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Hacker Barnaby Jack Died of Drug Overdose

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the rest-in-peace dept.

News 195

DrDevil writes "Barnaby Jack, the computer security expert who died mysteriously a few days before he was due to give a presentation on hacking pacemakers at last year's Black Hat, died of a drug overdose. The coroner initially withheld the report, which led to much speculation given the timing of his death. Mr. Jack appears to have taken a cocktail of drugs (PDF) and was found dead by his girlfriend. His girlfriend stated that he had used drugs regularly."

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195 comments

Hackers are the new Rock Stars (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45864903)

and this just proves it.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 3 months ago | (#45864913)

Too soon. Could've moved to Colorado, like some junkie cosmonaut [youtube.com].

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 3 months ago | (#45864989)

Yes, what fun it would be to attempt an overdose on marijuana.
Some would say eating 15 lbs in a few minutes would do it, but the real troopers keep trying to smoke their way to suicide.
No success stories yet, gotta keep hammering on it.
Dont bogart that joint, my friend , pass it over to meeeeee....

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 3 months ago | (#45865091)

All I said was "could've moved". You're the one who had to make it dark.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865141)

Pot does that to you...

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865307)

Fear of pot makes you stupid.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866561)

Denial of scientific proof that marijuana is harmful makes you stupid.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866753)

Who denied marijuana can be harmful? And what comparative measure of "harm"? Drink/smoke up, chump, you're hallucinating again.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 3 months ago | (#45865205)

I've been trying unsucessfully for over four decades, was 19 then. I'll surely succeed in the next 40 years. 2049 news item: "mcgrew, age 97, was found dead today of an apparent marijuana overdose..."

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 3 months ago | (#45864917)

Except Rock Stars have significant portions of the mainstream public admiring them before they O.D.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (5, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | about 3 months ago | (#45864943)

No, hackers are just like anyone else and this proves it. People overdose all the time, they just don't make the front page of Slashdot.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865117)

No, hackers are just like anyone else and this proves it. People overdose all the time, they just don't make the front page of Slashdot.

Proof? No, you have a hypothesis and a single point of data.

Could disprove something with that data point, I suppose. Don't forget it's slashdot, and you'd better be extremely precise and correct in your verbiage.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (2)

itsdapead (734413) | about 3 months ago | (#45865463)

Proof? No, you have a hypothesis and a single point of data.

If only he had a hypothesis (men in black kill hacker to shut him up*) and two points of data: (A) Hacker about to give a speech, (B) hacker dies from overdose - then it would be much more compelling.

(*despite knowing that "Hacker gives talk on hacking pacemakers" = page 5 just under the skateboarding duck whereas "Hacker dies mysteriously on eve of controversial speech" is at least worth a side column on page 1.)

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (4, Interesting)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 3 months ago | (#45865759)

Another data point is that the investigation should not rely on the GF alone, to determine if it's a case of drug addiction. Sampling hair is not very difficult in many cases. Else I have for you a bulletproof way to kill your BF: poison him and declare he was doing drugs.

Another data point is collectible: what would cost pacemaker producers to fix the trouble once an exploit is possible and relatives of patients who die (no need for attack, they can die of malfunctions, of simply worrying about it) start to sue.

Another data point is in the making: whether his death will make the "hacking pacemakers" presentation impossible or too generic to be useful.

As the other poster said, you also have to wonder why experimenting with heavy dosage of drugs is a good idea when you have a presentation that will make you world famous is just a few days away.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 months ago | (#45865975)

Not to mention we've had a recent kinda nasty VP that requires pacemakers and whom would have probably been a target if the info would have leaked and you have one more bullet point in the "this smells funny" column. Reminds me of that reporter whose family aid he had a phobia about blood and would pass smooth out when he saw a drop of the stuff supposedly slit his wrists to kill himself.

Frankly it should be so trivial to tell if he was a druggie, the stuff ends up in the hair, nails, hell with heavy users they practically sweat drugs so finding out shouldn't take any time at all...wanna bet nobody runs anymore tests? After all we have learned from Manning and Snowden the past couple of years frankly I trust the mob more than I trust my own government so call me paranoid but I'd like a second opinion please.

Re: Hackers are the new Rock Stars (1)

Sepodati (746220) | about 3 months ago | (#45866565)

I doubt you'd believe the report, so what's the point? If "they" can have someone killed, they can fake an autopsy report.

If our government is efficient enough to even carry out a tenth of these conspiracy theories, we're fucked. I've seen them in action, though, and I think we're okay.

Re: Hackers are the new Rock Stars (4, Interesting)

Sean (422) | about 3 months ago | (#45866143)

Barnaby would routinely party until 5am then deliver the first talk in the morning. And deliver the talk well. His research was good, but then again so was the research of others who weren't nearly as much fun. Conference organizers aren't robots.

