've been hooked now for three decades on a drug that I hate, an expensive drug that I must take every single morning of my life even though it stifles my creativity and flattens my so-called emotional "affect." And I have been hooked good. The NIH itself has determined that the drug I'm on has a 95% recidivism rate after three years for those who attempt to "kick it." Meanwhile prominent psychiatrists report that the drug in question is harder to quit than heroin In fact, the guy who's currently giving me the pills told me frankly that I might as well not even bother to quit the drug since it has such lousy relapse rates.
Speaking of the guy who gives me the pills, you'd think he'd be at least a little embarrassed, tell me that he's sorry about my addiction, but nothing could be further from the truth. He has never once suggested that he feels any blame whatsoever for my fate. Meanwhile this guy is prospering financially and is a veritable pillar of the community. Nor do the police have the slightest interest in disrupting his activities, even though he's still hooking new clients on the same addictive substances to this very day. You see, he belongs to a huge organization whose job is to convince the world that this pill-pushing arrangement of his is actually a good thing, and that the folks who are not yet on the pill mill could very well be missing out on living a full life.
Nor am I alone in my addiction. As I type this, 1 in 8 American males and 1 in 4 females are addicted to the same sort of expensive pills that I'm forced to take every day of my life.
I know what you're thinking: the Drug Warriors must be "up in arms" about this scandalous situation. The DEA must be declaring a national emergency. Donald Trump must be drawing up long lists of pushers (like my own staunchly unapologetic supplier) whom he's going to execute the very moment that Congress gives him the green light to do so.
Unfortunately not. For the drug that I'm addicted to is Effexor, a Big Pharma blockbuster pill, and we all know that Big Pharma pills are exempt from Drug Warrior criticism. The Drug Warriors couldn't care less, even though the sorts of drugs that we're talking about here are precisely the ones that can really "fry your brain" in the way that the otherwise bogus Drug War propaganda suggests.
The result: not only is the Drug Warrior blind to my own personal addiction, but they are blind to the great mass-addiction of our time. And so they go on demonizing the poppy and the coca leaf and psychedelics, plants that have been used responsibly by other cultures for millennia, blissfully unaware that these plants, even when legal, never caused anything close to the wholesale addiction that has been perpetrated on Americans in modern times by Big Pharma and their psychiatric handmaidens.
How much more proof do reasonable people need that our attitude toward "drugs" (by which we Americans really mean "psychoactive plants") is a social construct, as malleable as clay, and that what passes for drug policy today is really just a hodgepodge of laws and attitudes designed to maintain the economic interests of the status quo and the institutions that represent it (including but not limited to: Big Pharma, Big Liquor, psychiatry, the corrections industry, and law enforcement)?
Of course, if addiction doesn't really matter to Drug Warriors, as the status quo would suggest, then the question asks itself: why am I not allowed to choose my own "poison" from among the flora that God freely gave us all in the Book of Genesis? After all, the plants that we have since outlawed from thence are far less addictive than the SSRIs that have fogged my mind and turned me into an eternal patient for the last 30 years.
Why not? Because empowering patients like myself in this way would leave stakeholders such as Big Pharma and the healthcare industry out of the economic loop. Why would I want to pay for their expensive and highly addictive pills, pills that dull my emotions and bring me no pleasant dreams, when there are plant medicines growing at my feet that are far less addictive and can actually bring me psychological insight?
Thus I am destined to die as an unacknowledged addict, taking my expensive pills every morning of my life until the end, never to hear so much as one compassionating sigh from the socially respectable pushers who addicted me.
The Links Police
Okay, do you know why I stopped you? That's right, because the Drug War's given me carte blanche to be a noxious busybody. That, plus the fact that there are more insightful articles about addiction listed below:
The psychiatrist who was frank with me about the dependence-causing nature of Effexor was subsequently fired. That's the price one pays for not singing along with the refrain of Drug War lies and misdirection. Apparently the 'behavioral health' facility linked my complaints about their medications to this guy and punished him for giving me a peek behind the curtain. Just as the DEA treats drugs like Ecstasy like they were highly fissionable materials, so folks in the mental health field have to treat the subject of drugs like a hot potato, being sure to say nothing about them that might seem to run counter to drug-war orthodoxy. It's a pitiless business that sometimes catches Drug Warriors themselves in its snare. Such risks to job and reputation are the inevitable result of basing an entire health care field (i.e., 'mental health') on lies, "spin" and prohibition.
October 5, 2022
America could end inner-city killings and the war in Mexico overnight, meanwhile solving the so-called epidemic of depression in America, merely by re-legalizing the coca leaf. But instead, Drug Warriors demonize coca based on rare but well-documented cases of cocaine addiction, failing to realize that the coca leaf is not cocaine, any more than peach juice is prussic acid. This is the typical Drug Warrior M.O., as when Drug Warriors demonize opium based on cases of heroin addiction, failing to mention that they are two different drugs. This is just guilt by association. In any case, we never hear talk of educating substance users, only about throwing them in jail.
