3

votes

Paleo Meta-Rule for Drug Use?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 04, 2011 at 12:37 AM

One of my relatives is a psychiatrist who sees a lot of drug abusers in his practice. He has come up with a Paleo meta-rule: If your heritage has no evolutionary history of using [fill_in_recreational_drug_here], don't do it.

As he treats an Amerindian population with a propensity for severe alcohol abuse and has seen the horrific damage first-hand, his quote to me was:

Man, these folks should be doing peyote or whatever drug it was they were doing before the Europeans showed up, because alcohol's ill effects are magnified by a orders of magnitude versus what you see in people of European heritage.

Make sense to you? Or total BS?

Edit 1:

BTW what this implies -- IF true -- is that inverse would also would be true. European-Americans might be well-served from partaking in drugs such as peyote, marijuana, tobacco as those are unlikely to have been present in their evolutionary history. Maybe they should stick to alcohol...

Edit 2:

The answers are devolving into a discussion about how the Amerindians suffered terribly (to say the very least) at the hands of European colonists. This is without question: true and lamentable.

However, this is not the topic of the question. The question is, can one create a meta-rule about recreational drugs and people's heritages such that it leads to better outcomes?!

Edit 3:

Go here http://www.amazon.com/000-Year-Explosion-Civilization-Accelerated/dp/0465002218#reader_0465002218

and flip to page 83.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on February 21, 2012
at 08:43 PM

You should read the 10,000 Year Explosion. You may change your mind.

4b8ce2e8143119b39e00d5705b76cfa6

(40)

on February 12, 2012
at 07:41 PM

Except purple people. Screw them. Unless they are choking... Then help them! - Mitch Hepburn

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 07, 2011
at 11:11 AM

This answer is crucial. Peyote, for instance, CAN'T (caps !) in no way induce the same physical damage to the body as, for instance, alcohol even when "abusing".

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:18 PM

Ed- pure speculation :) I'm thinking of being conquered/displaced as an effect modifier--feeling out of place coupled with low income and possible confusion about identity must have some impact on alcohol/drug abuse. I read a paper once that detailed case reports of a reservation that had a string of middle school suicides--the kids beforehand displayed similar patterns of doubt about their place in society, job prospects, and cultural confusion. However, none of these are necessarily causative...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Patrik- true, one could make meta-rules on food categories. However, we might be beyond that here on paleohacks. Since it's tough to detail where our ancestors were in the past 10,000 years, and traditional African fruits/veggies are hard to get in America, we sort of have to adapt to foods that our ancestors never saw. And depending on goals, we could hack our intake to include things like less goitregens, less fructose, etc. It's like the whole paleo vs paleo 2.0 thing maybe? Meta-rules are great to start with, but the devil is in the details.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:08 PM

@Kamal, of course any stressor can increase the incidence of alcoholism. Do you have any data to back up your theory that being conquered or displaced actually CAUSES alcoholism, or is this speculation? How do you explain the high incidence of alcoholism among Russians, Finns and Icelanders, for example?

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:05 PM

@dsohei --- watch yourself with using words "lily-whiteness" -- I wouldn't tolerate people talking about "brownness" --- race-baiting is not tolerated on PaleoHacks. I won't have any race/creed attacked, be you brown, white, yellow whatever.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:03 PM

Go here http://www.amazon.com/000-Year-Explosion-Civilization-Accelerated/dp/0465002218#reader_0465002218 and flip to page 83.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:01 PM

The comments above are WAAAAYYY off topic --- @Kamal -- one could make a meta-rule about fruit & veggies. For example, perhaps if you are of European heritage, one shouldn't eat fruit/veggies that aren't mentioned in the Bible e.g. peppers, tropical fruits etc etc (NOT b/c of religious reasons but because they weren't in your evolutionary history) Make sense? Not saying that is true -- but am interested in these meta-rules.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:46 PM

I am not saying it is compensation for decrease of use in traditional mild-altering plants/substances -- I am suggesting, that maybe, those plants have been used for so long, that certain populations have evolved to better tolerate their use.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:30 PM

RLR- no, I'm quite aware of "the gene". I don't want to turn this into a discussion, but until you have experienced a complete destruction of your lifeways, you just won't "get it". Although, depending on how clearly you see, that may be coming sooner than you think. Thomas- You are a smart man for picking up on that. Lets just say that Leonard and I stand wrongfully accused. We'll leave it at that.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Domei, so "tradition" or "precedence" makes stealing land morally justified? I agree with you, if your point is that there is nothing peculiarly "immoral" about Europeans. I disagree with you, if you think that "precedence" makes running people off their land (not to mention genocide) OK. I seem to recall a statement by Pat Buchanan, "Texas, it's ours. We stole it fair and square."