His hard partying ways were well known in the security community. Reading all of this conspiratorial talk reminds me how foolish we can be when we talk about people we've never even met.

Does anyone seriously expect a bunch of other well known hackers to admit in public that they routinely binged on drink and hard drugs with Barnaby? Merely to put to rest wild speculation by some randoms who didn't even know him and will likely continue to believe whatever they want to believe?

Re: Hackers are the new Rock Stars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866835)

On the other hand his drug use pointed to an overdose as the perfect kill.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 3 months ago | (#45864977)

Always know your dose.
No one is going to keep track of it for you.
If you want to live to be a ripe old junkie like Wm. Burroughs, you learn to keep care of yourself.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (5, Insightful)

Mr.CRC (2330444) | about 3 months ago | (#45865259)

If this was an OD due to illegal drugs, then it's likely that it wouldn't have occurred if the drugs were simply legal. You cannot "know your dose" with illegal drugs because you: 1. don't know what drug it really is at all; 2. don't know the concentration or purity. The best way to reduce ODs would be to legalize everything, then all the info on how to dose and minimize adverse health consequences could be kept out in the open.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865457)

If this was an OD due to illegal drugs, then it's likely that it wouldn't have occurred if the drugs were simply legal.

While fewer ODs would happen if drugs were legal and well regulated, or at least labeled, it is hard to say if any given OD would have happened without details and knowing a person. People still manage to have issues with alcohol poisoning, which takes some effort since many can't physically down their drink of choice fast enough to do so. More potent drugs that have more variability of impact due to tolerance and history of use are still going to result in some accidental and/or stupid ODs regardless of how well known the dose is, short of having them to be regulated to all being rather mild doses. In that latter case, there would still be a black market for stronger doses then.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865545)

He combined heroin with Xanax and an antihistamine. That is a pretty reckless combination. Sure, it's possible that the heroin was uncharacteristically pure.

Nevertheless, if you combine three depressant drugs (two of them quite strong), you're always risking an overdose. You can't really blame this one on prohibition.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865713)

If this was an OD due to illegal drugs, then it's likely that it wouldn't have occurred if the drugs were simply legal.

What a bunch of crackpot nonsense.

I guess Micheal Jackson would have been alive if just propofol would be legal?? [wikipedia.org]

Prescriptions now biggest cause of fatal drug overdoses

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-09-30-drug-overdose_N.htm [usatoday.com]

Simply the reason that something is NOT illegal, does not make it safe. How many people die of alcohol overdose each year? Too lazy to find out? Let me help you.

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-1/110-120.htm [nih.gov]

he annual average number of deaths for which alcohol poisoning was listed as an underlying cause was 317, with an age-adjusted death rate of 0.11 per 100,000 population. An average of 1,076 additional deaths included alcohol poisoning as a contributing cause, bringing the total number of deaths with any mention of alcohol poisoning to 1,393 per year (0.49 per 100,000 population). Males accounted for more than 80 percent of these deaths.

If only alcohol was a legal drug, right?? Right?

There are many reasons for legalizing illegal drugs (mostly to do with 3rd party risk mitigation), but overdoses have nothing to do with it.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (4, Informative)

Guido von Guido II (2712421) | about 3 months ago | (#45866103)

You're missing the point. As you pointed out, legality and known purity is not going to prevent all overdoses, but it would prevent some.

If you're buying drugs on the street, it's difficult to tell exactly how pure. This means that by taking the same mass of a particular drug, you're not going to get precisely the same amount of active ingredient. If your latest dose is sufficiently purer than your typical dose, then you may overdose.

What complicates this is that many addicts will go off of their drug of choice for a period of time and lose their tolerance. When they start using again, their bodies can't handle as much but they try to use their old dose and overdose.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (3, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#45866439)

While all of this is true to an extent, the bigger problem is mix and match. There is very little real data on the effects of mixing multiple classes of drugs other than to tell the user 'it's dangerous, don't do it'. Most ODs are from either naive users, as you point out, or users who get drunk (typically), then add a slurry of other drugs, then go somewhere dark to pass out and then just quit breathing.

Most ODs would be thwarted by having the presumptive victim in the same room as other people who have managed to keep enough of their brainstem function so as to remain breathing spontaneously. Calling 911 or just kicking the victim in the groin is pretty easy, even for the lay person.

