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Old 08-21-2013, 08:15 AM   #21
trans
 
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

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Originally Posted by Asta Kask View Post
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).
Thanks, I'll do my best. You seem to know what it is like to fight with your personal demons, using the word "demon" in its secular sense.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:49 AM   #22
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Also, I assumed you meant detrimental to most humans rather than just some or even just you.
Technically we were talking about "addicts" with long term, extreme use... and I brought up the potential ramifications of generational use, though I am unsure how to model a point penalty for that in GURPS.

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Everything is bad for someone.
While this is true, it does not undermine what I was saying. We were discussing addictions, side effects of addictions, and whether or not they should be recognized. I think some of the suggestions on this thread are pretty good, and I'd add even including a quick reference list/chart/whatever if it is simply a matter of "Take X Disadvantage if you want to represent an addict of Y or more years."

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Doctors and nurses are not nutritionists and even they are not immune to fad hysteria and misinformation.
So my nutritionist doesn't count? You know, the one I just mentioned in my last post. -_-

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
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.
Who's healthy? It is quite a rare state in the United States. If you're medicating something, you might be as healthy as you can be, but you're not actually "healthy". You realize "pain" is a feedback system from our bodies, to indicate something is wrong? If consuming something causes a headache, that means that something is causing harm, even if that "harm" is merely triggering something to react to nothing.

It may be negligible in the long run, but it is something... and yes it might take decades to build up enough in your system to cause significant harm.


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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
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.
So let me get this straight: when someone tells you the truth about "diet soda" being bad for you... you get mad at them. Well, at least we know we share an addiction. I love soda pop, but because all of it is hard on my gastrointestinal tract (again, from personal experience, nutritionists, and doctors telling me), I have to drink it sparingly. I shouldn't drink it at all, and perhaps one day I'll give it up completely.

For the record, my father is an insulin dependent Type II diabetic, I've got friends who suffer from it, and I am at high risk myself. I also try to stay informed (including testing my blood sugar periodically, to keep an eye out for trends). Speaking of special circumstances, diabetes would be one; excessive sugar consumption is so harmful that it may be better to use a substitute... but ideally you'd just forgo both.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:16 AM   #23
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

Benzodiazapine addicts have it even worse than alcoholics like me in many ways; this is the common wisdom at the clinic where I got treatment, and it was pretty obvious looking at them, too. You can be done with the worst part of alcohol withdrawal after about four days, but I knew one benzo addict who was there for three weeks, and still a basket case.

Both alcohol and benzos can kill you stone-dead though if you are really addicted and try to quit cold turkey. I was in the same room as a guy with delirium tremens who later died. Not fun.

In that hospital illegal drugs were treated in different, generally closed wards, so I can't say much about that. I saw some people smoking outside who might have been in that category, but they didn't look much like happy campers, either.

Last edited by trans; 08-21-2013 at 09:32 AM. Reason: alcohol and benzos; -both; stone>cold
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:38 AM   #24
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
Technically we were talking about "addicts" with long term, extreme use... and I brought up the potential ramifications of generational use, though I am unsure how to model a point penalty for that in GURPS.


...


So my nutritionist doesn't count? You know, the one I just mentioned in my last post. -_-



Who's healthy? It is quite a rare state in the United States. If you're medicating something, you might be as healthy as you can be, but you're not actually "healthy". You realize "pain" is a feedback system from our bodies, to indicate something is wrong? If consuming something causes a headache, that means that something is causing harm, even if that "harm" is merely triggering something to react to nothing.

It may be negligible in the long run, but it is something... and yes it might take decades to build up enough in your system to cause significant harm.




So let me get this straight: when someone tells you the truth about "diet soda" being bad for you... you get mad at them. Well, at least we know we share an addiction. I love soda pop, but because all of it is hard on my gastrointestinal tract (again, from personal experience, nutritionists, and doctors telling me), I have to drink it sparingly. I shouldn't drink it at all, and perhaps one day I'll give it up completely.

