1/12. Last week, New Yorker writer @benwallacewells profiled my latest book (#DrugUse4GrownUps) & me. He called me “pugnacious” & described my views on drugs & drug policy as “extreme.”

2/12. Rarely do I respond to criticisms of my work & ideas. It takes away time that could be used in the service of the downtrodden. It also brings attention to undeserving, less than honorable critics. Here, in the following thread, I use evidence to set the record straight.
3/12. Evidence: 1 measure of success is sales. The 2nd book has already out sold the 1st. Importantly, the 2nd book has generated far more discussion and serious consideration. Blatantly false claims such as the one below, frankly, are enough to make one feel a bit pugnacious.
4/12. Facts not Trust: The Swiss initiated this approach > 20 yrs ago. It worked. People stayed in treatment. The # of new blood-borne infections dramatically decreased. Petty crimes by heroin users went down. No heroin user has ever died while receiving heroin in the clinic.
5/12. Fact: 70-90 percent of people who use even the most vilified drugs are not addicts. These people pay their bills, look after their health, take care of their families as well as other responsibilities. They are professionals and more. They are your family. They are you…me.
6/12. Not in your box: The paragraph below is irrelevant to my science or book. My science is not a red-blue issue. The data dictates my position. It seems that the writer is the one trying to put me in the red-blue crossfire.
7/12. Fact: This statement is not true. In fact, I spoke with the fact-checker prior to publication so that it would be corrected. It wasn’t. I explained that I had not recently submitted grants to NIDA because my interests didn’t align w/ their mission. Nothing nefarious there.
8/12. Seeking Kolodny’s and Madras’ views about me is tantamount to asking Mr. Trump for his opinion of Mr. Obama’s handling of anything. Neither Kolodny nor Madras have published as extensively as I have in the scientific literature on human drug use and abuse.
9/12. Fact: The data show that less than 1/3 of heroin users and less than 1/10 of people prescribed opioids for pain will become addicted. Addiction has more to do with the conditions under which use occurs than the drug itself.
10/12. Fact: No one is saying drugs are harmless. Strawman argument. Drugs have the potential for both pos & neg effects. In my new book, I painstakingly show how Drug Prohibition predictably & reliably increases the likelihood of neg effects.
11/12a. Facts: It’s important to separate illicit & prescribed opioids. Chronic pain patients have safely used prescribed opioids for decades. Many opioid-related deaths occurred because users ingested tainted drugs, a Prohibition effect.
11/12b. Facts: Opioid mortality rates, in countries where drugs are decriminalized & quality & quantity are predictable, are minuscule compared to the US. This is similar to the fact that mortality rates from alcohol plunged after Prohibition was revoked.
12/12a. Fact: It’s not. In fact, this is a perverse distortion of the word “grownup.” Remaining in the closet, knowing that so many underprivileged people are routinely persecuted for merely using drugs, seems callous & dishonorable.
12/12b. The lack of concern for the underprivileged might explain why the piece is devoid of any discussion of the racial trauma that flourishes under the current US drug regime.

#DrugUse4GrownUps offers a better vision, one that’s more compassionate & humane.

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