How would you successfully eradicate the use of alcohol and cigarettes?
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18-08-2012, 01:01 PM
RE: How would you successfully eradicate the use of alcohol and cigarettes?
(18-08-2012 12:54 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I thought there is a correlation between substance use and intelligence and there seemed to be.

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18-08-2012, 01:10 PM
RE: How would you successfully eradicate the use of alcohol and cigarettes?
(18-08-2012 12:54 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Alcohol destroys whole families, I know a few of these around, for example my brothers' girlfriends come from such families.

I thought there is a correlation between substance use and intelligence and there seemed to be. But then I saw in the news how Christopher Hitchens got throat cancer, mind you, drinking and smoking together increases the risk of cancer significantly and he was quite a drinker and smoker.

That forced me to think.
Now I think that drugs are not a problem. When people are poor, uneducated, have no work, have a shitty work, have too much work, bleak and grey life, ugly urban surroundings, no achievement ahead, no future to look forward to, they get drugs and get addicted, commit crime or even become drug dealers themselves. Drug addiction is the society's way to show us that something is wrong, just like a fever is the body's warning sign of disease.

Other users of drugs who have nothing wrong with them are recreational and I think they're not a problem. They're welcome to end up like Christopher Hitchens.

When I put it like that, the solution is clear and it's not easy. Reform the society according to intelligent and logical guidelines, not as it is now.

As for what could be done easily immediately, I'd appoint a new policy:
Alcohol and cigarette labels and packets should not be designed by professional company designers, but by amateur government clerks who barely mastered MS Paint and MS Word. With orders to make them look ugly and sterile. Also with photographs of cancerous body parts, people who got tumors cut away with their lower jaw, cirrhotic livers and victims of drunk fights and drunk driving.
Such photos are already on cigarettes in some states and I'd like to see some data on their efficiency in turning people away from smoking.

Nevermind business. Business is a game that people play and with such things it stops being a game, the state has to step in.
Of course I can't imagine how I'd explain liquor brewers that they must exchange their artistic labels with fruit to something ugly. And no photograph would turn away homeless people who love to buy a disgusting cheap wine in a box. That's why I want to see the data, how much of the addiction is caused by marketing - I think that's the fifth layer of a product, which is the product awareness in the society. (see, I still remember something from the school)

Your assumptions are incorrect. There is no causation or correlation between intelligence or wealth and alcoholism.
Trust me, there are plenty of intelligent, well-to-do alcoholics.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-08-2012, 01:33 PM
RE: How would you successfully eradicate the use of alcohol and cigarettes?
Many things with humans, alcohol and the like, appear to be due to an "addictive" personality, or more likely as I'd view it just a human trait that's rare in some, under control in others, and out of control in others. I've seen people "addicted" to video games, porn, alcohol, drugs, sex, driving, wild behaviours, violence, gambling... anything really, even reading. One person I know lets his reading addiction cause problems (he's late to work because of it, he can't stop doing it at work...).
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18-08-2012, 01:37 PM
RE: How would you successfully eradicate the use of alcohol and cigarettes?
(18-08-2012 01:10 PM)Chas Wrote:  Your assumptions are incorrect. There is no causation or correlation between intelligence or wealth and alcoholism.
Trust me, there are plenty of intelligent, well-to-do alcoholics.
*cough* Christopher Hitchens

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18-08-2012, 01:49 PM
RE: How would you successfully eradicate the use of alcohol and cigarettes?
(18-08-2012 01:33 PM)elemts Wrote:  Many things with humans, alcohol and the like, appear to be due to an "addictive" personality, or more likely as I'd view it just a human trait that's rare in some, under control in others, and out of control in others. I've seen people "addicted" to video games, porn, alcohol, drugs, sex, driving, wild behaviours, violence, gambling... anything really, even reading. One person I know lets his reading addiction cause problems (he's late to work because of it, he can't stop doing it at work...).

Not all drugs are addictive. Cannabis and LSD are two that spring readily to mind.

And alcohol is a drug, so it is redundant to list them separately.

There is a difference between chemical addiction, when the substance alters the brain to desire more (nicotine is a classic example) and attractive addiction, when you're addicted to something because you get great pleasure from doing it.

As has already been said, intelligence has nothing to do with it (and doesn't need the naming of Christopher Hitchens) nor does an upbringing in a "bad" urban landscape. It isn't always about escapism. Sometimes it's purely for the pleasure.

