That is only caffeine, of course. But even heroin users can addict themselves and then quit as circumstances dictate. Psychiatrist Lee Robins found that almost half of American soldiers used heroin or opium while in Vietnam, but rather fewer were actually addicted, and almost 90 percent of those kicked the habit upon returning to the United States. I have absolutely no desire to try heroin myself, but it seems that both the decision to start and the decision to try to quit were, like my coffee habit, rational responses to circumstances.
I can't help noting that a large number of British cabinet ministers decided to smoke marijuana at college and then quit later. Whisper it softly, but perhaps not only addicts are rational, but politicians, too.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Irritating Confidante
John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.