(Channel to the OD scene in 'Pulp Fiction'... )

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (5, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 3 months ago | (#45865857)

I have known a number of druggies, some on various hard stuffs. No. They would still OD. People still huff, knowing full well it coats your lungs. People still sniff gasoline, knowing full well it destroys your brain. These are two completely legal substances. No. People would still be stupid. You can't bypass stupid with a label.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866203)

I suppose it's easier to damn these "druggies" that you've known than to have the uncomfortable thought that perhaps they were sniffing gasoline or huffing paint thinner due to the fact that they were, in fact, the only legal drugs to which they had easy access. Yes, those damn druggies, never mind that had they had legal access to properly dosed drugs and a safe environment, they wouldn't have been sniffing gasoline or huffing paint thinner.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (1)

Common Joe (2807741) | about 3 months ago | (#45866775)

True, some would still OD, but there wouldn't be as many. Not everyone doing drugs is careless with their life.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866847)

Drug use has been part of the human experience for as long as there were humans to experience it. Some would still overdose if drugs were decriminalized and safe supplies were made available, but the overall number of overdoses would reduce drastically -- there is no single "druggie" phenotype. Don't let perfect be the enemy of far, far better.

You probably use alcohol, which is a dangerous drug (ref: Lancet), but I bet you're confident you can avoid drinking yourself to death.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 3 months ago | (#45866311)

If this was an OD due to illegal drugs, then it's likely that it wouldn't have occurred if the drugs were simply legal. You cannot "know your dose" with illegal drugs because you: 1. don't know what drug it really is at all; 2. don't know the concentration or purity. The best way to reduce ODs would be to legalize everything, then all the info on how to dose and minimize adverse health consequences could be kept out in the open.

The thing with speed balls (cocaine plus heroin) is to maximize the rush while minimizing the side effects. This is a never ending race to OD. Many heroin users have died due to unknowingly using uncut drugs, Janice Joplin, etc. But speed balls are another beast all together.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (5, Informative)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 3 months ago | (#45866409)

I am surprised this got modded insightful. Nothing against the parent but knowing your dose wouldn't help in cases like this. It was an OD from a cocktail of heroin, cocaine, Diphenhydramine (aka Benadryl) and Alprazolam (aka Xanax). Even if they were legal, no sane doctor would ever advise taking all four together. This was nothing more than death from reckless drug use. You could legalize everything, provide safe usage guidelines and people would still die like this. Its the same as speeding, losing control of your car and dying in a car crash caused by your own recklessness. you knew the limit, you were taught to follow it but you ignored it.

Basically the worst thing you can do is mix this stuff together. They do it to have one drug counteract the other eg. coke is a stimulant and heroine is a depressant. The two are combined to get the extreme euphoria of heroin but having the coke combat the sedation (most heroin users shoot up and pass out). Those two used together is called a speedball [wikipedia.org] and has killed quite a few famous people, and many more regular users.

Why he also chose to throw benadryl and Xanax on top of that deadly mix is beyond me.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 3 months ago | (#45865475)

Always know your dose.

Other words of wisdom from Ron White: "Never let a mormon set your buzz level."

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45864985)

NOOOO!!!! it was conspiracy theorists , you have to have a fresh conspiracy at new year!

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (1)

itsdapead (734413) | about 3 months ago | (#45865547)

NOOOO!!!! it was conspiracy theorists , you have to have a fresh conspiracy at new year!

but everybody knows that conspiracy theorists are all agents of the Black Helicopter Brigade paid to create plausible deniability for the real conspiracies.

Barnaby who??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865127)

Yeah, this guy's no rock star.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865813)

Yes, except minus the hot chicks.

Re:Hackers are the new Rock Stars (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 3 months ago | (#45866567)

But you're believing the story. It might be true. I'm not sure I want to be any more definite than that. Without knowing the person, I don't know whether it is plausible or not. I don't know whether the "girlfriend" actually was such, and I don't know if someone was out to get him.

A few years ago I would have accepted this story without much question. These days there are so many proven lies told as official stories, that I don't even believe when they say something plausible. I think you've got to learn to live with uncertainty. There are too many practicing liars to trust much of anything you can't check yourself. (Fortunately, it's fairly safe to ignore most news stories.)

The real question is . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45864921)

Did he get those drugs the old fashioned way, or did he get them from the Silk Road (or whatever has replaced it in hackerspace these days).

Re:The real question is . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45864957)

Why would that be "the real question"?

Re:The real question is . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865001)

We have determined the other questions to be decoys.

TV show. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45864945)

If this was a TV show, it would be pretty obvious the girlfriend did it. "He used drugs regularly." Yeah, right :)

CIA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45864947)

I think he hacked into the CIA and found some nasty shit. So, the CIA hired some goombas to take him out and discredit him - no one takes a drug addict seriously.

Re:CIA (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865109)

Don't forget that they paid off his girlfriend to say he was a drug user.

This smells to high heaven like a conspiracy.

Re:CIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865129)

He probably was a drug user, the TLA just needed to spice up his supply a bit. Everyone's got something they can hang by.

