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Ask Darryl - Q & A

Question and answer forum discussions with Dr Inaba

  • Is it possible to use heroin recreationally?

    Bruce asks: Is it possible to use heroin recreationally?


    Hi Bruce,
    The short answer to your question is yes but it comes with a whole bunch of caveats.
    The  1980 Am. Psychiatric Association estimated that only 23% of American heroin uses would meet diagnostic criteria for heroin use disorder meaning that most users would be either experimental or social/recreational users of heroin on any given day. However, there is most often a "honeymoon" period when one starts using drugs to when they may develop full blown addiction. That period is determined by genetic, environment (epigenetic) and pharmacological adaptive processes (allostasis). So at some point in their use of heroin most are actually in experimental or social/recreational use behaviors but continued use most often results in addiction. There is also the problem of denial resulting from both emotional and pharmacologic influences of heroin. Many users get emotionally attached to the feelings that heroin induces and are unwilling to looking at or totally ignoring the consequences that occur for their use of the drug. Heroin alters states of consciousness and cognition also making the user less able to be aware of or of consider consequences from use. So many heroin user may actually be addicted but are not able or unwilling to accept that fact. Experimental use of an addictive drug is limited to one or two lifetime exposures only with no drug seeking behavior and no reuse of the drug if negative consequences occur from their "experiment". Social/Recreational use of any addictive drug does consist of drug seeking behavior but use is sporadic, limited, with no developed patterns in use, and especially with no negative life, social or even spiritual consequence from using the drug. I have know a few social/recreational heroin users who remained at that level throughout their lives but would find it medically inappropriate and unethical to promote continued use for social/recreational purposes of any addictive substance and would fully educate and warn those who claim to be doing so. Addiction is horrible to those who develop it regardless of the drug whether it be marijuana or heroin and its development should strongly be avoided if possible. One of my clients in group last week wondered out loud why everyone who's ever tried heroin is not immediately a full blown addict to it. I also worked with Dr. George R. "Skip" Gay who wrote the book: Heroin, its so good don't even try it once. Though heroin is one of the most addictive drugs, nicotine is much more so with an estimated 32% of users being addicted to it any any one time in America.
    If a client or even a friend told me that they were a social/recreational user of heroin, I would immediate recommend and challenge them to stop use immediately to prove that they are not already fully addicted and if not to stay away from it to avoid ever developing addiction to it because of the catastrophic consequences that come with opiate/opioid addiction.
    Hope this helps Bruce and let me know if it is ok to post your question and my response on our CNS web sites. We can post it without identifying who posed the question if that is preferred.
    Best regards,
    Dr. Darryl Inaba
  • The 4 Traits That Put Kids at Risk for Addiction

    The 4 Traits That Put Kids at Risk for Addiction


    "I've seen this NY Times article and noted that it mirrors many other studies attributing traits generally by about the age of 10-12 when the brain is going through one of its cycles of development to future addiction. Based solely on thinking and behavioral aspects, I was impressed by the work of Drs. Richard and Mary Jessor in Colorado during the 1970s and then work by Dr. Steven Glenn from N. Carolina but he did research in California in the 80s and 90s. Brain imaging research by Dr. Susan F Tapert and the Scripts Institute about 2010 in San Diego found a link of early childhood non-adaptive behaviors as a link to future addiction and her work with Drs. Mark Paulus and Marc Schuckit is very compelling. Dr. David J. Linden in his 2011 Book, Compass of Pleasure has found that very positive traits in preadolescence like intelligence, creativity, drive to succeed, innovation, awareness, charisma, charm etc. were the traits of future addicts. 

    Still, the best indicator of future addiction in pre and early adolescence if age of first use of an addictive substance. Huge longitudinal studies and archival studies of those being treated for addiction solidly make this correlation. General numbers are that youth age 10-12 who start experimenting with alcohol, tobacco or marijuana are 4 to 5 times more likely to end up with an addiction than those who wait until they are 17-18 years old to start using. They are also 17-22 times more likely to become an addict compared to those who wait until they are 25 or older before experimenting with addictive drugs."

