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Old 08-20-2013, 01:16 PM   #11
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
On a scale from 0 to 10, Dune's spice totally kicks caffeine's ass, in terms of beneficial effects. At least one level of Extended Lifespan, maybe two, maybe Longevity on top of that, and if you happen to have psionics it enhances those too, somehow.
Coffee doesn't mutate you into a giant space fish.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

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Long term caffeine usage has detrimental effects; I know first hand because I started ingesting significant doses early on (grew up drinking soda, started needing my morning coffee at like age 12) and now I can't have any at all. It aggravates various "conditions", some of which it likely caused. This is true (or at least suspected) for a lot of things (artificial sweeteners, preservatives, etc.). Understanding addiction is complicated; many things have both a physical and psychological component. The longer we live coupled with the earlier (and/or more frequently) we are exposed to various things has revealed that they aren't really that safe.

The thing is this is a Disadvantage begging to be micromanaged, but I agree "as is" doesn't seem right either.
Ahhh. Artificial sweeteners have not been shown to have any adverse effect for moderate use ever. Except of course for saccharine which everyone seems to not care about. Don't listen to the internet chain letters.

My high doses of medically necessary anti-anxiety medication almost certainly is the reason I'm now diabetic. Since it is the only drug that even touches my problems, I would still have started taking it, and will not stop now.

Addictions are really separate from chemical use, abuse, and physical dependency.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Coffee doesn't mutate you into a giant space fish.
Are you sure about that, or have you just not seen anyone that drank it for over a hundred years?
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Ahhh. Artificial sweeteners have not been shown to have any adverse effect for moderate use ever. Except of course for saccharine which everyone seems to not care about. Don't listen to the internet chain letters.
Let's go through my post you quoted. I have put relevant text in bold:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
Long term caffeine usage has detrimental effects; I know first hand because I started ingesting significant doses early on (grew up drinking soda, started needing my morning coffee at like age 12) and now I can't have any at all. It aggravates various "conditions", some of which it likely caused. This is true (or at least suspected) for a lot of things (artificial sweeteners, preservatives, etc.). Understanding addiction is complicated; many things have both a physical and psychological component. The longer we live coupled with the earlier (and/or more frequently) we are exposed to various things has revealed that they aren't really that safe.
So to be clear:

1) As it was unclear, I was not talking about "moderate use".

2) Many sweeteners contain sugar alcohols, known to be diarrhetics or to cause bloating. This is well documented and for those of us with other gastrointestinal problems, can cause very severe complications.

3) I have first hand knowledge due to my own health problems and trial and error with what foods I can and cannot handle.

4) This has been confirmed by my doctor.

5) As well as by my nutritionist.

6) Multiple nurses and similar medical staff have also warned me of this.

7) The track record for studies revealing things, especially when doing so would hurt large industries, isn't so great. Not just due to obfuscation, but simply because there is only so much testing that can be done or will be done before bringing a product to market. We don't have the test subjects use something their whole lives, raise their kids using it, then raise those kids using it to get ideas. Then there are all the things about the human body we don't understand...

8) Chain letter? At least give me the credit to have gotten it watching some of the various health/medicine based talk shows! XD

So trying to again make this relevant to addictions, even minor side effects can be important for health problems as well as addictions.
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Last edited by Otaku; 08-20-2013 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:54 AM   #15
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

So maybe addiction should have a "Susceptibility number" that tells us how likely you are to develop side effects? And then every time you fail a roll you get some side effect, in 5-point or 10-point intervals? And this would be worth an extra -5 points if you roll yearly, -10 points if you roll quarterly and -20 or even -30 points if you roll every month (and you'll be going downhill quickly. Like Krokodil quickly).
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:41 AM   #16
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

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Contrary to what the Basic Set says, drug abuse can have serious long-term effects even if the drug in question isn't alcohol. AFAIK, there are are two GURPS mechanisms published to reflect this.
I have been in alcohol detox three times in the last year, and am probably headed for a fourth go if I don't get a grip on it soon. I've probably lost one point of HT and one point of DX so far.

1. irritability (Bad Temper)
2. paranoia (Paranoia)
3. restlessness (Short Attention Span? Impulsiveness?)
4. anxiety (Panic Attacks? Fearfulness? Cowardice?)

Most of those, yes, though I would dispute the cowardice, at least in my case. Facing psychiatric treatment voluntarily is about the most courageous thing anyone can do.

Edit: I like caffeine, too, but it is a pale substitute for alcohol.

Last edited by trans; 08-21-2013 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:20 AM   #17
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

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These days I tend to think to the extent that's a problem, it's one of character design more than mechanics. If you think your high Will character should be good at resisting his mental disadvantages too, buy them with the same Self Control number as your Will score. You could require that in the rules if you considered it really important. It's essentially the FUDGE argument for decoupling skills and attributes - if you think they should be linked for your particular character concept, buy them to the same levels - and if you have a concept where they aren't linked, the mechanics don't force them to be.
That ignores my need, as a player, to have all the other players' characters function according to an established pattern, and not contradict themselves, e.g. as in a Prism RPG character who can be built as having an ultra-high aptitude (meaning they're cheap to learn) for combat skills including martial arts, and an ultra-low aptitude (meaning they cost a lot to learn) for all other physical skills.