Re:CIA (2)

Cito (1725214) | about 3 months ago | (#45866211)

The guy was a known hardcore junky, some of the live cam crap he posted on zoklet "totse replacement" was crazy, everyone told him he was gonna be a "Brandon Vedas" aka "Ripper" who od'd in irc and on webcam

Hacked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45864979)

It is not out of the realm of possibility that a motivated party found his vuln (recreational drugs) and hacked them (increase purity) to obtain a fatal result. Don't expect to see a presentation on it, though.

Re:Hacked? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#45866463)

It is not out of the realm of possibility that a motivated party found his vuln (recreational drugs) and hacked them (increase purity) to obtain a fatal result. Don't expect to see a presentation on it, though.

It is also not out of the realm of possibility that an alien probe caused a fatal heart dysrythmia. It's just not remotely probable.

You mean it wasn't a conspiracy ? (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 3 months ago | (#45864991)

Slashdot is really letting itself go, when posts describing the mundane reality take precedence over a good conspiracy story.

Or could it be that the coroner was bought by the peacemaker manufacturing lobby to give that statement? Hmm...

Re:You mean it wasn't a conspiracy ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865065)

Slashdot is really letting itself go, when posts describing the mundane reality take precedence over a good conspiracy story.

Or could it be that the coroner was bought by the peacemaker manufacturing lobby to give that statement? Hmm...

If the coroner really was bought by the "peacemaker" manufacturing lobby then the cause of death should have been:
Acute lead poisoning occasioning death.

Re:You mean it wasn't a conspiracy ? (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 3 months ago | (#45865163)

It's easy to get away with murdering a drug user. Even if the guy's a speed freak and he dies of a barbiturate overdose, it's automatically an accident.

Re:You mean it wasn't a conspiracy ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866235)

RIP Jane [wikia.com].

Sweet, sweet Jane.

Re:You mean it wasn't a conspiracy ? (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#45865815)

Or could it be that the coroner was bought by the peacemaker manufacturing lobby to give that statement?

It was heroin. Someone else could have injected it.

Occam's Razor (2)

westlake (615356) | about 3 months ago | (#45866241)

It was heroin. Someone else could have injected it.

It was a drug cocktail.

Evidence of long-tern drug and alcohol abuse isn't likely to escape the notice of a competent pathologist.

The autopsy report has now been made available and says Mr Jack had shown "no visible or palpable evidence of trauma".
Instead, his physical symptoms indicated an accidental overdose of heroin, cocaine, and prescription drugs.
The report said Mr Jack's girlfriend had found him lying in bed unresponsive, with "multiple bottles of beer and champagne in the garbage can".

Elite Hacker Barnaby Jack 'overdosed on drugs' [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Occam's Razor (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#45866473)

The report said Mr Jack's girlfriend had found him lying in bed unresponsive, with "multiple bottles of beer and champagne in the garbage can".

There. That's it. The smoking gun. No self respecting whacked out druggy is going to put the bottles in the trash can. He'd recycle them.

Re:You mean it wasn't a conspiracy ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866481)

or replaced cut heroin with uncut, or mixed heroin with a drug with which it interacts poorly, or probably several other things. We know the level at which these guys play. That much is not speculation.

Re:You mean it wasn't a conspiracy ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866075)

Slashdot is really letting itself go, when posts describing the mundane reality take precedence over a good conspiracy story.

Or could it be that the coroner was bought by the peacemaker manufacturing lobby to give that statement? Hmm...

I was looking for this too. It's pretty much the only reason I come to slashdot these days--to laugh at all the crazy conspiracy theories that get modded +5 insightful.

"See this gun?" (0)

netsharc (195805) | about 3 months ago | (#45864997)

The way I see it, the men in black pointed the gun at him and said "Take those drugs! Now!"...

Re:"See this gun?" (0, Flamebait)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#45865157)

Our government vehemently believes it has the right to remove you from your home and incarcerate you with no charges or due process.

Does anyone believe that a government with such a mercurial attitude towards civil liberties wouldn't resort to assassinating citizens who makes a nuisance of themselves?

Bad things (2, Interesting)

onyxruby (118189) | about 3 months ago | (#45865003)

These medications are bad for you, people die once in while, were going to sue and try to ban them. This seems to get just about everyone's approval. However these other medications that were made in a garage or jungle or other unsanitary conditions and routinely kill untold numbers of people but just happen to get people high. Let's legalize them!

If an alien species were to look and observe these types of things they would mark "do not contact" after determining the human race was crazy as hell.

Re:Bad things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865113)

'Legalize it' is talking about marijuana. I guess 0 is an 'untold number'.

Re:Bad things (2, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about 3 months ago | (#45865189)

The legalizing it trend is about far more than marijuana and it always has been. Don't fool yourself.

Re:Bad things (2)

Zynder (2773551) | about 3 months ago | (#45866005)

The Prohibition trend is about far more than marijuana and it always has been. Don't fool yourself.

