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Are 'Legal Drugs' as Dangerous as Illegal?

News 2012/06/14 20:00:00
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Just because a substance is legal, that doesn't mean it's safe. With new substances hitting the market on a regular basis, it's impossible for authorities and experts to keep track of them, meaning there's very little reliable information available. A while back, a handful of teens were hospitalized after taking synthetic marijuana -- cause enough for concern. But this weekend a 20-year-old man died after taking a substance called Benzo Fury at a Scotland music festival.

David Liddell, director of Scottish Drugs Forum, said in a statement, "Benzo Fury is a so-called legal high -- or New Psychoactive Drug -- which appears to have a similar effect to Ecstasy. It's one of the new legal highs developed to get around the banning of similar compounds ... As it's not been around for long there is little information on long-term effects and as with all these drugs, there's no knowing what's actually in them. The names are just to market them and may bear no relation to what's in them." Do you think these "legal drugs" are just as dangerous as the illegal ones?


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  • jimrthy... Teineeun 2012/06/15 16:16:25
    jimrthy BN-0
    Actually, stupidity *is* dangerous. Sort of by definition, it's fatal.

    Weed does make some people stupid. Others it makes really focused. Others it makes relaxed enough to calm down and live a normal life. I know a guy who's never found anything else that would help with the grand mal seizures that have plagued him his entire life. He's dangerously scary smart.

    The stereotype of the burned-out mindless pot head is really very misleading.
  • Teineeun jimrthy... 2012/06/15 16:32:14
    Teineeun
    I don't disagree Jim. Every human's body chemistry is different from the next person's.

    That being said, the breathing in of smoke for anyone kills brain cells. Cigarettes, Weed, or anything else. The THC, however does make a good portion of the population stupid. They just think they're smart when ingesting it. Stupidity is not fatal. If it were we'd be doing mass euthanasia for the mentally handicapped.

    Yes, I know THC stops cancer growth and has other good side effects. Yes, I know it helps ill people, like your friend. I actually prefer weed over tobacco but that's a long discussion I'd rather not get into. The long and the short is this: It typically makes normal healthy people dumb.
  • jimrthy... Teineeun 2012/06/16 21:34:38
    jimrthy BN-0
    I meant that true stupidity cures itself. I don't think "mentally handicapped" necessarily means stupid. Nor does a low IQ.

    As far as any sort of smoke inhalation kills brain cells...you definitely have more of an education along those lines than I. The studies I've seen were all inconclusive.

    Maybe the heavy pot smokers I know who seem like normal people of basically average intelligence would be absolutely brilliant if they didn't smoke so much. Then again, they all claim it's the only thing that lets them get through a work day without killing someone else.

    It seems to me that's the sort of trade-off they should be allowed to decide for themselves.
  • 10997 2012/06/15 15:16:22
    No
    10997
    +2
    Define Illegal drugs. Are legal drugs more dangerous than cannabis? Yes. Are legal drugs more dangerous than crystal meth? Possible, but unlikely.

    Then again, anything can be abused to a lethal extent.
    What was the point of this poll again?
  • Boo 2012/06/15 15:12:31
    Yes
    Boo
    +2
    Listening to the disclaimers at the end of prescription drug ads, it appears they may be more dangerous! If I have a single condition and the treatment is likely to cause other problems or even death, I think I'd just stick with the single condition and try to live with it. I certainly would not spend the obscene sums of money that many do for drugs that may improve their condition "some what" but make me feel terrible all the time and destroy their quality of life. The pharmaceutical industry is getting rich selling expensive poisons.
  • Insanebane 2012/06/15 15:11:13
    Yes
    Insanebane
    Being the United States of America, we are probably the most
    pill-popping country in the the world when it come to
    prescription drugs.
  • jimrthy... Insanebane 2012/06/15 15:59:16
    jimrthy BN-0
    That wouldn't surprise me.

    And the worst abusers? Mormons.

    People who want to alter their body chemistry *will* find loopholes in the rules and ways to make it happen.
  • Cochise 2012/06/15 14:58:19
    Yes
    Cochise
    Some prescription drugs kill more people, when over dosed than illegal drugs.
  • jimrthy... Cochise 2012/06/15 15:58:23
    jimrthy BN-0
    IIRC, the numbers I saw show that prescription drugs kill *way* more people than the illegal ones.
  • ant0n1us Cochise 2012/06/15 16:04:11
    ant0n1us
    There is a tremendous amount of misinformation on the internet about medical error (including wrong prescription of drugs) as a cause of death. There are crank sites that state, "leading cause of death" which is absolute rubbish. It is probably less than 25,000 deaths per year in the US. Other medical errors (botched surgery or other hospital errors) account for another 25,000 deaths. Compared to heart disease (>650,000), cancer (>550,000), cardiovascular diseases like stroke (150,000), etc, misprescription is pretty rare and minor.