For the record, my father is an insulin dependent Type II diabetic, I've got friends who suffer from it, and I am at high risk myself. I also try to stay informed (including testing my blood sugar periodically, to keep an eye out for trends). Speaking of special circumstances, diabetes would be one; excessive sugar consumption is so harmful that it may be better to use a substitute... but ideally you'd just forgo both.
Addictions are determined by their effect on one's life enjoyment not on how they affect the body. Actions can be addictions just as easily as illicit chemicals.

I tried to indicate that doctors and nurses are less useful for dietary information that professional dieticians. And that even dieticians are human and prone to the failings I mentioned. I'm sorry if my intended implied separation didn't come across well.

Pain does not always mean tissue damage. It is evolved and often woefully incorrect just like all our senses. But the fact that something causes distress is enough to avoid its use. But don't fall into the trap that because it adversely affects you, then it must be damaging for your or everyone else.

It's not truth if it's based on nothing more than the need to feel superior or "in the know" about something "the man" is hiding. If it's harmful, then show me the evidence. If you can't do that, then I have no reason to radically change my lifestyle.

Why is it ideal to fore go synthetic sweeteners without evidence? It's not like any diet excludes all synthetic chemicals invented in the past century or two. It seems like the very small chance that long term use hides a danger not noticeable over a "mere" couple decades is not worth anything more than a slight alteration in diet. I'll focus on more likely risks.
Like keeping simple sugars and the vast majority of avoidable carbohydrates out of my diet. But to each their own.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:42 AM   #25
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

Also saying that anyone that could use medication or some other medical assistance is unhealthy makes the term almost useless. I don't think it's useful to define the term so tightly as to make under what? 5% of humanity qualify.
Even well fed stone age people suffered from countless parasitic and pathogenic infections, scar tissue, and common arthritis.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:07 PM   #26
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

Apologies for the length. Unless I find it extremely important, this should be the last "long one" for this part of the discussion.

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Addictions are determined by their effect on one's life enjoyment not on how they affect the body. Actions can be addictions just as easily as illicit chemicals.
I was not arguing that one can only be addicted to a substance; we were discussing substance addiction (as per the thread's topic) but it was no where implied that was the only form of addiction in the real world. It is interesting to note that chemicals are often involved in action-based addictions; it is just those chemicals aren't being introduced externally but are produced by the body in response to the relevant stimulus.

Now if you meant in GURPS terms... I thought it was the exact opposite. Addictions to "substances" were handled as "Addictions". Addictions to "behaviors" would fall under something like Odious Personal Habit, Social Stigma, Secrets, etc. There also seems to be room for overlap... but as usual I don't have the 4e rules right in front of me for a RAW reference.

In GURPS
Quote:
Originally Posted by GURPS Lite p.10
A “disadvantage” is a problem or imperfection that renders you less capable than your attributes, advantages, and skills would indicate.
while in "the real world" addictions very much affect your mind, your body, your social life, and other people. I am not sure if "life enjoyment" should be the determining factor; after all most addictions are "fun" at first. It didn't magically become an addiction when it started to cause problems, it is just that usually you don't know your an addict until you want to quit and can't.

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
I tried to indicate that doctors and nurses are less useful for dietary information that professional dieticians. And that even dieticians are human and prone to the failings I mentioned. I'm sorry if my intended implied separation didn't come across well.
Your explanation doesn't really account for what you said nor does your "implied meaning" really match-up to the context of the discussion. I never denied human fallibility, nor did I hold those referenced up as an "absolute" standard.

What did happen was I referenced those with greater expertise than myself and the response to that was to challenge one source I was using (doctors) with another source (nutritionist) that I had already stated was in agreement with the first. I did this because I was accused earlier of referencing chain letters for my information, by you (though I initially took that as a joke in poor taste).

