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Jeruba's avatar

What happens in a community when a heavily addictive drug is suddenly cut off?

Asked by Jeruba (55935points) April 28th, 2023

For example: https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/04/28/will-an-s-f-style-fentanyl-crackdown-happen-in-san-jose/

What happens to addicts who will experience severe, painful, and dangerous effects if the drugs are suddenly cut off? The story says it targets the vendors and suppliers, not the addicts; but when the supply goes, what happens to the desperate, dependent user?

I don’t want to live in a world plagued with the horror of fentanyl, but I do. And I do not want to suddenly see my community ravaged by desperate, strung-out, and potentially lethally deprived addicts, or find them dying in the streets. Our kids.

Is this really the only way?

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13 Answers

LostInParadise's avatar

There is always the option of having the state provide the addicts with the drug. I don’t know how frequently this is done or how effective it is.

LadyMarissa's avatar

An addict seems to ALWAYS find a fix somewhere. They diversify & have suppliers all around the state. The dealer who lives in the house behind them is their preferred source. Still, if they need to drive 100 miles away to pick it up, they will.

JLeslie's avatar

When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, I remember days into the aftermath the mayor of the city on TV saying they needed help. He said we have people jonesing for their drugs, meaning they were in deep withdrawal. It stuck with me because he used the slang term. They were sick, desperate, committing crimes, and probably a few died from the combination of withdrawal, heat, and dehydration.

If one drug disappears, another will likely replace it.

Some people will be able to have their withdrawal managed. They’ll make it to a hospital or get some other type of help. The city needs to plan for the fallout.

Just because police crack down on dealers, it’s not like in one day all dealers get caught. The drug won’t disappear in one fell swoop.

I mostly agree with the medical community in your article. I’m not a big fan of Newsom on many issues.

chyna's avatar

We have soboxen (spelling?) clinics for those trying to get off their drug of choice. We have a horrible problem in my state with fentanyl and meth. And their problem with drugs is now all residents problem. The people on drugs are so addicted that they brazenly go to people’s homes and steal anything they can to sell for more drugs.

Forever_Free's avatar

They just move to something else.

jca2's avatar

There’s still fentany in the community, it’s just harder to obtain. If the addicts have to, they’ll get it from the neighboring community.

janbb's avatar

I wonder if there are detox programs being set up or something like the methadone clinics for herion users?

janbb's avatar

Edit: “heroin”

MrGrimm888's avatar

Sadly. Narcotics crackdowns typically have little sustained success.
Bottom line. If there is a demand, there is a supply.

smudges's avatar

If there is a demand, there is a supply.

That’s the bottom line.

I would guess that there are several possibilities for what the addicts will do: get sick and die a horrible death; seek help from rehabs; increase their drug-seeking behavior which is what non-addicts fear and rightly so; try to find relief through other means/drugs. I remember when I was addicted to various substances, as well as when I was quitting, I vehemently wished there were no drugs or alcohol on earth whatsoever.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

They’ll do about anything not to be dope-sick. If the illegal opiates are cut off, there needs to be a safer alternative readily available such as methadone.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Speaking from experience with law enforcement and narcotics involvement, I don’t understand.
It is not possible to stop illegal drugs from being available. It just isn’t. “The War on Drugs,” has been an extremely dangerous, expensive, and ultimately failed endeavor.
The fact that people can’t see the results of this type of strategy, is beyond me…

What is the US supposed to do?
We can’t go to war with every country that produces drugs that OUR citizens demand. Fentanyl, is being mass produced in China, for example. We can talk about what motivates the Chinese government to allow (support?) the production/exportation of the drug. But. If they don’t_won’t really go after it, we can’t do anything about it.
Most drugs can be/are being produced right here, in America.

It’s really fucked up to say, but I’m more tolerant of heroine and fentanyl use than crack, or meth.
Yes. Both lead users to crime in order to supply their addictions. But. At least they are pretty much unconscious, when they’re on opiods. Crack/meth heads run around killing people and are far more prone to violent crime. I’d rather someone OD on opiods, than kill someone else while on crack.
I’m telling you folks. Crack/meth makes people commit random acts of violence.
Again. It’s mind numbingly horrific to think. But. That’s my take. We just can’t stop things like drugs. We have to take the lesser evils, and live with them.
What do you think detox, and drug treatment facilities do? They put someone on legal drugs, to get them off of illegal drugs. Has anyone here ever been around people who are on methadone? They’re a dumpster fire.
Withdrawals from some drugs, are just a chronic problem. It’s important to keep in mind that alcohol withdrawal is horrific too. It’s not as miserable as opioid withdrawal, or meth, or Crack. But an alcoholic can die, without a drink.

Speaking of alcohol being legal, how did the prohibition turn out?..

raum's avatar

I’m guessing they would still try to get it. But it would be cut with other things. :/

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