We see through your bullshit.

Re:Bad things (4, Insightful)

mikeabbott420 (744514) | about 3 months ago | (#45865169)

Legal drugs aren't made in jungles or unsanitary conditions regardless of any intoxicating property. This is actually one of the arguments for legalizing recreational drugs, e.g. people buying weed in Colorado are far less likely to buy weed that has been sprayed with toxic chemicals like pesticides.

Re:Bad things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866539)

Despite having a lot of rules on paper, there is no regulatory body and no way to ensure any of the marijuana in Colorado is being grown safely. It's largely a show of saying "Look, we're responsible!" but in the end it's still 20-something drug dealers selling pot to 20-something potheads, with all the e-coli, fungus, mold, and insect parts that you'd get from any other dispensary.

Colorado is making a big deal about selling marijuana responsibly, but there is no mechanism to ensure any of that. It's a promise you can only take at face value.

Re:Bad things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865283)

How is this blathering insightful? You're a moron, shouldn't you be listening to Family Radio?

Re:Bad things (5, Informative)

Immerman (2627577) | about 3 months ago | (#45865285)

Actually medications are very rarely banned - what usually happens is doctors just stick to prescribing the safer drugs unless they prove ineffective, in which case they switch to the riskier ones. You know, that whole "Do no harm" oath they take.

As for the recreational stuff - the point of legalization is not necessarily to voice approval, its an acknowledgement that prohibition doesn't actually work and never has, no matter how draconian the punishments (remember that story about a couple people in a garden and an apple? Or maybe the one about Al Capone?). And that most of the evils associated with the drug trade are due to it's illegal nature, not the drug itself. Since it can't be stopped we may as well legalize it so we can deprive the really horrible, violent people who control the black market of the massive revenue stream that provides most of their funding. Not to mention bringing production into a safer more regulated environment and stopping the militarization of the police force and the erosion of civil liberties. And of course improving the security of the borders - do you really thing a foreign terrorist would try to smuggle his dirty bomb through customs when he can just buy a ticket on a well-established drug run instead? Oh, and reducing human trafficking - slavery is more profitable when you can piggyback on established drug routes instead of having to do everything yourself.

Besides which, the only recreational drug currently getting any traction towards legalization in the US is marijuana, which is far safer than alcohol by any measure you care to name. And most of the really nasty synthetic stuff was explicitly created as a cheaper or legal alternative to something illegal. If you could buy medical grade cocaine at the corner store with only the usual commercial markup, how many people do you suppose would choose black-market heroin instead?

Re:Bad things (2)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 3 months ago | (#45865573)

Actually medications are very rarely banned - what usually happens is doctors just stick to prescribing the safer drugs unless they prove ineffective, in which case they switch to the riskier ones. You know, that whole "Do no harm" oath they take.

You must be seeing different doctors that I do. It seems like a lot of doctors these days prescribe whichever new drug the pharmaceutical rep is pushing this month. Even more so if the pharmaceutical company is providing a multi-day "informational" or "familiarization" conference that happens to be on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.

Drug prescriptions ... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | about 3 months ago | (#45866199)

Yep.... I remember a while back, taking my kid to see the psychologist the school recommended, after a lot of prodding that she needed to see someone about her apparent ADHD. (While not a big fan of all the use of drugs for this, I relented because I'm divorced, with pretty much full custody of my kid. Today's combination of public schools and child services means they can quickly make things get ugly for you if you say no to their repeated suggestions.)

Anyway, the doctor looked over some of the notes the school made and some of her homework assignments, spent a few minutes interviewing her (and me), and pretty quickly wrote up a prescription for a particular ADHD medication. Having done a little research myself first (plus knowing other families with kids on these meds), I asked him why he was prescribing the one he did, vs. an alternative I felt might make more sense to try first. His answer? "Oh, there are a number of options out there, but I just like this one because it's the one I'm most familiar with." (A quick survey of his office revealed several promotional items around from guess which drug company? Yep....)

I mean, come on.... if you're in this field, shouldn't you be "familiar with" pretty much ALL of the drugs for something as common as ADHD?

Re:Bad things (5, Funny)

Cyfun (667564) | about 3 months ago | (#45865393)

Illegal narcotics are made in garages and jungles in unregulated conditions BECAUSE they can't be made legally. One of the main reasons they cause so much harm to people is BECAUSE of these poor manufacturing conditions and how they're cut. We should legalize them simply to allow us to create and distribute them in a safer manner that we can regulate and monitor.

Besides, people die many times more from prescription drug abuse than illegal drug abuse.

And alien races likely avoid us because of or proclivity for violence over diplomacy, greed over innovation, and utter lack of common sense. If anything, legalizing narcotics and spending the money treating addicts instead of just tossing them in jail would make it MORE likely that aliens would see us as sensible motherfuckers and contact us.

