Apomorphine Versus Addiction


Apomorphine Versus Addiction


WAZZER_400The primary purpose of this site  –Apomorphine Versus Addiction–  is educational. It is devoted to information surrounding the topic of dependency on legal and illegal drugs that, directly or indirectly, affects us all. All opinions are offered in the non-confrontational spirit of greater understanding, but the facts are commended to science and, in particular, the Humanities.

Anybody is free to comment on any of the issues raised and contribute with info, articles, etc.

It may be of interest to those who strive to reduce the strain on society of drug dependency that in the 1950s American doctors envied their British counterparts for having escaped the ills that stem from endemic drug use: drug cartels, crime, incarceration, recidivism, and a range of socio-economic problems, including poverty, illness and premature death. Today, with upwards of 350,000 of UK citizens dependent on class A drugs, no such distinction can be made.

The burden of this on society is catastrophic, and, on our health services, crippling. Our legislators have systematically and progressively failed to combat the rise of addiction and continue in denial. Therefore, if you have ever been interested in the political and ethical dimensions surrounding British drugs policy either from a medical, scientific or legislative position, then this site may be of interest.

Significantly, we are at a challenging moment in our history. Resources are constantly being diverted away from the areas of greatest need as disparities of health, wealth and opportunity continue to grow. Regrettably, our legislators and institutions appear increasingly reluctant or incapable of any meaningful response. Is it conceivable that our power brokers actually want to continue with a ruinous strategy that contradicts their publicly stated aims?

Apart from these controversies this site also addresses the issue surrounding ‘off patent’ drugs and specifically, in respect of apomorphine versus addiction and other diseases,  exposes the scant understanding previously directed towards this subject by doctors, neurologists and psychiatry. Accordingly, there is no shortage of detail, but, if you are busy, you can start at the  AFTERWORD and refer to the hyperlinked points.


“It is what we think we know that keeps us from learning”
— Claude Bernard, French Physiologist


Much of this site explores the history surrounding addiction by one pioneering doctor.

Some of his views are succinctly illustrated in the following video by the Naked Truth Project.

“In our blind search for a response that removes the stimulus we build up more and more complicated responses, entailing longer and longer nervous arcs for their functioning until the stimulus is dealt with. If the nervous arc is long enough to involve the highest centres of the brain then our response is a conscious one, but if the same stimulus is repeated frequently, at each repetition our response becomes quicker and more automatic. It is therefore travelling through a shorter arc, and eventually it travels through one, which does not traverse the highest centres, and the response is now unconscious and habitual. By habitual we mean that the will has lost its control over the response, and when the stimulus acts in altered circumstances we no longer have any power to alter our response to meet this alteration. We are creatures of our habits, and we are continually made aware of our impotence before them.” – John Yerbury Dent, 1934.

31 Responses

  1. Luke says:

    Hi there
    Do you know where I can ontain a copy of Dr. Dents book, Anxiety and Its Treatment? I can’t seem to find it for sale online.

    Thank you


    • apoandaddiction says:

      It was last printed in 1955 but pertinent to current addiction crisis. The language is dated but the message as strong as ever.
      I have two copies, maybe it should be reprinted?
      Anyhow, I have just published HARDY TREE (bracketpress) which outlines his holistic approaches and uses the treatment of William S Burroughs as a case study.

  2. Thanks for putting this all together. What about a book? A book would be good. Or a film.

  3. I thought this might be of interest. It challenges the idea of drugs on their own being addictive, in an animation format. http://themindunleashed.org/2016/02/this-brilliant-animated-video-will-forever-change-your-views-on-addiction.html

    • apoandaddiction says:

      The “Rat cage/Rat park” analogy presupposes that there are no long term neurobiological and physiological changes as a result of exposure to drugs and that a happy/happier environment will sweep away the issue of dependence or likelihood of relapse.
      Whilst there may be many reasons why such a change may stimulate recovery (motivate less harmful ways of behaviour) how would Hari explain Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome for instance? At the moment of birth it could be argued that the baby has exchanged “rat cage” for “rat park” but symptoms start as withdrawal kicks in and can include; wheezing, breathing problems, persistent crying, seizures, etc. Then there are the teratogenic problems of low birth weight and birth defects to say nothing of the studies that show that many of these babies (even if they are adopted into a loving environment) are more likely to become addicts in later life.
      Nevertheless there is a need to rethink addiction and Hari is certainly onto something (he is quoted in the ‘now & then’ section on this site). Further to this is the positive interpretation that people CAN overcome their problems without recourse to drugs. ‘Getting high on Life’ is a suggestion that Pharma may not be interested in selling for obvious reasons. Silent waiting, giving space for the organism to get back to the default position, mindfulness, etc. these are approaches that dial into the body’s natural pharmacy and are sustainable. One of the central premises behind the use of APO is that it stimulates this endogenous response and reboots the learning, memory and reward mechanisms at the same time. There is nothing in the Literature to suggest that this is not the case and would therefore be a useful adjunct to all the other environmental encouragements that Hari refers to.