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:02 PM

I upvoted this and disagree with Patrik. I see the relevance of this comment. Anti-depressants (and alcohol) are palliatives, coping mechanisms, escapist substances. Entheogens, like Ayahuasca, can *SOMETIMES* provide insight and integration.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2011
at 03:56 PM

Are you really Leonard Peltier, btw, or just a fan? If you are Leonard Peltier, I am a fan of yours!!!!

0fd24d837dbad54740f53cc5f72068a0

(285)

on May 04, 2011
at 03:38 PM

Do you, as an Oglala Sioux, also take offense to the idea there may be less "defense" against alcohol-consumption than say anglo-saxons because of less ancestral influence? Or is it mostly economics?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 04, 2011
at 12:25 PM

Why is there guilt associated with the most recent displacements? I'm not sure that's the right question to ask. My parents are Indians born in apartheid era South Africa, so we're not exactly blue blooded Americans. This isn't a personal guilt thing, it's more just a factual thing. Ownership of land is not a huge deal, but treating people badly is generally considered to be bad, no matter how far back it was.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:54 AM

Well, i'm not even sure every migration of humans was carried out with aggressive tactics, as you sort of make it sound, but as civilization has evolved, so have our ethics and philosophies. It is generally accepted among a mojority of people in the world, and has been in many places for centuries, (though perhaps not always to political leaders) that peace is the desirable state for mankind. Therefore, unnecessary offensive acts of violence and oppression are seen as regrettable acts and in a modern context, contrary to the spirit of Democracy.

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:54 AM

Why? Because there is no place left for people to roam. We've created an ownership society, essentially imprisoning the people that we displaced.

9d741bcbe702044635f2ce3078043054

(1435)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:06 AM

Oh please. For thousands of years, people moved from place to place and "stole" the land from whoever was indigenous there. The Indo-Europeans spread from north of the Caspian sea to India, the Middle East, and Europe. Guess what? There were people already there. At least three waves of Amerindian immigration happened from Asia. Guess what? Waves two and three "stole" from those who got there before them. African agriculturalists displaced the hunter-gatherers who dominated the continent for millenia. Why is there guilt associated with only the most recent displacements?

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 04, 2011
at 03:37 AM

Why do you feel that way? It is an observation made by a physician who has great respect for Amerindians. He says it as a matter of fact -- not in any way prejudiced against them.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 04, 2011
at 01:16 AM

I think you are missing the point of this one.

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9 Answers

6
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2011
at 01:26 AM

Forget your point. "Man, these folks should be doing peyote or whatever drug it was they were doing before the Europeans showed up". As a Tribal member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, born and raised on the Pine Ridge NDN Reservation, I would just like to say that the above is an insensitive and ignorant statement. Given the source, I am in no way surprised.

0fd24d837dbad54740f53cc5f72068a0

(285)

on May 04, 2011
at 03:38 PM

Do you, as an Oglala Sioux, also take offense to the idea there may be less "defense" against alcohol-consumption than say anglo-saxons because of less ancestral influence? Or is it mostly economics?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:30 PM

RLR- no, I'm quite aware of "the gene". I don't want to turn this into a discussion, but until you have experienced a complete destruction of your lifeways, you just won't "get it". Although, depending on how clearly you see, that may be coming sooner than you think. Thomas- You are a smart man for picking up on that. Lets just say that Leonard and I stand wrongfully accused. We'll leave it at that.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2011
at 03:56 PM

Are you really Leonard Peltier, btw, or just a fan? If you are Leonard Peltier, I am a fan of yours!!!!

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 04, 2011
at 03:37 AM

Why do you feel that way? It is an observation made by a physician who has great respect for Amerindians. He says it as a matter of fact -- not in any way prejudiced against them.

3
Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 06:42 PM

The issue with this question is it seems very, very broad and generalized. The fact of the matter is that not all substances are equally powerfully acting on the system, nor necessarily similar in which system they act upon mainly, potentially allowing far vaster tolerances for across the board for some things. Also, chronic use is very, very different from occasional use.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 07, 2011
at 11:11 AM

This answer is crucial. Peyote, for instance, CAN'T (caps !) in no way induce the same physical damage to the body as, for instance, alcohol even when "abusing".

3
9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

on May 04, 2011
at 05:38 AM

I read somewhere that alcoholism that appears to be from a genetic predisposition can often be attributed to a change in diet from a fish based diet to a diet that lacks omega 3 fatty acids. This is why alcoholism pops up in large numbers among tribal and coastal populations.