So... let's legalize drugs so we can meet some hot green Orion women already!

Re:Bad things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866455)

And alien races likely avoid us because of or proclivity for violence over diplomacy, greed over innovation, and utter lack of common sense.

Because alien races will certainly be one-dimensional, ill-concieved attempts at driving the plot forward. Oh, yes.

Aliens would be all over our shit with trade agreements, if only to sell deviant human porn to their perverted masses.

Re:Bad things (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865441)

No, they would just try to avoid you. Legalizing means regulation, sanitation, exact ingredients, purity, proper procedures, proper information, scientific studies, known effects, etc. etc.

Basically, you don't have any idea what you're talking about.

Instead: Hey, let's give money and power to druglords by completely banning something and going totally bonkers destroying the lives of our youths!

Captcha: negator

Re:Bad things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865595)

I have to reply to this because it is at +5 and so hideously wrong.

Medications are sold not just as a chemical, but as a guarantee. They are given rigorous testing to try to make sure that they will solve a certain health problem, while not causing any other significant health problems.

Substances sold for recreation like tobacco, alcohol and marijuana are NOT sold with this guarantee or anything like it. In fact, there are very visible warnings on the products themselves and constant awareness campaigns about their ill effects.

Secondly, the issue of unsanitary drug production is one of the arguments FOR legalization, because it brings that part of the economy out of the control of gangsters who sure as hell don't give a shit about FDA regulations.

After legalization, the "untold numbers" become a known quantity which we can then monitor to make sure the product they consume is as safe as it can be. They can also be more easily targeted by support groups to help them out of their addiction.

Not to mention the billions you've suddenly taken out of the cash flow of criminal empires.

The alien species you talk about would still dismiss us - they would marvel at our collective inability to see the bigger picture.

Re:Bad things (1)

fermion (181285) | about 3 months ago | (#45865873)

Death is often related to drug abuse. Like guns, the drug does kill, the person does, usually themselves. Right now I would say the bigger issue is abuse of prescription drugs. On big problem is the doctors are complicit. The famous drug addict Rush Limbaugh, for instance, get all his drugs legally. There a millions of people who are addicted to legal prescription drugs, and death rates are as high, or higher, than 20 in 100,000 of the population.

Again, what we need to look for and provide help for is drug abuse which kills many people every year. For instance about 100,000 people a year die directly or indirectly from alcohol every year, in addition to the huge costs in place on society to to medical care such as liver transplants. We learned the way to solve this was not to ban alcohol, but to provide help and punish irresponsible behavior. For instance if the doctor who supplies Limbaugh were to be locked up for 20 years, others doctors might be less likely to supply drugs o known addicts.

In the past two generations the idea that drugs are the path to peacefulness and health has taken complete hold of our society. This is not a completely inappropriate idea. Drugs can help quality of life, and an intelligent person can often self medicate to solve many problems. However, the idea that personal behavior is totally outside of the realm of possibility is a problem. For instance I know people who take drugs because of acid reflux. Instead of taking personal responsibility and change their diet, the pop a pill every day. I really don't see any difference between this and someone who does cocaine. In either case it is medicating something that could probably be handled another way.

Finally there is enforcement. The fact is that some people are allowed to abuse and smuggle drugs and some aren't. Again we can look at Limbaugh. He was caught smuggling a schedule iii drug into the US. If were serious about stopping drugs and drug smuggling he would have been sentenced to up to 10 years of prison time. However, as we are just serious about harassing people, he was let go and has served no prison time.

Re:Bad things (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#45866523)

You do realize that Limbaugh lied his ass off to get the drugs. He received them from multiple physicians in several states. It is unclear how carefully the various doctors screened Limbaugh for misuse and I will bet that a majority of them didn't do due diligence, but the 'patient' has more than a little complicity here.

Drug abusers (including alcoholics, who are famous for this) lie all of the time. When we do urine drug screens on patients we see all sorts of interesting results. "No, doc, never took any methadone. My cousin gave me a vitamin the other day, that must of been it....."

Abusable prescription drugs ARE a problem, but they have valid uses as well. We are a long way from figuring out how to solve the problem. Big Pharma has been complicit (some of those executives probably need some jail time), but tossing a whole bunch of doctors in jail isn't going to help much. Might make you feel better.

Why do we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865007)

So, some idiot can't handle his drugs and he died. Happens all the time Why is this news? Just because he was a hacker? So what. If you're going to use drugs, be informed. Mixing opiates with benzos is stupid. Opiates are strong enough respiratory depressants on their own. I feel bad for his girlfriend, but not for him.