    -Darryl Inaba

  • Oxytocin

    Dr. Inaba;

    I ran across an article on an oxytocin study <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/274315.php>
    and it's relation to addiction development.  I wondered what you think about this direction.  It seems pretty interesting.

    P.S.  Our students love Uppers, Downers...

    Wanda Urban, MS, CADC III, HS-BCP
    Human Services Program
    Chemeketa Community College
    Salem, Oregon 97309-7070

  • Ibogaine

    Dr Inaba

    This is some information that my marketing guy ran across and I am curious about your opinion regarding using ibogaine in this manner? Your feedback is appreciated. I hope all is well. Looking forward to the summer school and seeing you again...

    What is Iboga?
    Iboga is the rootbark of the Central West-African plant Tabernanthe iboga, used traditionally in rites of passage and healing rituals. Ibogaine is the most researched iboga-alkaloid, but related alkaloids might also have therapeutic properties.

    Detoxification from opioids with a single large dose of ibogaine has been consistently observed in humans and corresponds to a large body of animal work. Treatment with ibogaine is followed by a period of variable duration of reduced craving for multiple substances including opiates, stimulants, alcohol, benzodiazepines and nicotine. The iboga experience facilitates a profound revision of one's personal history and life situation and adjustment of one's behavior and role in the family and society. New Zealand was the first country in the world to accept ibogaine as a prescription medication in 2009.

    Thanks for your input.


    Russ Talbot, M.Ed., LCSW, MAC
    Talbot Recovery Solutions, LLC

  • History of Coca-Cola and other sodas

    Hi Darryl,
    I hope you are well and enjoying the summer! I am living near Portland now, teaching at ... College.
    I have always wanted to ask you this question -- did Coca Cola every have cocaine in it? I am especially interested because this question comes up in my psychology class.
    Any light you can shed on the subject is most appreciated!!

    Hi Carol,

    Yes, on May 8, 1886 by John S. Pemberton created coca cola using the extract of the Erythroxylon coca and Cola acuminata nut to make the original Coca-Cola at Jacob's Pharmacy near Atlanta Georgia. Just before his death two years later, Pemberton sold the rights to Coca-Cola to Asa Chandler who bought out all of its stock holders over 3 years and created an international major business with the product. After passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906 and then the Harrison Narcotic Act in 1914, Coca-Cola had to replace cocaine with caffeine but still believed that it was the taste of the E coca and the C acuminata extract that was the flavoring key to its success so the continued to use the extract as a flavoring after taking all the cocaine out of it. I believe that the Federal Food and Drug Administration (the only major government watchdog not headquartered in the Washington DC/Rockville MD area) was actually set up to monitor Coca Cola to ensure that all the cocaine was indeed removed from the extract before using it as a flavoring agent. Their recipe is still a closely guarded secret but the Pure Food and Drug Act makes them at least list all of its ingredients.

    Here's another one for you. 7-up was created by Charles L Grigg of the Howdy Corporation in St. Louis in 1929 just 2 weeks before the great Wall Street Crash and the Depression of the 1930. One of its ingredients was lithium citrate that was already know to be mood-stabilizing and anti-depressant drug. Perhaps also this was indirectly to counteract the various upper cola caffeinated products that had exploded in use by that time. 7-up contained lithium until 1950.

    Drug history is so amazing. You should also look up the "ammonium technology" used to create "free-base" nicotine in Marlboro Cigarettes in the early 1960's.
    This was said to give Marlboros more "impact" Phillip Morris' euphemism for addiction because as you know, as late as the 1990's the tobacco industry continued to claim that nicotine and tobacco were non addicting. Everybody just loved the taste of Marlboro and that why it became and maintains the most popular brand of cigarettes in America.

    Hey, probably ranted off more information than you wanted to know but since I did, I thought I'd give a little history lesson.


  • Molly

    Molly ... is a drug made up of cocaine, crack, ecstasy, meth & bath salt...Molly is a street name for drugs - vary from era to era, fad to fad, state to state, town to town, neighborhood to neighborhood and even from cadre of friends to cadre of friends in the same neighborhood...

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