I just found an article about the alcoholism & Omega 3 link, but it doesn't go into the genetic factors. http://www.findnutritionsupplements.com/the-relationship-between-alcoholism-and-omega-3/

I'm much more inclined to believe that alcoholism is a nutritional problem, rather than a compensation for the decrease in ritual uses of mind altering plants.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:46 PM

I am not saying it is compensation for decrease of use in traditional mild-altering plants/substances -- I am suggesting, that maybe, those plants have been used for so long, that certain populations have evolved to better tolerate their use.

2
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:22 AM

I see a couple of logical holes.

Those who come from a lineage whereby foreigners have stolen their land drink more. Makes sense. I'm betting that is more of an issue of low income and cultural confusion, which can be tied directly to the aforementioned subjugation/annexation by The Man.

Second, recreational drugs differ greatly in their effects. Plus, many cultural practices are not directly tied to a survival advantage. Fijians drink their kava kava after work because it is totally relaxing, not so addictive, and rarely has major (liver) side effects. In other contexts, alcohol is a good way to let lose. Food in and of itself is often drug-like in effects. Back in the day, the internet and supermarkets weren't around to tell you if a mushroom would be good in a salad or would make you feel manic.

It is tough to make a meta-rule about drugs. If someone asked a paleohacker to make a meta-rule about fruits and vegetables (which are safe to eat and in what amounts), it would be difficult to do without jumping to over to pubmed. The same train of thought may apply here.

Mostly, I cannot believe that the stealing of America and Hawaii is not a bigger deal. Middle school kids should have to read little-kid versions of "A People's History of the United States".

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 04, 2011
at 12:25 PM

Why is there guilt associated with the most recent displacements? I'm not sure that's the right question to ask. My parents are Indians born in apartheid era South Africa, so we're not exactly blue blooded Americans. This isn't a personal guilt thing, it's more just a factual thing. Ownership of land is not a huge deal, but treating people badly is generally considered to be bad, no matter how far back it was.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:15 PM

Domei, so "tradition" or "precedence" makes stealing land morally justified? I agree with you, if your point is that there is nothing peculiarly "immoral" about Europeans. I disagree with you, if you think that "precedence" makes running people off their land (not to mention genocide) OK. I seem to recall a statement by Pat Buchanan, "Texas, it's ours. We stole it fair and square."

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:18 PM

Ed- pure speculation :) I'm thinking of being conquered/displaced as an effect modifier--feeling out of place coupled with low income and possible confusion about identity must have some impact on alcohol/drug abuse. I read a paper once that detailed case reports of a reservation that had a string of middle school suicides--the kids beforehand displayed similar patterns of doubt about their place in society, job prospects, and cultural confusion. However, none of these are necessarily causative...

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:54 AM

Why? Because there is no place left for people to roam. We've created an ownership society, essentially imprisoning the people that we displaced.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:03 PM

Go here http://www.amazon.com/000-Year-Explosion-Civilization-Accelerated/dp/0465002218#reader_0465002218 and flip to page 83.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:01 PM

The comments above are WAAAAYYY off topic --- @Kamal -- one could make a meta-rule about fruit & veggies. For example, perhaps if you are of European heritage, one shouldn't eat fruit/veggies that aren't mentioned in the Bible e.g. peppers, tropical fruits etc etc (NOT b/c of religious reasons but because they weren't in your evolutionary history) Make sense? Not saying that is true -- but am interested in these meta-rules.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:54 AM

Well, i'm not even sure every migration of humans was carried out with aggressive tactics, as you sort of make it sound, but as civilization has evolved, so have our ethics and philosophies. It is generally accepted among a mojority of people in the world, and has been in many places for centuries, (though perhaps not always to political leaders) that peace is the desirable state for mankind. Therefore, unnecessary offensive acts of violence and oppression are seen as regrettable acts and in a modern context, contrary to the spirit of Democracy.

9d741bcbe702044635f2ce3078043054

(1435)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:06 AM

Oh please. For thousands of years, people moved from place to place and "stole" the land from whoever was indigenous there. The Indo-Europeans spread from north of the Caspian sea to India, the Middle East, and Europe. Guess what? There were people already there. At least three waves of Amerindian immigration happened from Asia. Guess what? Waves two and three "stole" from those who got there before them. African agriculturalists displaced the hunter-gatherers who dominated the continent for millenia. Why is there guilt associated with only the most recent displacements?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Patrik- true, one could make meta-rules on food categories. However, we might be beyond that here on paleohacks. Since it's tough to detail where our ancestors were in the past 10,000 years, and traditional African fruits/veggies are hard to get in America, we sort of have to adapt to foods that our ancestors never saw. And depending on goals, we could hack our intake to include things like less goitregens, less fructose, etc. It's like the whole paleo vs paleo 2.0 thing maybe? Meta-rules are great to start with, but the devil is in the details.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:08 PM

@Kamal, of course any stressor can increase the incidence of alcoholism. Do you have any data to back up your theory that being conquered or displaced actually CAUSES alcoholism, or is this speculation? How do you explain the high incidence of alcoholism among Russians, Finns and Icelanders, for example?