But then there's a lot of money on the line here. In the 1800s, some counties in England did pretty much without doctors because every household had laudanum on hand for sleepless nights, colds and bouts of depression (see Paul Johnson's "The Birth of the Modern"). But that's a status quo that capitalism could never live with. Imagine, all those folks who could be insured and doctored and "billed up the wazoo" for conditions that they were currently treating with Mother Nature's medicine! Capitalism made a Drug War inevitable, because there was no way that the well-to-do were going to pass up their chance to earn billions, even at the cost of turning the world into one big healthcare state. From these considerations we can conclude two things: 1) That capitalism requires a Drug War to exist, and 2) that a war on drugs naturally entails the creation of a healthcare state, backed by the government in terms of loans, rules and investments, etc.
ME: "What are you gonna give me for my depression, doc? MDMA? Laughing gas? Occasional opium smoking? Chewing of the coca leaf?" DOC: "No, I thought we'd fry your brain with shock therapy instead."
Until we legalize ALL psychoactive drugs, there will be no such thing as an addiction expert. In the meantime, it's insulting to be told by neuroscience that I'm an addictive type. It's pathologizing my just indignation at psychiatry's niggardly pharmacopoeia.
We don't need people to get "clean." We need people to start living a fulfilling life. The two things are different.
Until we get rid of all these obstacles to safe and informed use, it's presumptuous to explain problematic drug use with theories about addiction. Drug warriors are rigging the deck in favor of problematic use. They refuse to even TEACH non-problematic use.
5% of proceeds from the sale of the above product will go toward getting Brian a decent haircut for once. Honestly. 9% will go toward shoes. 50% will go toward miscellaneous. 9% of the remainder will go toward relaxation, which could encompass anything from a spin around town to an outdoor barbecue at Brian's brother's house in Stanardsville (both gas and the ice-cream cake that Brian usually supplies).
You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at abolishthedea.com. Brian is the founder of The Drug War Gift Shop, where artists can feature and sell their protest artwork online. He has also written for Sociodelic and is the author of The Drug War Comic Book, which contains 150 political cartoons illustrating some of the seemingly endless problems with the war on drugs -- many of which only Brian seems to have noticed, by the way, judging by the recycled pieties that pass for analysis these days when it comes to "drugs." That's not surprising, considering the fact that the category of "drugs" is a political category, not a medical or scientific one.
A "drug," as the world defines the term today, is "a substance that has no good uses for anyone, ever, at any time, under any circumstances" -- and, of course, there are no substances of that kind: even cyanide and the deadly botox toxin have positive uses: a war on drugs is therefore unscientific at heart, to the point that it truly qualifies as a superstition, one in which we turn inanimate substances into boogie-men and scapegoats for all our social problems.
The Drug War is, in fact, the philosophical problem par excellence of our time, premised as it is on a raft of faulty assumptions (notwithstanding the fact that most philosophers today pretend as if the drug war does not exist). It is a war against the poor, against minorities, against religion, against science, against the elderly, against the depressed, against those in pain, against children in hospice care, and against philosophy itself. It outlaws substances that have inspired entire religions, Nazifies the English language and militarizes police forces nationwide.
It bans the substances that inspired William James' ideas about human consciousness and the nature of ultimate reality. In short, it causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, meanwhile violating the Natural Law upon which Thomas Jefferson founded America. (Surely, Jefferson was rolling over in his grave when Ronald Reagan's DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated the founding father's poppy plants.)
If you believe in freedom and democracy, in America and around the world, please stay tuned for more philosophically oriented broadsides against the outrageous war on godsend medicines, AKA the war on drugs.
PS The drug war has not failed: to the contrary, it has succeeded, insofar as its ultimate goal was to militarize police forces around the world and help authorities to ruthlessly eliminate those who stand in the way of global capitalism. For more, see Drug War Capitalism by Dawn Paley. Oh, and did I mention that most Drug Warriors these days would never get elected were it not for the Drug War itself, which threw hundreds of thousands of their political opposition in jail? Trump was right for the wrong reasons: elections are being stolen in America, but the number-one example of that fact is his own narrow victory in 2016, which could never have happened without the existence of laws that were specifically written to keep Blacks and minorities from voting. The Drug War, in short, is a cancer on the body politic.
Rather than apologetically decriminalizing selected plants, we should be demanding the immediate restoration of Natural Law, according to which "The earth, and all that is therein, is given to men for the support and comfort of their being." (John Locke)
Andrew, Christopher "The Secret World: A History of Intelligence" 2019 Yale University Press
Aurelius, Marcus "Meditations" 2021 East India Publishing Company