    The people pushing for the misinformation are charlatans who advocate rubbish treatments for cancer like prayer or herbs.
  • Grady Jellyneck 2012/06/15 14:57:53
    Yes
    Grady Jellyneck
    It depend on which prescription drugs you are talking about however over all i believe they are considering the avalibility of said prescription drugs.
  • Reichstolz 2012/06/15 14:56:58
    Yes
    Reichstolz
    Any substance that alters body processes is dangerous, equally.
  • jimrthy... Reichstolz 2012/06/15 15:57:19
    jimrthy BN-0
    I understand what you're saying, but that kind of generalization seems a little silly.

    Eating potatoes alters body processes. So does watching a movie. Or exercising.

    Learning to read permanently alters the way a person thinks and experiences reality.

    Every thought a person has is a change in brain chemistry. Emotions are fairly major changes in body processes.

    Caffeine is generally much less dangerous than, say, drain cleaner.
  • Reichstolz jimrthy... 2012/06/15 23:22:37
    Reichstolz
    If it has an effect it can be dangerous. The generalization was used to demonstrate a point which most don't grasp.
  • jimrthy... Reichstolz 2012/06/16 21:36:51
    jimrthy BN-0
    Gotcha.

    It was really the "equally" part that I caught on. Eating too much sugar will eventually kill you, long-term. But it's nowhere near as dangerous as, say, PCP (at least short-term, in similar doses).
  • Reichstolz jimrthy... 2012/06/16 23:52:15
    Reichstolz
    Depends on what sort of other conditions a patient has. Everything we put into ourselves has the potential to harm us.
  • jimrthy... Reichstolz 2012/06/17 01:52:21
    jimrthy BN-0
    That's definitely true. Even if it's stuff our bodies would normally produce naturally.

    I appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom. You are correct.
  • SW 2012/06/15 14:56:46
    Yes
    SW
    +1
    Unless were talking like meth or pcp or mdma or something... Most of.the problems with illegal drugs come from the fact that thyre illegal.
  • GeminiWolf 2012/06/15 14:56:32
    Yes
    GeminiWolf
    My daughter's father is currently going through a rehab for an addiction to painkillers. He lied to me for 3 years about his addiction until he got careless and I found some in his possession confronted him. He was up to 15-20 percocets a day, vicodins as well, all obtained illegally.

    I honestly have no problems with recreational drug use, but when the drug controls you instead of the other way around, it becomes an big problem for me.
  • richard 2012/06/15 14:56:22 (edited)
    No
    richard
    Everything should be legal. it will put crime rate went down . how many people get murdered in killed and robbery every year for somebody with a drug habit if drugs are legal that person can be monitored there always will be somebody always 1 now messed things up it won't fix everyone but the crime rate was still drop big time however I meant to vote yes to this question legalize weed.
  • harley oldman 2012/06/15 14:55:45
    Yes
    harley oldman
    YEP...Probably worse in some cases....!
  • Jermaine Pollard 2012/06/15 14:51:35
    Yes
    Jermaine Pollard
    +2
    Both can be deadly if over used or misused.
  • jimrthy... Jermain... 2012/06/15 15:47:37
    jimrthy BN-0
    I've never heard of anyone dying of a pot overdose.
  • mikeyllo 2012/06/15 14:50:53
    Yes
    mikeyllo
    Determining how "bad" a substance is depends on its usage. When used as prescribed or as directed, legal drugs shouldn't be considered "bad.". However, if they are used in other ways, that could be problematic.
  • jimrthy... mikeyllo 2012/06/15 15:47:06
    jimrthy BN-0
    Who do you think should be responsible for making that distinction?
  • mikeyllo jimrthy... 2012/06/16 17:16:35
    mikeyllo
    What's up man? I've seen one of your other comments about no one dying over pot overdoses and I really don't get in the habit of going back and forth with people who choose to use or support illegal drugs for whatever reason because it's pointless. I don't use and I wasn't part of the decision to make it illegal and I can't do anything to change the status on my own. However, in terms of making the distinction between how "bad" a substance is, I leave that up to people who are more qualified than I am to make that decision. I'm not a doctor, pharmacist, maker or distributor of legal drugs, so I can't possibly rely on my own knowledge. I have to trust those that do have that knowledge to make those determinations. In any case, the decision certainly shouldn't be made by some random person whose main goal is to use or support the use of the drug anyway. Whether the choice is good or bad, most people have some form of logic behind the decisions they make--even if that logic is flawed.
  • jimrthy... mikeyllo 2012/06/16 21:54:31
    jimrthy BN-0
    +1
    Just for the record: I don't "support" the abuse of any substance, legal or illegal. In general, it's stupid.