1
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 12, 2012
at 10:41 AM

Drugs and their influence is only a small part of the equation.

I grew up near a Rez as a kid and I would say a quarter of my friends were Natives (I can only claim a small bit of ancestry from my G-Grandmother), and I hate to make a generalization, but the working poor diet on the Rez is absolutely horrid (Even when compared to the Southern US "working poor" diet). Of all my friends, all of them had obese parents, and most but one or two had both parents who were obese.

Native foods, local game and gathered vegetation is eaten quite often for special occasions, but unfortunately still in conjunction with modern processed foods. One summer I worked in a plastics factory on the outskirts of a reservation with a couple of my now-grown Native friends. Packaged pies (or Lil' Debbie snack cakes) and coffee seemed to be the "Breakfast of Champions" and canned/potted meats with saltines was "lunch". Every night, we went to the bar for domestic draft happy hours, where bar food (burgers, fried pickles, etc) was dinner. Many of these guys were thin, but Type 2 diabetics (we were all between 19 and 25 years old).

Chicken or Egg? I have found in my own life and minor bouts with Alcoholism that proper nutrition plays a major role in energy and outlook, which in turn effectively combats addiction... regardless of "drug preference". I know you can more effectively solve problems of addiction by improving ANY person's diet and lifestyle, over a wild stab at genetics.

1
C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on February 12, 2012
at 06:53 AM

I am suggesting, that maybe, those plants have been used for so long, that certain populations have evolved to better tolerate their use. ??? Patrik??? May 4 at 16:46

How long does it take for a group of to evolve to tolerate something or to have a special genetic niche? The technical answer is a long f'ing time. My brain is pretty tired so perhaps I'm simplifying this too much. I'm sure someone will correct me if I am. To really evolve to handle something wouldn't that mean that over the past 20,000 years or however long, this input or X factor would have killed off the folks who couldn't handle it leaving the other folks who could. The 'survivors' would then breed and produce a new generation more likely to survive and breed again. I just really don't think evolution is subtle enough to evolve in the way that you are asking about.

On the other hand, I think there might be specialized gut bacteria (or lack thereof) that is passed from parents to child that might enable the next generation to 'survive' or even thrive where other groups of people would not. This could be developed over time but a much shorter timeframe than evolutionary change.

Like I said, brain is wicked tired. Sorry if this is gibberish.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on February 21, 2012
at 08:43 PM

You should read the 10,000 Year Explosion. You may change your mind.

1
05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on May 04, 2011
at 12:50 AM

the stoned ape "theory", well really the stoned ape practice is very valid and doesn't have much to do with heritage. i think a lot of modern people strapped to their NSAIDS and MAO inhibitors would benefit greatly from ayahuasca experiences, regardless of their lily-whiteness. <--- supposedly-civilized & over-domesticated first-world people, regardless of race (but mostly of Caucasian descent)

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:05 PM

@dsohei --- watch yourself with using words "lily-whiteness" -- I wouldn't tolerate people talking about "brownness" --- race-baiting is not tolerated on PaleoHacks. I won't have any race/creed attacked, be you brown, white, yellow whatever.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 04, 2011
at 01:16 AM

I think you are missing the point of this one.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:02 PM

I upvoted this and disagree with Patrik. I see the relevance of this comment. Anti-depressants (and alcohol) are palliatives, coping mechanisms, escapist substances. Entheogens, like Ayahuasca, can *SOMETIMES* provide insight and integration.

4b8ce2e8143119b39e00d5705b76cfa6

(40)

on February 12, 2012
at 07:41 PM

Except purple people. Screw them. Unless they are choking... Then help them! - Mitch Hepburn

1
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on May 04, 2011
at 12:49 AM

Interesting......concept about environment over homeostasis.....I think the organism can go either way based upon it's current organization. And that milleu is in constant flux depending upon what you to yourself nano second by nano second

0
Medium avatar

(12379)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I see that statement as an over-simplification of a much larger problem in the First Nations communities (First Nations in Canada). I see the problem as more sociological rather than genetic. Nurture rather than nature.

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