If James Bond had died this way (5, Funny)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 3 months ago | (#45865011)

From the Top Secret coroner's report on 007's death:

Witnesses report that the decedent ingested a cocktail of drugs just prior to death. When they tried to revive him, he was shaken, but not stirred.

"girlfriend" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865019)

The chick she picked up a few days/weeks/months before from some bar, where she suddenly appeared and looked "so promising" ?

Yeah. Of course she tells he has been a drug addict for ages ;)

Don't do drugs, kids! (4, Funny)

Max Threshold (540114) | about 3 months ago | (#45865275)

If you do drugs, the CIA will definitely use an overdose to assassinate you.

Re:Don't do drugs, kids! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865423)

If you've pissed off the CIA, isn't that the nicest way to go?

Re:Don't do drugs, kids! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866343)

Let em try. I only smoke weed.

Re:Don't do drugs, kids! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866393)

If the CIA wants to assassinate someone, I'm sure they'll find a way to do it even if drugging them isn't an option.

Good. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865301)

Fuck intelligent people, whether the Cheneys or the Barnaby Jacks of the world. They automatically have the power, they are the cause of oppression and death, and the more of them die off, the happier I am.

Don't believe it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865383)

Usually if there is a suspicious death... the cause is "drug overdose"

Diphenhydramine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865537)

I get all hoped up on diphenhydramine all the time. I don't think there's a warning about combing it with heroine, cocaine, and Xanax though.

hacker with a girlfriend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865565)

obviously she was planted and in on it.

The reality of drugs are very grim (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865577)

I'm sorry to hear a talented hacker died because he foolishly believed recreational drug use was normal or acceptable.

Despite people claiming drug use is normal, natural, and safe, history is filled with dead rock stars, artists, musicians, and regular Joes who struggled and succumbed to drug addiction. Even "safe" drugs like marijuana have been scientifically proven to be addictive, induce depression, schizophrenia, and reduce motivation. Pets are dying from eating marijuana edibles, and edibles make small children so ill they have to go to the ER.

There's a reason every society on Earth thinks drugs are bad, and it isn't due to a government or pharmaceutical conspiracy. Any drug, even legal prescription drugs, have severe side effects, and can be damaging or fatal. Drugs need to be used only when necessary, and recreational drug use is practically the definition of self-injury. Portugal's experiment with drug decriminalization just ended up with a huge body of people who needed rehabilitation, and they now have more support groups for addicts than any country on Earth. There are no legal drug success stories, unless you only look at the financial gain of the drug dealers and criminals who run pot dispensaries.

And yes, all this applies to alcohol. I'm saying that before any potheads fire back with the same tired "But, Prohibition!" arguments in a desperate attempt to justify their mistake.

Re:The reality of drugs are very grim (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 3 months ago | (#45866049)

Does Narcotics Anonymous pay you to post on Slashdot? This sounds like something straight out of The Book.

Weird stuff in the Medical Report (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45865667)

I am unsure why Heroin is in the mix. He didnt seem to use Heroin. More weird stuff:
The report says there were abrasion on the cheeks, and contusions in the fingers. There was an "electrocardiographic monitoring electrode on the left chest".

Conspiracy theorist have a lot of ammo here.

Re:Weird stuff in the Medical Report (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#45866543)

I am unsure why Heroin is in the mix. He didnt seem to use Heroin. More weird stuff:
The report says there were abrasion on the cheeks, and contusions in the fingers. There was an "electrocardiographic monitoring electrode on the left chest".

Conspiracy theorist have a lot of ammo here.

The EKG lead is easy. EMS is going to put one on you to see if you have any sort of heart rhythm.

I guess you conspiracy guys are going to have a field day with the contusions and abrasions. However, you might want to try being dragged about in a body bag before you publish everything.

Re: Hacker Barnaby Jack Died of Drug Overdose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866119)

Shut up.NSA can not fool whole world. Barnaby Jack was killed by NSAand now NSA comes up with the most foolish explanation in collusion with medical board of that place in USA.

I am really ashamed that a genius was killed and now after his killinghe is being maligned. Barnaby’s girlfriend is a co-conspirator with NSA to kill Barnaby. She can not fool..at least me.

Sincerely,

Kulvinder. (From New Delhi..India)
E. mail : kulvinder.bifm@gmail.com
Mobile Numbers: +91-9015697285
                        +91-9017911981

Re: Hacker Barnaby Jack Died of Drug Overdose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866135)

Shut up.NSA can not fool whole world. Barnaby Jack was killed by NSAand now NSA comes up with the most foolish explanation in collusion with medical board of that place in USA.

I am really ashamed that a genius was killed and now after his killinghe is being maligned. Barnaby’s girlfriend is a co-conspirator with NSA to kill Barnaby. She can not fool..at least me.

