The Guardian printed a story by an American doctor headlined, “Heroin killed my brother 38 years ago. Too many still suffer in its clutches.” You can probably imagine Dalrymple’s reaction:
It implies that in the relationship between a person and heroin, it is the heroin that is the active participant. This is entirely false: it is the person who grips the heroin, not the other way round.
The evidence that this is so is decisive. First, most heroin addicts take the drug for months before they start taking it regularly. It is inconceivable that they do not know the risks of addiction before they become addicted. They have to learn how to prepare the drug and how to inject it (most of us would have to overcome a reluctance to stick a needle in ourselves). In short, they want to be addicts, and are even determined to become so, no doubt for vague romantic reasons.