The realism of the world is defined by the lowest common denominator, and such a character makes the world into a cartoon world, rather than into a place in which people learn skills at predicable rates, and have correlating and understandable aptitudes.

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I don't care for disadvantages that can do nothing until you suffer a bad roll, and then you die. The problem is there's almost no in game effect - nothing to role play, no resource management trying to work around your problem, nothing, until you suddenly have to generate a new character. Anybody can fail a roll and have to generate a new character, but at least they get a tense scene first. I half suspect this is a lot of the reason that GMs allow characters to buy off Terminally Ill even though they shouldn't - at least the quest for the whatsit that will save you brings the disadvantage into play *somehow*.
There is the roleplaying aspect that the character knows he's doing to die. And I think it's enhanced by the fact that he can't know when. My expectation is that that knowledge and attitude will "bleed over" to the player, and affect how he roleplays the character, thus having a clear impact on observable behaviour.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:23 AM   #18
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

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Originally Posted by trans View Post
I have been in alcohol detox three times in the last year, and am probably headed for a fourth go if I don't get a grip on it soon. I've probably lost one point of HT and one point of DX so far.

1. irritability (Bad Temper)
2. paranoia (Paranoia)
3. restlessness (Short Attention Span? Impulsiveness?)
4. anxiety (Panic Attacks? Fearfulness? Cowardice?)

Most of those, yes, though I would dispute the cowardice, at least in my case. Facing psychiatric treatment voluntarily is about the most courageous thing anyone can do.

Edit: I like caffeine, too, but it is a pale substitute for alcohol.
Although those were for cocaine. But a lot of drugs have similar effects on long term use. It's a bit like fever - these are general symptoms of a brain driven from it's normal state. Since many drugs work on the dopamine system, I'm not surprised to see stuff like paranoia and delusions there - they are both signs of too much dopamine (for instance, they can occur in people with Parkinson's Disease who overdose on their medications).

I hope you get a grip and don't have to have another go. I, too, know that psychiatric care isn't a joy-ride (although it's better than the alternative).
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:46 AM   #19
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
Let's go through my post you quoted. I have put relevant text in bold:



So to be clear:

1) As it was unclear, I was not talking about "moderate use".

2) Many sweeteners contain sugar alcohols, known to be diarrhetics or to cause bloating. This is well documented and for those of us with other gastrointestinal problems, can cause very severe complications.

3) I have first hand knowledge due to my own health problems and trial and error with what foods I can and cannot handle.

4) This has been confirmed by my doctor.

5) As well as by my nutritionist.

6) Multiple nurses and similar medical staff have also warned me of this.

7) The track record for studies revealing things, especially when doing so would hurt large industries, isn't so great. Not just due to obfuscation, but simply because there is only so much testing that can be done or will be done before bringing a product to market. We don't have the test subjects use something their whole lives, raise their kids using it, then raise those kids using it to get ideas. Then there are all the things about the human body we don't understand...

8) Chain letter? At least give me the credit to have gotten it watching some of the various health/medicine based talk shows! XD

So trying to again make this relevant to addictions, even minor side effects can be important for health problems as well as addictions.
Thanks for the clarification.
Okay, I tend not to think of sugar alcohols as artificial sweeteners as they are found in nature just not in large quantities. I tend to think of the purely artificial ones not found in nature.
Also, I assumed you meant detrimental to most humans rather than just some or even just you. Everything is bad for someone. For example, my anxiety condition makes me ultra sensitive to B12. I ingest too much of that and I will have an unbearable attack. I do wish trial and error wasn't needed for nearly every unique aspect of "our" biochemistries. Doctors and nurses are not nutritionists and even they are not immune to fad hysteria and misinformation.
There has to be some indication of harm in someone long before a substance can be considered harmful enough for the general public to consider. We do love our "canaries in a coal mine". The fact that no reputable study has shown aspartame to do jack squat to healthy people other than give some a headache or taste horrendously bitter says that it will not suddenly become toxic only after decades of use.
Sucralose is new, but it seems even more biologically "normal". I doubt it will be shown to ever have detrimental long term effects. But I won't blindly ignore any data that suggests otherwise.
As a diabetic it gets my goat when someone tries to tell me how bad my diet Pepsi is. If they want me to just eat vegetables and meat for the rest of my life to avoid going blind, then they can go suck a lemon.
I guess it all comes down to personal risk assessment which we humans are horrible at without careful scientific study.
Thank you for reading my partial apologetic response. If you get through the wall of text that is.
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:51 AM   #20
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

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Originally Posted by Asta Kask View Post
So maybe addiction should have a "Susceptibility number" that tells us how likely you are to develop side effects? And then every time you fail a roll you get some side effect, in 5-point or 10-point intervals? And this would be worth an extra -5 points if you roll yearly, -10 points if you roll quarterly and -20 or even -30 points if you roll every month (and you'll be going downhill quickly. Like Krokodil quickly).
"Circling the drain" disadvantages are as depressing as any set of aging rules. Basic mortality is tough enough without that sadly realistic aspect of "rotting". No offense meant to those older farts with more gray hair than me.
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