    I just think that keeping certain ones illegal does far more harm than good. (Especially when the "good" is very doubtful).

    If we follow your logic to its conclusion, then we wind up with dietitians dictating what we're allowed to eat at each meal. Etc.

    I recently spent almost a month at a hospital, watching a team of endocrinologists try to find the "right" balance between insulin injections and a dextrose drip. They finally just basically gave up and opted for keeping the patient's blood sugar *way* too high. Far too often, the "experts" don't really know what they're talking about.

    I think it's *obviously* better to get expert opinions about what we put into our bodies. But, as long as it's something that doesn't directly hurt anyone else...individuals need to make their own choices (and are going to anyway, for that matter). That's an important part of living in a free society: accepting the consequences (good and bad) for our personal decisions.

    Anyway. No, you can't do anything personally about the "War on Drugs." Any more than I. But we can actually think about the issues, especially when they come up on ballots, and decide whether "This is illegal, so we have to kee...



    Just for the record: I don't "support" the abuse of any substance, legal or illegal. In general, it's stupid.

    I just think that keeping certain ones illegal does far more harm than good. (Especially when the "good" is very doubtful).

    If we follow your logic to its conclusion, then we wind up with dietitians dictating what we're allowed to eat at each meal. Etc.

    I recently spent almost a month at a hospital, watching a team of endocrinologists try to find the "right" balance between insulin injections and a dextrose drip. They finally just basically gave up and opted for keeping the patient's blood sugar *way* too high. Far too often, the "experts" don't really know what they're talking about.

    I think it's *obviously* better to get expert opinions about what we put into our bodies. But, as long as it's something that doesn't directly hurt anyone else...individuals need to make their own choices (and are going to anyway, for that matter). That's an important part of living in a free society: accepting the consequences (good and bad) for our personal decisions.

    Anyway. No, you can't do anything personally about the "War on Drugs." Any more than I. But we can actually think about the issues, especially when they come up on ballots, and decide whether "This is illegal, so we have to keep it that way" or "The law is wrong" is a proper response.

    For people who have the "I need the government to dictate everybody aspect of my life and the lives of those around me" response...well, if enough Americans continue to hate the idea of freedom, then we'll lose what we have left.

    Thank you for a thoughtful and pleasant response.
    (more)
  • mikeyllo jimrthy... 2012/06/19 03:05:42
    mikeyllo
    +1
    Hey again man. One thing we seem to agree on is that we both don't support "the abuse of any substance, legal or illegal." However, it seems like the "use" is still up for debate. LOL.

    I don't believe that most people want the government to dictate every aspect or their lives. What I do believe is that as long as their is a rule--even if it's just one--there's going to be a segment of society who disagrees with it and feels inhibited because that rule is in place. They feel like they are being denied something because they don't have the "freedom" to do what they want.

    On the flip side, it's not possible to have true freedom. There have to be rules in place. Rules that restrict your neighbor from breaking into your house. Rules that restrict people from driving 100 miles an hour in residential areas. Rules that restrict people from just killing other people because they ate the last bagel.

    The problem is that people want to pick and chose. They want the rules in place that keep them and their families safe, but then complain about the loss of freedom when something that they personally want to do or support carries restrictions. We can't have it both ways.

    Individuals do need to make their own choices within reason, but turn on Courtv or watch the news tonight to see ...
    Hey again man. One thing we seem to agree on is that we both don't support "the abuse of any substance, legal or illegal." However, it seems like the "use" is still up for debate. LOL.

    I don't believe that most people want the government to dictate every aspect or their lives. What I do believe is that as long as their is a rule--even if it's just one--there's going to be a segment of society who disagrees with it and feels inhibited because that rule is in place. They feel like they are being denied something because they don't have the "freedom" to do what they want.

    On the flip side, it's not possible to have true freedom. There have to be rules in place. Rules that restrict your neighbor from breaking into your house. Rules that restrict people from driving 100 miles an hour in residential areas. Rules that restrict people from just killing other people because they ate the last bagel.

    The problem is that people want to pick and chose. They want the rules in place that keep them and their families safe, but then complain about the loss of freedom when something that they personally want to do or support carries restrictions. We can't have it both ways.

