I read in the WaPo yesterday that there were over 50,000 deaths annually in Russia as a result of alcohol poisoning!
That’s more than gun deaths in any country in the world!
Not to worry though. Even Russia has its Anthony Burgess fans (come to think of it Nadsat was actually created largely from Russian slang) and one of them discovered a wonderful way to keep people on the wagon – scare the shit out of them!
Coding was created by a Soviet psychiatrist, Alexander Dovzhenko, who assumed a cult-like status in the treatment of alcoholism. “The Dovzhenko method is basically a form of hypnosis: You drink, you die,” said Andrei Yermoshin, a private psychotherapist who no longer uses the method, preferring long-term therapy. “It’s fast and cheap, and supposedly you don’t have a problem for a year or two years or five years, depending on how long you have been coded for.”
There are a number of variations, but here’s basically how it works:
In Svetlana’s case, [fear of death] was induced by mild hypnosis followed by injection of a temporary but powerful drug that could attack her respiratory system. Before the drug kicked in, the doctor gave her a little vodka to taste. She became dizzy and had difficulty breathing before the doctor stepped in with some oxygen to revive her.
The injected medicine, the doctor said, would stay in her system. “I’ve coded you for a year,” he said, according to Svetlana. “And if you drink in that time, you will die.” He insisted that she sign a release form saying he would bear no responsibility for her death should she drink within 12 months.
“I believed him, because we had all heard stories about people who were coded and died when they drank,” said Svetlana
How effective is it? The WaPo reports that its effectiveness has never been tested, but poor Svetlana actually called an ambulance before taking a drink when she fell off the wagon two years ago (which is a pretty powerful statement about both the human condition and the questionable effectiveness of coding.)
I sure hope the tea-totalers in this country don’t ever find out and try to start a new prohibition movement. If the anti-gun lobby sides with the anti-drink fanatics, some of us might find ourselves in a tight (pun intended) spot.
Even worse, if neo-prohibitionists ever allied with the anti-gun lobby and everyone was forced to take sides, the opposition would be a bunch of drunks with guns!