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Pain does not always mean tissue damage. It is evolved and often woefully incorrect just like all our senses. But the fact that something causes distress is enough to avoid its use. But don't fall into the trap that because it adversely affects you, then it must be damaging for your or everyone else.
I won't and I didn't; once again I even mentioned "even if that 'harm' is merely triggering something to react to nothing." What do you think that was a reference to? Pain that is not due to actual damage is still a problem; distress can cause the body to react adversely anyway whether it is merely impairing function while one suffers through the discomfort, disease brought about by the mental stress, or disease brought about by the physical side of the stress. It can also mask when something else is causing damage because one mistakes the pain from "the real thing" as another false alarm, or as being caused by something known to trigger "false pain".

I also was not arguing an absolute, so the fact is that sometimes tissue damage is a result of pain, and thus it is prudent to investigate your pain regardless appropriate to the circumstances. In this particular case, things may be unrelated, but we neither have concrete proof they are nor that they are not. Even when evidence favors one side, it is just prudent to consider the other.

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
It's not truth if it's based on nothing more than the need to feel superior or "in the know" about something "the man" is hiding. If it's harmful, then show me the evidence. If you can't do that, then I have no reason to radically change my lifestyle.
Right back at you! ;-)

No, really. As I've read your comments, that is what I get from you as well. For my own part I apologize, especially as it is hard to keep that tone out of this response as well. I've been accused me of getting medical information from a chain letter. If that was in jest, okay; I made a joke about at least giving me the credit to various television shows but in the same post I made it clear I was referencing my own medical history.

Please start linking to the medical studies proving that sugar alcohols rarely if ever act as diarrhetics. I made sure not to state the concerns as fact in my initial post: the only one I stated as conclusively having negative effects for long term use was caffeine. Everything else I stated "has been proven (or at least suspected)". That means some drawbacks (like acting as a diarrhetic) are proven. Others (actually causing weight gain due to confusing your brain and body) are only suspected, which is still different than not being suspect at all.

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Why is it ideal to fore go synthetic sweeteners without evidence?
It isn't. Fortunately I didn't say to do that, nor did I expect anyone to. You state something that contradicts my personal experience, my doctor, and my nutritionist without offering any evidence yourself. There is a basic level of common sense involved with minimizing the amount of things consumed that are less understand than the norm. Consuming things that the body is not equipped to process seems like some good, basic advice.

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
It's not like any diet excludes all synthetic chemicals invented in the past century or two.
Relevance? No lifestyle has me avoid all forms of radiation (because I can't), but I think I'll still trying to avoid being sunburned. Of course, not everyone is as sensitive to certain foods as I am... but then again some people tan. Given the back and forth over how much sun exposure is healthy, avoiding long exposure to the sun (especially without a protective agent) just seems like a simple step. I don't freak out if I am careless and burn a bit, I don't freak out if I've eaten a little bit of something known to cause me problems; I just deal with the ramifications and move on.

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
It seems like the very small chance that long term use hides a danger not noticeable over a "mere" couple decades is not worth anything more than a slight alteration in diet. I'll focus on more likely risks.
If you don't want to acknowledge that there can be a difference between being exposed to something only late in life, being exposed only as an adult, being exposed to something in your youth, or being exposed to something in utero, you don't have to, though I will highlight that this isn't logical as we do know that there are differences.

You also don't have to believe every study that comes out and as we don't live in a perfect world, you shouldn't! One does need to be willing to evaluate things logically. Those making a fortune off of something have reason to exaggerate its safety (so they may continue profiting off of it); those claiming something isn't safe may be making money directly or indirectly from their claims. What I do know is that somethings take a very, very long time before showing a negative impact, while others will affect things immediately.

The most intelligent and best educated of humanity do not have a thorough understanding of the human body and how it functions. Even in things like basic nutrition, standards are being re-evaluated regularly. I am old enough to have learned the "four basic food groups" and later the "food pyramid". There has long been debate on nutrition because of what we do and don't understand (for example, how many things now have "good" and "bad" versions?).