  4. apoandaddiction says:

    Hi James, “Excessive vaccination” could, as you suggest, be another example of the over weening ‘culture of dependence’ that is in danger of consuming us…..however, we must be clear that this is an area where you can find more cogent arguments for than against. Certainly we need better science, and in respect of ‘the evidence’ to be sure this is NOT sponsored by vested interest. I would caution though that the issue of “addiction” is not the same thing at all and there is simply no justification for treating the medical problem of dependence by providing it in another form. Pain management should also steer well clear of this likelihood with the prescription of addictive substances. Ditto the treatment of mental health problems and anxiety (particularly in the young) treatment must avoid leading to these types of long term issues.

    In these areas Pharma is certainly “out of control” but the issue of vaccination is far from clear cut. MMR? I would recommend it, it is irresponsible not to……based on the “evidence” I have read. However, the “flu jab?. Easy to find people who say it is “marvellous” and “rubbish”, probably 50/50?

  5. This was posted on-line, which I felt was relevant –

    “I am not against vaccinations but I am however a father who has become more and more concerned over what I can only see to be an out of control pharma industry and government regulations. I realy hope people can put there pride in anti vaccination or pro vaccination stances aside and look a little deeper in to these topics. (Not just this article)”


  6. Jo Hurst says:

    What is fentanyl? The little-known but deadly drug that killed Prince | US news | The Guardian – http://www.theguardian.com
    It seems you were right on Prince and Fentanyl . But in the case of pain management(as Prince’s use likely was) , what approach would Dent take?

    • apoandaddiction says:

      Good question.
      His approach to pain management was quite clear. He thought that pain (in the majority of cases) should be reduced until bearable.
      This would encourage the underlying cause of the pain to be addressed asap.
      It also reduced the likelihood of increased tolerance to the analgesic ……..and overdose.
      The pain of withdrawal is often the thing that a drug dependent fears most.
      Apomorphine is not a pain killer but can induce sleep…depending on dose, therefore,
      much of the trauma of withdrawal was alleviated.

  7. Zac russell says:

    Interesting article on ‘pill mills’ in Florida. How the crack down on the ease of prescription fueled a heroin epidemic: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/may/25/opioid-epidemic-prescription-painkillers-heroin-addiction

  8. Dr. Benway says:

    Xanax is not an opiate painkiller.
    Most overdose deaths are with amateur drug users who mix drugs with alcohol because anyone with any sort of physical dependence on opiates will never drink alcohol.Alcohol will just irritate your nerves and not be enjoyable if you have a physical dependence on opiates. The people OD’ing are those who may take some opiate and drink with it and are not opiate addicts.There is only one opiate drug, methadone, where the users may drink alcohol.
    Prince was 57 and was taking drugs for pain but this does not means that he died from the drugs.Most people who die are probably using some drug for their condition.Unless you just had a sudden heart attack, people with a variety of diseases may be taking painkillers but it’s not the drugs that killed them it’s the disease.

    • apoandaddiction says:

      Xanax – used to treat anxiety and depression – is a Benzodiazapine and can lead to dependence. (Dent strongly disapproved of their indiscriminate use due to this likelihood – few listened)
      Withdrawal from Xanax can induce psychological and physiological disturbances which, in turn, may lead to other forms of medication such as Fentanyl – a potent opioid analgesic – also highly addictive.
      Counterfeit forms of this drug – according to the article below – “are sweeping America” and leading to a wave of premature deaths. One of the reasons for this is that “Fentanyl” is being passed off as Xanax. It is easy to see therefore where this started and what may be the consequence; people over medicating and combining drugs leading to unforeseen complications…..such as ‘respiratory failure’. This is being widely reported, don’t shoot the messenger.

  9. Zac russell says:

    Interesting article on heroin use in rural america brought on by over prescription of painkillers: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/09/opioid-addiction-appalachia-tennessee

  10. apoandaddiction says:

    “Why methadone doesn’t work” – an article written in 2012 but it’s main points “abstinence as the treatment goal” “evidence to support treating these long-term relapsing addicts with pure heroin” and “Drugs may fuel addiction but they don’t cause it…..” are just a reiteration of Dent’s pioneering views made over sixty years ago.

  11. Lionel Messy says:

    Until our politicians and most of the misinformed public are prepared to have an adult talk around this subject we will carry on in ignorance and deliberate public misinformation suited to the needs of Daily Mail types. Until we have a fairer and just society we will continue to see people stuck in poverty ,and lack of opportunity for further generations ,continuing to abuse substances. We have a government that talks about opportunity for all while really meaning if you are privileged you can have all the choice you wish. From methadone which is not always a one size fits all categories, it’s all market led, just waiting for privatisation of further public resources.

  12. Jonathan Naess says:

    The fact that I understand 400 people died last year from methadone abuse (ONS) without the choice of an abstinence programme with Apomorphine or a suitable dopamine alternative, seems a tragedy. As a mental health service user I am painfully aware of the vested interests of the psychiatric system and drug companies. And as you quote… “What we think we know stops us from learning”
    I think your work in reviving understanding of Dent’s pioneering efforts and the broader reception of apomorphine are outstanding. Best wishes

  13. Research required says:

    Interestingly, even after nearly sixty years this is a story which refuses to go away.
    There’s probably a reason for this…..one with a troubling answer.

