards that are your brains only work if they are non-addicted. They are all that keeps each one of us from crossing that fine and rapidly thinning line between normal and full blown psychopathy. This goes double for adolescents.
     
  11. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,332
    I take it from your post that you're essentially anti-drugs. Which means, I suppose, that you're anti the use of drugs of any kind in a non-medicinal context (i.e. to get "high").

    And, you seem to be suggesting that freely available mind-altering substances will mean many people "crossing the line", so we will have a subculture filled with psychopaths.
    But, I can't see what the difference is, so much, between this hypothetical scenario (coming to a home-brewery near you), and what things look like right now, throw in the large and increasing amounts of legally prescribed substances consumed in just the USA, for example, or suggest why that particular supply isn't a social problem (and not just in the USA).

    You also didn't mention the large amounts of money that not very nice people do all kinds of things to get their hands on.
     
    danshawen likes this.
  12. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,830
    It's really very simple. Very.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Just lie back and enjoy it.
     
  13. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,961
    It's already ridiculously easy to get drugs. Any new drugs won't have much of an impact. Any new controls are likely to be as useless as the old ones.
     
  14. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,332
    Yes, it is ridiculously easy to get drugs. One avenue available to the ardent drug-seeker is dangerous thanks to the authorities (who hasn't seen those cop shows where some poor shmuck gets caught?). In America, it's probably safer to go see a doctor and convince them you belong to the growing numbers of people who just need something to cope.

    But let's look past the current situation except for one detail: homebrew kits are readily available, breweries around the world haven't shut down.
    If drug-brewing kits become available, will they threaten the cartels and other criminal organizations who currently make billions from illegal drugs? Perhaps.

    When drugs are readily available, do people just accept it? Is America concerned about the number of Americans on Ritalin? Or how many Americans consume alcohol regularly?

    Of course, one is prescribed, so it's easy to attach a notion of "needed" to it, the other isn't but it seems to be just as needed. America, and by extension the rest of the world, "needs" drugs, and by golly, they're going to have them.
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    Caffeine addiction ruined my life three times. I'm lucky not to be homeless or dead.
     
  16. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,830
    Wow.

    I can drink coffee or not. More than three cups of strong brew gets me little bit jittery, but a queasy stomach stops me before then.

    I was a mainline heroin addict for about 2 1/2 years, and I injected methamphetamine as well while I was self-destructive, but getting hooked on tea, coffee or anything that mild is just beyond my ken.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  17. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    I have some hard experience in my life by way of inadvertently enabling my own brother getting started on an adolescent alcoholic binge that started in his late teens and didn't end until his late 50's at which time he became an insulin dependent diabetic and was no longer able to imbibe heavily without committing suicide.

    On the way, my brother tried antabuse (as useless as it is dangerous), and revia, which is a drug that kills the cravings alcoholics have for binge drinking by depriving them of the action of the brain chemical responsible for alcoholism. He used it for a while, and then the moment he graduated college, my brother stopped taking revia (which killed his alcoholic cravings, rendering his functioning to something more like normal people), and then he told me it was because he preferred his binge drinking to being normal.

    This is the profile of addiction, and it led to a wide range of problems for my brother and for his extended family. It somehow never bothered his friends, who were chosen for the most part as a means to getting that next drink.

    There isn't even a name for all of the types of new addictions that is the subject of this thread, but as far as I'm concerned, any drug that addicts you is not going to improve your life, or enhance what would have been your natural means of coping with any problems that are certain to arise.

    The only people who should be experimenting with drugs are those trying to cure diseases, or to put an end to useless suffering of amputees or the terminally ill. In my own brother's case, euthanasia would have been preferable to what his addiction to alcohol did for his life and those around him. Had I been born with the same predisposition to a lifetime of alcohol abuse as my brother was, and if I could not beat that addiction, I would have certainly considered cutting short my misery by a few decades. Addiction is a repulsive and dependent way to live, if you can even call that living.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
  18. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,332
    Well, addictive personalities or other reasons people become drug addicts are a social problem, for sure. I've met more than a few, and in general they don't seem to be doing anything useful. Their lives look pretty pathetic, and their kids are already a write-off. This stereotype (and it's one that fits) is portrayed relentlessly in the media.

    But, poppies still grow, coca plants too. All quite innocently.
    Addiction is a phenomenon that apparently has this reward-response thing goin' on. Humans can become addicted to just about anything it seems, not just drugs.

    I don't know, maybe if instead of treating the problem as if the Civil War just ended in America, they updated the plan a bit. Addiction is not something uniquely due to an addictive drug, like morphine.
     
    danshawen likes this.
  19. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    That's the way humans are supposed to function (able to make use of our obsessions), but addiction circumvents that function of our brains by short circuiting its chemical reward system. After that, nothing works the way it is supposed to, other than an obsession to feed the addiction
     
  20. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,113
    As Jello Biafra said " a heroin addict can become a meth addict can become a coke head can become an alcoholic can become a binge eater can become a bible-thumping evangelic Christian with great ease, moving from one addiction to the next." The one constant throughout is the person him/herself. The addiction comes from within, not from without.
     
    danshawen and sideshowbob like this.

Share This Page