Sincerely,

Kulvinder.
E. mail : kulvinder.bifm@gmail.com
Mobile Numbers: +91-9015697285
                        +91-9017911981

Re: Hacker Barnaby Jack Died of Drug Overdose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45866181)

Oh Dearest Barnaby..you were an idiol to billions on this globe...including me...

Shut up.NSA can not fool whole world. Barnaby Jack was killed by NSAand now NSA comes up with the most foolish explanation in collusion with medical board of that place in USA.

I am really ashamed that a genius was killed and now after his killinghe is being maligned. Barnaby’s girlfriend is a co-conspirator with NSA to kill Barnaby. She can not fool..at least me.

Sincerely,

Kulvinder.
E. mail : kulvinder.bifm@gmail.com
My Mobile Numbers: +91-9015697285
                        +91-9017911981

Let's come to a moderate conclusion. (1)

eyenot (102141) | about 3 months ago | (#45866505)

If we can, let's put this death into the form of a something like a "Dead Schroedinger's Cat" and put it in a box for the time being.

You don't know for sure why this dead cat is dead, because you don't know enough about it, so you, being no sort of authority on the hidden and ever-changing features of the sub rosa, cannot make well-founded claims as to the causes behind this guy's death.

The "cat" is either dead from a legitimate overdose, or the "cat" is dead from being administered a bad cocktail by some agent of the empire. Unless you open the box, you don't know which it was.

The thing is, it's a dead fucking cat. And either way you look at it, drugs were involved. Does it matter if the guy was chasing his personal dragon and fucked up, or whether somebody showed up at his place and interrogated and killed him with his own drugs and some stuff found in the medicine cabinet? Allow me to carry the "penetration" analogy that some others in comments have mentioned, that in either case, the vector of "attack" is the drugs, the "attacker" being death.

Why would you want to fuck around with things like heroin or cocaine? I'm not a total drug-prude or something. I once spent an entire year, sans three days, high on some weed from Afghanistan. My cousin owns a successful pot shop in Colorado, and he's digging the new legalization just as much as I am. Of course, I can't smoke right now because it ruins my concentration and I'm going through college (a little late I might add) but that's all cool, smoke away, nobody ever died of a fucking pot overdose. I once did a couple doses of crystal MDMA, it was nice (nothing like what ravers describe Ecstacy to be), I felt super relaxed for the first time in my life since, like, adolescence, and it has had a nice, long-term residual effect, so that I don't think I will need to add to it for quite a number of years. But I would never contribute to my death with something known to be instantly lethal like cocaine or heroin. So many friends of mine have died using heroin, it's sort of a lost cause to tell me that there's A World Where heroin is okay to use. Cocaine is notoriously addictive and life-ruining, not to mention associated with heart disease (though some say it's a good agent against cholesterol levels). I tended to my Grandfather on his deathbed while I observed his decline accelerating due to his prescribed addiction to Xanax. So that's me, that's where I'm coming from.

I say it's stupid to do hard or addictive drugs. Look at what you're setting yourself up for: addiction and potential death. Where's the trade-off? "An altered state of mind"? There are plenty of safe hallucinogens to use. "Oh, I do it for the energy" that's bullshit, since I quite using caffeine and smoking cigarettes I have more energy than I ever did before. This is a documented side-effect of quitting systemically harmful drugs, especially stimulants. You don't have to worship L Ron Hubbard to know that some substances are plainly fucking stupid on their face.

And now look at the other possible quantum state of Dead Schroedinger's Cat, here. Suppose he DID get nipped by some secret agent spy-man. What was the cover-up? The guy's drug usage which some here believe is a made-up story but others have pointed out was a fact the guy himself made known. What would we be looking at if there wasn't this handy cover-up available, and a handy stash of drugs and well-stsocked medicine cabinet nearby to aid the implement of destruction? In all likelihood there would be a much more questionable medical examiner's report. So, again, the drug use serves up more "cons" than pros, this time directly to the people who are concerned with this guy's life -- fans, or whatever. You weren't getting high from this guy's drug use. There's no benefit to his drug use at all to you, but now that you're scratching your head wondering "WTF", there's definitely a major drawback to it, wouldn't you say?

So whether the dead cat inside is dead of its own cause, or somebody intervened to hasten death, it's a dead, drug-riddled corpse of a cat. The drugs present aren't doing anything for you, or for me, or obviously for the cat.

I'm not arguing for drug prohibition. I don't personally care which way drug laws swing as regards heroin and cocaine, because I'm never going to use them. All my friends who used heroin, guess what: they all DIED. No, I wasn't close tight friends with Huncke the Junkie, so I don't know about this one case where some dude lived to be old and decrepit while using heroin every day. All my friends who used cocaine are still using it, and it controls their lives even if they don't see it that way.

So, if this dead guy is some great big deal to you and you feel like you've really lost something here, then why don't you grieve his use of "hard" drugs?

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