Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Brave New World

Associated Press:
"Anti-smoking pill may help curb drinking
July 9, 2007 07:46:09 PM PST

A single pill appears to hold promise in curbing the urges to both smoke and drink, according to researchers trying to help people overcome addiction by targeting a pleasure center in the brain.

The drug, called varenicline, already is sold to help smokers kick the habit. New but preliminary research suggests it could gain a second use in helping heavy drinkers quit, too.

Much further down the line, the tablets might be considered as a treatment for addictions to everything from gambling to painkillers, researchers said."

Recently I have read pills that can vaccinate you from brain cancer to making you smarter. And yes, I mean REALLY making you smarter. Have you heard about that sevant guy that can look at a series of random numbers once and repeat them back to you front and backwards? That could be you with on of the new pills coming out of Britain.

So my question to you is... In a few years, when all theses "smart drugs" start surfacing and people and kids taking the "smart drugs" start getting the good jobs and scoring higher on S.A.T.'s, will you be one of the takers? How different is Claritin to a drug that makes you more intelligent or that helps you to quit smoking, gambling... sinning????

"Christianity without tears— that’s what soma is." -Brave New World


FancyPants said...

Those Christian Scientists are really gonna be behind....

But seriously, is an addiction a sin or a sickness?

If it's not a sin, but a sickness, then it's a product of the fall, just like any sickness, so by the standard we've already set, it should be fine to take them. It's a chemical brain thing, right? So it's very much like taking a pill for schizophrenia or manic depression.

Getting drunk is a sin, but getting drunk doesn't mean you're addicted to the drug.

So for addiction, I'd say it's fine and will help alot of people.

Now for getting smarter...that's taking it a little too far for me. But how does it make you smarter? I mean, drugs for ADD help people to focus, and you could call that making them smarter. Does it help you retain information? Or does it actually help you solve problems, analyze, higher level functions?

Seth Ward said...

Actually, it helps you to remember and retain knowledge. For instance in a double blind placebo study, it showed to help people to memorize a series of numbers front and backwards up to 9-12 digits within seconds! Whereas normal folks can do about 3-5. That is significant. Plus they remembered them later and normal people hardly do that at all.

As far a sin goes... well lets say that any addiction is a sin. The drug can help you not to sin. What if there are drugs in the future that can isolate the tendency to lie. Would you advocate this drug as mandatory? I have to say that I would consider it.

The smart pill... I think I might go for that one too. After all, according to schoolhouse rock, "knowledge is power!"

Chaotic Hammer said...

I wonder if these new pills are addictive.

The Stan said...

I like Chaotic Hammer's comments. We're such a pill-happy society and the drug companies like it that way...in fact, they do all they can to keep us believing in the "magic pills."

But EVERY drug--no matter how beneficial--has negative side effects. There's ALWAYS a trade off. Personally, I'd stay miles away from any wonder drug unless I was on my deathbed and it was my only hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

As Dr. Lorraine Day says, "You don't get a headache from a deficiency of Aspirin!"

The thing is, doctors and scientist know a hell of a lot about human chemistry but most of it still a mystery. Think about how drugs are tested: "Here, take this, and let's see what it does!"

We can dress it up with sophisticated-sounding language, but that's what it boils down to.

So until drugs begin to get a bit more sophisticated with intelligent and precise delivery, and doctors have a complete understanding of all the drug's effects (and I know them, myself), then I'd rather stay away from it. I don't even take supplements!