And I, for one, find nothing objectionable about pleasure. Big Grin
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18-08-2012, 03:11 PM
RE: How would you successfully eradicate the use of alcohol and cigarettes?
(18-08-2012 01:49 PM)Red Celt Wrote:  
(18-08-2012 01:33 PM)elemts Wrote:  Many things with humans, alcohol and the like, appear to be due to an "addictive" personality, or more likely as I'd view it just a human trait that's rare in some, under control in others, and out of control in others. I've seen people "addicted" to video games, porn, alcohol, drugs, sex, driving, wild behaviours, violence, gambling... anything really, even reading. One person I know lets his reading addiction cause problems (he's late to work because of it, he can't stop doing it at work...).

Not all drugs are addictive. Cannabis and LSD are two that spring readily to mind.

And alcohol is a drug, so it is redundant to list them separately.

There is a difference between chemical addiction, when the substance alters the brain to desire more (nicotine is a classic example) and attractive addiction, when you're addicted to something because you get great pleasure from doing it.

As has already been said, intelligence has nothing to do with it (and doesn't need the naming of Christopher Hitchens) nor does an upbringing in a "bad" urban landscape. It isn't always about escapism. Sometimes it's purely for the pleasure.

And I, for one, find nothing objectionable about pleasure. Big Grin

At the same time, the brain's interpretation of pleasure is chemicals as well. Although so is me typing (chemicals are involved in nerve impulses). It all depends on how you want to view it (of which level), and how the chemicals creating a potential addiction causes reactions.

For example, alcohol has no addictive quality in me. Neither do pain medications (prescription, not the illegal types, even though there's nothing saying that one's better/worse than the other shy of society), with one exception (and I don't even know what it is, only had it once, and it came with an automatic "get you addicted" pills after). I have a bottle of pain medications sitting on my desk that I take only if I need it, I'll probably end up disposing of them really--I've had people offer me $5-20 a pill because they want them. I work with someone who can't take the pill (or other pain meds), because he'll almost OD on them, and try to get more because of his brain chemistry.

Although I listed them separately as, well, I could say some of my spices (nutmeg is one I believe) is a "drug", for that matter, so is water, salt.... anything under the proper dosage could cause a mind-altering effect or just a physiological effect.

I'm just saying that a drug itself that is "addicting" isn't "addicting", it's just more potentially addicting to people than it is to others--with the possibility of long-term exposure to it causing the body to require it as it could suppress the body's natural functioning..... but then I can say that about some other pills and drugs that aren't addicting too, but alter the body's functioning.
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18-08-2012, 03:25 PM
RE: How would you successfully eradicate the use of alcohol and cigarettes?
(18-08-2012 03:11 PM)elemts Wrote:  I'm just saying that a drug itself that is "addicting" isn't "addicting", it's just more potentially addicting to people than it is to others--with the possibility of long-term exposure to it causing the body to require it as it could suppress the body's natural functioning..... but then I can say that about some other pills and drugs that aren't addicting too, but alter the body's functioning.

Well, no. Some drugs actually alter the brain chemistry, making the brain want that drug. If you've ever smoked, you'll understand that... the difficulty in giving up has very little to do with regular pleasure-seeking; it's all about the chemistry.

And yes, I appreciate that a brain experiencing pleasure (from whatever source) involves chemicals... but that is a completely different mechanism that is at play. Nicotine is chemically addictive, marijuana isn't... and that has nothing to do with pleasure, as marijuana is a lot more pleasurable.
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18-08-2012, 04:14 PM
RE: How would you successfully eradicate the use of alcohol and cigarettes?
(18-08-2012 03:25 PM)Red Celt Wrote:  
(18-08-2012 03:11 PM)elemts Wrote:  I'm just saying that a drug itself that is "addicting" isn't "addicting", it's just more potentially addicting to people than it is to others--with the possibility of long-term exposure to it causing the body to require it as it could suppress the body's natural functioning..... but then I can say that about some other pills and drugs that aren't addicting too, but alter the body's functioning.

Well, no. Some drugs actually alter the brain chemistry, making the brain want that drug. If you've ever smoked, you'll understand that... the difficulty in giving up has very little to do with regular pleasure-seeking; it's all about the chemistry.