  14. Jim Pennington says:

    Thank you for creating this site….I’ve not found anything before that gives such a coherent and thorough account of apo and even fewer about Dr John Yerbury Dent, whose life and work is at risk of being lost completely.

    His daughter, Ann Langford Dent, an accomplished and fascinating artist, died recently.

    • Jane Yerbury Sweeney says:

      I am John Yerbury Dent’s eldest Daughter and very much Alive and Kicking, I am delighted by this web-site and the way it is reawakening the interest in Apomorphine and in the effective way in which it was used to cure addicts of their addiction to dangerous drugs and leave them free of any craving.

      I am also very impressed by the number of responses critical of our present laws that prevent the legalisation of dangerous drugs that stops our Doctors from being able to seek new treatments whilst, at the same time, increase opportunities of criminals that smuggle drugs and promote their use by every means they can think of.
      We must do all we can to try and remedy this situation and get these laws modified.#

  15. Junky says:

    Given the serious social and health problems due to drug addiction in the UK and the rest of the world, it seems only sensible that the possibilities of apomorphine as an effective treatment should be investigated. John Dent clearly saw its potential and his noble work ought to be continued!

  16. Joker says:

    Decriminaliseation of all hard drugs, here and in the United States and allowing Doctors to help addicts would immediately put a stop to the criminal smuggling of drugs and an end to the number of illegal suppliers endeavouring to recruit more addicts. At present we only have people addicted to hard drugs because it is profitable to import them and supply them illegally as addicts will do/pay anything to get supplies of the drug they are addicted to.
    If these same addicts were able to go to their doctor and get controlled doses to alleviate their addiction they would no longer have resort to illegal suppliers and these suppliers would no longer find it profitable to bring in illegal supplies and the trade would die out. Gradually the number of addicts would reduce as would the associated Health and Crime problems. To prove these points you only have to look up the statistics relating to Drug addiction in Great Britain sixty years ago before we adopted the policy of criminalisation of drugs at the behest of the U.S A.

  17. apoandaddiction says:

    Michael, Last year, (Observer 29/9/2013) Mike Barton, Durham’s chief constable, suggested; “THE NHS COULD SUPPLY DRUGS TO ADDICTS, BREAKING THE MONOPOLY AND INCOME STREAMS OF CRIMINAL GANGS”
    Of course, and tragically for society, most of the arguments surrounding this subject are cyclical precisely because those with the means to implement change simply do not want to. The “WHY?” is the problem.
    Specifically, however, the Apo’ story not only symbolises all of this but also an indication how subsequent “god delusionists” and dogma amongst our academics and medical elite have contributed to the ignorance and impasse. Moreover, battered by a succession of arbitary classifications, staggering workload, red tape and powerlessness, has resulted in a defensiveness which is sad to see. Genuine reform will only be possible with a willingness (by all parties) to engage and become the change we are crying out for. Your support is appreciated.

  18. Michael Gore says:

    I had not read the whole paper when I made my comment above. Your report makes it even more ridiculous to continue the present policy. I am no expert on the matters you raise but they clearly provide more evidence in support of decriminalisation. It beggars belief that consequative British governments have blindly followed the American policy which has had such disastrous results – on a par with Prohibition, though common sense eventually did away with that ruinous policy. Now that three States have decriminalised the use of recreational marijuana perhaps the other US States will,follow suit and eventually the central government will also do so. It beggars belief that the American leadership cannot see the damage their policy has caused. I can only assume that they do not warn to appear to be too “Liberal” in the eyes of their more ignorant voters and are concerned that they will alienate some of them. Hopefully other States will follow Colorado and the other two which allow the use of marijuana recreationally and that will lead to a change ol policy generally. But I fear that will take some time. And I cannot see our Government going it alone. The whole story is tragic and there is no doubt that the policy we have followed for the past 40 years or so has contributed to the situation, both in the number of addicts and the rise in crime, which is extant todayin the UK.

  19. Michael Gore says:

    For many years I have thought as you do. Our War on Drugs has been a total failure. We have been coerced by the US to follow their failed policy. But trying to convince people that all drugs,particularly marijuana, should be decriminalised is difficult. So many friends in my golf club to whom I have spoken of this come back with the comment that decriminalisation would only encourage more drug taking by young people and would cost the NHS too much. They do not realise that the cost to Police and Customs and to the general public through drug-related crime is enormous. And although the use of pot might increase – though it is easily obtained by anyone who wants it today – at least it’s quality could be better controlled. Keep up the good work

  20. Interesting site. On the subject of general drug prohibition and it’s harm, it’s good to see there are some progressives among the US law enforcement. stumbled upon Law Enforcement Against Prohibition the other day. We need a similar body in the UK. I know there are senior police officers speaking out against prohibition but no a singular group our party: http://www.leap.cc/


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