WORLD: What's the key evidence that heroin addiction is a spiritual or moral condition?
DALRYMPLE: There is lots of evidence. First, there are historical examples of thousands and indeed millions of opiate addicts giving up their addiction because of motivation to do so. Mao Tse Tung took a very dim view of opium addicts and threatened in the end to shoot them. When Mao threatened to shoot you, you took it seriously. Millions of people gave it up. It would not have made sense for Mao to say to people with rheumatoid arthritis, "I will shoot you if your joints don't become normal." It did make sense, even if it was wrong, to threaten to shoot addicts. There is therefore a conceptual difference between the two conditions.
You need to go to the post on Justin Taylor's website to get to the article. I left a comment. Hopefully the evil technology beasties will leave it alone this time! ;-)