On the impact of heroin addiction

poppy_field.jpgThe Wall Street Journal has recently published an article on heroin addicition by the pseudonymous Theodore Dalrymple, who argues that heroin is not as life-gripping as it is claimed, and that many addicts simply lack the will to stop using the drug.

Theodore Dalrymple is the pen name of retired psychiatrist Anthony Daniels who has long opposed liberal approaches to mental illness and its treatment.

Conservative writers tend to dismiss mental illness off-hand as some sort of moral failing without ever engaging the topic, while Daniels is one of the few who actually gives the issue some consideration.

Even if you don’t agree with his views, Daniels is a thought-provoking writer who tackles a difficult area that others often ignore.

Link to ‘Poppycock’ by Theodore Dalrymple.


  1. Posted June 1, 2006 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Nick Davies had two long pieces in the Guardian a few years back about heroin legalisation – arguing essentially that the problems from heroin addiction are consequent on its illegality, not on the substance itself.
    So, to be sure, if you or I found ourselves with a physical morphine addiction we’d probably get over it. This isn’t the same as implying that addicts lack the will to quit – the same drug doesn’t have comparable effects on two completely different individuals in two different life circumstances. How you judge from the outside the willpower of another is something that continuously confuses me as well. But I should read the WSJ article before babbling on any more…

  2. Posted March 9, 2007 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    Nice post, Vaughn. I read the Wall Street Journal article and it was indeed interesting. I especially found that part about how people who are trapped in heroin addiction can quit if they want to and with minimal help fascinating. In any case, I still believe that heroin addiction is something that should be treated.

  3. Alex Quinn
    Posted August 29, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    It is very sad to see people struggle with a heroin addiction. Some people believe that this is something that an addict can just stop doing, but in most cases it is not. It is a disease that takes over their life and they need treatment and help from everyone possible in order to beat this addiction.Please do not ignore someone with a heroin addiction or any any other drug addiction, and get them the help that they need.

  4. Posted February 16, 2013 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    A bad doctor always blames his patients.

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