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Like keeping simple sugars and the vast majority of avoidable carbohydrates out of my diet. But to each their own.
Weren't you the one giving me a hard time for focusing on my specific situation? ;-)

You're a diabetic - if you insist on drinking soda, unless there is some other factor being left out, drinking one with a sugar substitute instead of actual sugar is recommended. I never said you should drink a carbonated beverage sweetened by other means. What I did point out was that the sugar substitutes have some established drawbacks, like acting as diarrhetics; already stated my father was a diabetic, and he has had a hard time grasping this.

I also pointed out that eating foods that are bad for you... is eating foods that are bad for you. Am I going to stop you? Didn't plan on it. Getting back to the actual topic, I was just pointing out that someone addicted to some very common things might suffer additional problems related to it. I was curious how best to handle this with GURPS (that is why I was reading the thread). There are some problems inherent to a specific addiction, there are problems caused by specific addictions but that someone might avoid, there are some that might require an additional factor ("already at risk") for the subject of the addiction to trigger, and there are some that have to already exist but that the addiction will aggravate.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:12 PM   #27
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

As for the small, follow-up post I almost missed:

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Also saying that anyone that could use medication or some other medical assistance is unhealthy makes the term almost useless.
Good thing I didn't say that!

Life is not always a simple "yes/no" or "either/or" proposition.

If a healthy person has a small cut, cleaned and properly bandaged, in a general conversation I would still refer to them as "healthy". On the other hand if that person has a medical condition that requires any sort of management, why would I call that healthy?

We aren't talking "Oh, I ate too much at the state fair, got heartburn, and had to take an antacid." We are talking "I regularly choose to eat foods that give me heartburn, so I take medication to prevent the heartburn even though I have to deal with the side effects of that medication." As well as "I am perfectly fit... so long as I get a supplemental vitamin shot because my body no longer properly absorbs enough [insert vitamin] through dietary means."
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:38 PM   #28
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

Everyone has their own personal definitions. I tend to consider healthy as in physically capable of major exertion now and not likely to succumb to illness in the foreseeable future. By your definition I was born unhealthy, being lactose intolerant requiring a special non dairy supplement, developed near sightedness, anxiety, hyperthyroid that fixed itself only to become type 2 diabetic. If I'm somehow less healthy than some sedentary but not medication requiring lump that would die running a mile, I think you are a bit off.
Gurps would only count my diabetes as a quirk dietary and medication restriction.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:46 PM   #29
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

Okay it looks like on the other side issues we misunderstood each other.
I never meant to imply that sweeteners like sugar alcohols don't cause gastric issues in many people. Believe me, I've ingested enough to do more than counteract my natural mild constipation. True, that may become damaging if done to excess, regularly, or in conjunction with limited water soluble nutrients.
I think that other than with regards to definitions, we agree for the most part.

We are our own "universes" and must make our way through the dangers with our own unique limited knowledge of reality and ourselves. Now that I know you weren't really stating beliefs in media hysteria pseudoscience, or paranoia, I think we see more eye to eye.
I'm sorry for jumping the gun and seeing my own "danger" when there wasn't one.
Sorry for my sarcastic jokes falling flat. Honestly, I'm funnier in person, assuming I'm not hiding in the closet away from people.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:20 PM   #30
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Default Re: Addiction and long-term effects

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Except of course for saccharine which everyone seems to not care about.
"The EPA has officially removed saccharin and its salts from their list of hazardous constituents and commercial chemical products. In a December 14, 2010 release, the EPA stated that saccharin is no longer considered a potential hazard to human health."
From Wikipedia:Saccharine#Warning_label_addition_and_re moval. There isn't definitive evidence of a single artificial sweetener having adverse effects in humans, even in large quantities, as far as I know. At least not the big three: aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose.

And the sugar alcohols cause uncomfortable flatulence at best. That said, my concern - for blood sugar control purposes - with sugar alcohols would be to stick to the lower glycemic index sugar alcohols. So lactitol, xylitol, erythritol, good (very little impact on blood sugars). As far as I know, the popular sugar alcohols used for sweetening diabetic candies, maltitol and mannitol, not so good (they can raise blood sugars per unit serving about as much as glucose).
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