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by Dr. Jay Davis
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2003 at 2:54 AM
The fact is that narcotic addicts can - if adequately supplied with their drugs - lead perfectly productive lives.
Rush the junkie deserves better treatment than he’d allow others
Dr. Jay Davis, Arcata Eye, October 20, 2003
Rush Limbaugh a drug addict?
Whether you admire Rush or detest him (and few people are simply neutral), these charges must come as a shock. The conservative Mr. Limbaugh, no surprise, has zero public sympathy for drug abusers and has publicly stated they should be incarcerated.
Mr. Limbaugh’s defenders will doubtless portray Rush as a victim - a man whose post-surgery pain forced him to take narcotics, which, in turn, enslaved this heroic man. Critics will see Limbaugh as no different from any other junkie - turning to narcotics not for pain relief, but for those forbidden joys that only opiates can confer - joys that people have chased ever since discovering the Opium Poppy eons ago.
But while this fight rages, a bigger point will be missed. Mr. Limbaugh has allegedly been taking massive doses of narcotics - thousands of pills a month. How come he’s been able to run his radio empire and maintain his keen-edged performance?
The drug-warriors constantly paint a picture of the junkie as an unemployed, unemployable, outcast - filthy and degraded. Does this sound like Rush Limbaugh to you?
The fact is that narcotic addicts can - if adequately supplied with their drugs - lead perfectly productive lives. One of America’s foremost surgeons was a hopeless morphine addict who - so long as he had his drugs - performed flawlessly, and contributed mightily to American medicine. In various European countries addicts have been supplied with clean narcotics, and have lived quite boringly normal lives.
Mr. Limbaugh’s money and power made it possible for him to feed his addiction with pharmaceutical-grade narcotics. The poor amongst us must make do with filthy heroin and dirty syringes. To get the same rush as Rush, they pay inflated prices, suffer festering abscesses and risk deadly overdoses.
Because of his position, Mr. Limbaugh will not go to jail no matter what the outcome of this investigation. Nor should he.
Addiction should be treated as the medical problem it is. It makes as much sense to incarcerate someone for narcotic addiction as for congestive heart failure. But the same compassion we show to Limbaugh should be granted to the poor among us.
Jay Davis is a somewhat retired physician.
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