And yes, I appreciate that a brain experiencing pleasure (from whatever source) involves chemicals... but that is a completely different mechanism that is at play. Nicotine is chemically addictive, marijuana isn't... and that has nothing to do with pleasure, as marijuana is a lot more pleasurable.

Long story short, my entire family smoked when I was a child (5+ cartons [not packs, cartons] in the cabinet was normal at the time and I believe they were restocked about once a week). One time I had to stay awake, and bought a pack just for one, as I knew the smoke would keep me awake/alert. It did nothing for me. I had no attraction to it, no desire for another, I didn't cough, nothing. I went through the entire pack in under an hour--bought another pack and went through it in another hour (I was on a four hour road trip--it happened about 2 hours in otherwise I wouldn't have known/remember the time-frame). Nothing. I had no desire for them or anything. Not enough time to be addicted? Maybe, but then people vary; however, I also had nothing of any use to even make me want more beyond the trip. I only continued past the one because I was shocked it did nothing, and thought maybe I'd have side effects from more--but I could've just bought a straw and sucked on it. I kind of did that though--it just had a big 64oz pop attached!

Funny thing though, if I'm around people smoking menthol ones, I have to leave because my body reacts like I'm drunk and that's generally not a good thing.

I think I just happen to have a body chemistry that due to things (development/childhood/something--I also grew up with a swimming pool, and always "played" with the chlorine) I am all-but immune to different addictions that others have, because my body doesn't respond like others to it. I don't know what it feels like to be taken off something you're addicted to.
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18-08-2012, 04:50 PM
RE: How would you successfully eradicate the use of alcohol and cigarettes?
(18-08-2012 01:10 PM)Chas Wrote:  Your assumptions are incorrect. There is no causation or correlation between intelligence or wealth and alcoholism.
Trust me, there are plenty of intelligent, well-to-do alcoholics.
Yes, I see that now. But there must be some correlation. I am sure there are personality traits that encourage or discourage alcoholism.
For example, I am an uptight nerdy nice guy. I drink only socially, if ever. I got rid myself of cigarette addiction. And I never begun to like smoking pot.
OTOH, extraverts tend to drink a lot and also use other drugs. They need stronger stimulation, apparently.

Which is kind of hopeless, because a personality won't change. One thing that may change is a society and upbringing. Alcoholism is often accompanied by a lack of direction and ambition and also by submission to external forces - like fate or pre-destination or a belief that "a leopard can not change its spots". It's a thin hope, but better than nothing.

Since you're so smart, tell me, why do intelligent people drink? Don't they enjoy their intellect? Doesn't drinking prevent them from using it? I might have an idea, but I don't know how to express it exactly. If I drink, it's for completely different reasons than others.
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18-08-2012, 05:01 PM
RE: How would you successfully eradicate the use of alcohol and cigarettes?
(18-08-2012 04:50 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(18-08-2012 01:10 PM)Chas Wrote:  Your assumptions are incorrect. There is no causation or correlation between intelligence or wealth and alcoholism.
Trust me, there are plenty of intelligent, well-to-do alcoholics.
Yes, I see that now. But there must be some correlation. I am sure there are personality traits that encourage or discourage alcoholism.

Why 'must' there be a correlation? It is not personality, it is biochemistry.

Quote:For example, I am an uptight nerdy nice guy. I drink only socially, if ever. I got rid myself of cigarette addiction. And I never begun to like smoking pot.
OTOH, extraverts tend to drink a lot and also use other drugs. They need stronger stimulation, apparently.

No. There isn't a correlation to 'personality'. There are all kinds of alcoholics, introvert, extrovert, fat, skinny, young, old, men, women, tinkers, tailors, soldiers, sailors, rich men, poor men, beggar men, thieves.

Quote:Which is kind of hopeless, because a personality won't change. One thing that may change is a society and upbringing. Alcoholism is often accompanied by a lack of direction and ambition and also by submission to external forces - like fate or pre-destination or a belief that "a leopard can not change its spots". It's a thin hope, but better than nothing.

You appear to be describing the effects of alcoholism, not the causes.

Quote:Since you're so smart, tell me, why do intelligent people drink? Don't they enjoy their intellect? Doesn't drinking prevent them from using it? I might have an idea, but I don't know how to express it exactly. If I drink, it's for completely different reasons than others.

Social drinkers drink because they enjoy it. Alcoholics drink because they have to.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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