    Individuals do need to make their own choices within reason, but turn on Courtv or watch the news tonight to see what some people do when left to their own devices. Imagine them having the true freedom that people mention when they feel slighted because something like marijuana isn't legal.
    (more)
  • jimrthy... mikeyllo 2012/06/23 20:44:57
    jimrthy BN-0
    Agreed completely. You're totally correct.

    People like some rules, then get all uptight when they don't.

    Again: thank you for a thoughtful, polite, meaningful response. Those are pretty rare on here. I appreciate it on the rare occasions I run across them.
  • mikeyllo jimrthy... 2012/06/28 02:26:22
    mikeyllo
    +1
    It was cool going back and forth with you as well. I just re-read what I wrote, and I have to say thanks for not calling me out on all the gramatical errors. I don't know what I was thinking when I typed that up. Hope all is well!!!
  • valeriefrench59 2012/06/15 14:50:47
    Yes
    valeriefrench59
    +1
    more dangerous!!!!!!
  • Todd_I 2012/06/15 14:49:13
    Yes
    Todd_I
    We went through this with Tabacco. Most thinking people knew that Tabacco, especially when smoked, was bad for you. Yet, we did that thing for decades and then sued the producers for everyone's bad health. Legalizing something that we know has more negative effects, or at least we know has a high degree of potential abuse, like marijuana, shouldn't be legal.
  • jimrthy... Todd_I 2012/06/15 15:46:23
    jimrthy BN-0
    Marijuana has *much* less potential for abuse than, say, alcohol. Or huge numbers of prescription drugs.

    The first thing accomplished by keeping it illegal is driving users to harder, more dangerous drugs. It's exactly the same thing that happened in Prohibition 1.0: we turned a country full of beer drinkers into a country full of booze drinkers.

    The second thing accomplished has been a huge explosion of our prison populations. That makes a lot of sense. Let's keep people from ruining their lives by being pot heads by ruining their lives by making felons out of them.

    The third accomplishment has been the militarization of our police. No-knock SWAT raids are now something normal that happen all the time.

    This approach has failed. It's long past time to admit it and try something different.

    Back when pot was legal, it was *not* a problem.
  • Peacock 2012/06/15 14:48:19
    Yes
    Peacock
    +2
    Prescription drugs are legal, and can be LETHAL. That having been said, no person should be denied the right to pain relief because some people have addictive personalities. If all "drugs" per se, fell off the earth tomorrow, some would have I.V. drips of booze. IF a person wants to be blitzed, they will find a way
  • JoeyJoJoJrShabadoo 2012/06/15 14:48:06
    Yes
    JoeyJoJoJrShabadoo
    +1
    Ask almost any high school honor student who regularly snorts lines of their doctor-prescribed Adderall every morning before AP Chemistry if they think legal drugs are as dangerous as illegal ones. They'll stare blankly at you, twitch a little, and then shout: "Somebody get these spiders off my skin!"
  • kthulhu 2012/06/15 14:47:01
    No
    kthulhu
    +1
    they're comparing "all legal drugs" to "all illegal drugs" without differentiating. between similar drugs, it probably is more dangerous because it's not natural. but if you compare synthetic marijuana to heroine... then no it isn't. the question should be more specific.
  • CrazyDeen0 2012/06/15 14:45:03
    No
    CrazyDeen0
    +1
    Legal drugs are more dangerous because they are man made. Look at all the commercials asking people to call them if they have taken _____ and that they may have a law suit. The big Pharma companies are making billions off of keeping you sick and killing you with their approved man made poisons.
  • Zach 2012/06/15 14:43:44
    Yes
    Zach
    +1
    To quote Leonardo fro Assassin's Creed 2: In high enough doses that which cure's can kill.
  • Tom 2012/06/15 14:43:42
    Yes
    Tom
    +1
    It is too easy to get prescription drugs from Doctors. If you can't get it from one doctor go to another, you will get what you want. My sister justed passed and she was a legal drug addict for 30 years. Among many others I know in the same boat. Doctors today must have forgot their oath to the patients. They give out drugs like candy. It's worse than the illegal market and they are killing people everyday legally.
  • SW Tom 2012/06/15 15:06:31
    SW
    +1
    It goes the other way too. Doctors are deathly afraid to prescribe narcotics so patients with chronic pain are instead given alternatives that have horrible side effects and or dont work ...so they dont God forbid get high. Celebrex for example killed people. People who would be alive.today if they had just taken say vicodin. Doctors prescribe them because theyre following their oath and not the hystaria of the drug war.

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