Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, February 8, 2013

What Is the Lower Limit?

I read a flyer on inhalant abuse that was put out by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It contained this nugget of information:
Based on independent studies performed over a 10-year period in three different states, the number of inhalant-related fatalities in the United States is approximately 100–200 per year.
That's it? Cripes, that's down around the level of "people who were killed on the way to Starbucks when they were hit by a cement mixer whilst jaywalking." That's about the number of people who are killed nationwide by medical errors in half of a shift.

But hey, let's turn the power of the Federal purse on this.

Look, I'm not denying that people aren't damaging/killing themselves with inhalants. And maybe it doesn't hurt to get some word out to kids. But here is the thing: Much of the time, telling kids that "this is dangerous shit" has as much effect as the voice of one of the adults in a "Charlie Brown" TV cartoon. And a percentage of them are going to say, at least to themselves: "Dang, I never thought about trying that. Let's go huff some paint!"

What are they proposing? You can't ban the sale of gasoline or lighter fluid or spray paint or most anything that the huffers want to huff.* You can buy a can of most of those solvents at any good-sized hardware store or paint supply shop. Hell, you can buy a pack of magic-markers and sniff them, for that matter.

At what point do we say: "Damn, ol' Cletus really did some stupid shit, there" and stop with the "Cletus is dead, something must be done" noise? There are over 300 million people in this country and a number of them are going to be doing something downright foolish, if not fatally risky, at any one time.** I don't see how we can stop them all without requiring that we all live in locked wards. And then who keeps the keepers from doing something stupid?
* Or maybe we could ban the sale of gasoline. A side benefit would be that it would have cut down on the mobility of the DC snipers or the Shandy Hook Asswipe.
** About 21 people each year die from another form of getting high: Skydiving.


Eck! said...

Would seem the important thing,
preventing death and all.
saving lives is plenty grand.

Chorus you sing now:

For the children,
Smoke and mirrors,
we all dance to,
smoke and mirrors.

All you see my hand out here..
See its your pocket too
while your watching my waving hand.

For the children,
Smoke and mirrors,
we all dance to,
smoke and mirrors.

The media marches to the song,
we must save them,
while they lie to us they wave,

that empty hand.


The Bad Yogi said...

Actually, the bigger problem with inhalants is the medical damage they cause that DOOESN'T kill Cletus, but turns him into a drooling (more drooling) fool that now needs dialysis. Much more expensive. Still don't need new laws.

D. said...

Wait, one can get high (ha!) from gasoline fumes? (Smelled nice; not interested when not at a gas station.)

I used to get a little whoofy and dizzy from certain pudding pies. (I think they're not made anymore.)

I would not have called that "getting high."

We really need to have a conversation about the fear of pleasure that isn't happening. Because it's partly the getting high and largely a terror that someone might access pleasure. People get incredibly stupid around forbidden behavior. I'm surprised no one has managed to ban whirling around with one's arms out until one falls down; now that'll get you high. Or dizzy. Remember banana peels?

The ancients actually knew how to channel the urge to get "high," but those rituals were thought nonsense.

Old NFO said...

Interesting fact, I wasn't aware of that and +1 on Ecks.

Sarah said...

This is the sort of information the NIDA should be distributing. Inhalants are a nasty, low-rent way to get "high". In a sad local story, a line-boy was discovered atop a 100LL truck with his face in the tank. Draw your own conclusions.

Too bad the government sources have destroyed their credibility with decades of lies and half-truths about dangerous drugs like Marijuana and Psychedelics. Reminds me of:

"psychedelic drugs cause paranoia, confusion, and total loss of reality in politicians that have never taken them"
— Timothy Leary

Comrade Misfit said...

I have no problem with distributing information. But when the government gets involved in that "distributing information" tends to morph into "we gotta pass legislation." The legislation never stops anyone from getting their hands on drugs (in this context, inhalants fit), but it does make everyone else's lives more difficult.