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December 22, 2018

Speaking Truth to Big Pharma

by Ballard Quass

an open letter to the Heffter Research Institute


forbidden plants

In the book Psychedelic Medicine, Dr. Richard Louis Miller refers to a lack of support for psychedelic medicines, especially LSD, concluding that there are only a handful of specialists who are pursuing the work and that the public, especially in Britain, are largely indifferent to the whole topic.

In my opinion, this indifference exists only because no one has yet attempted to connect the dots between the outlawing of psychedelic therapy and the current sad state of depression therapy in America, namely that addictive and starkly inadequate solution of Big Pharma known as SSRIs and SNRIs. If this connection were understood by the depressed public, I imagine they would be plenty motivated to support change.

The dots may be connected as follows:

Psychedelic therapy showed great promise for the depressed and it's non-addictive.

The government banned that therapy half a century ago.

As a result, the depressed have been shunted off onto addictive medicines that simply do not work as claimed, drugs that actually create the chemical imbalance that they purport to fix. These ineffective medicines are expensive, must be taken daily and turn the pill-taker into an eternal patient, since they have to visit a psychiatrist every 3 months of their life in order to be catechized about their mental health. This is the exact opposite of an empowering therapy. Speaking personally, I consider it highly demoralizing (a fact that I've never heard psychiatrists recognize, let alone regret).

I personally have been a guinea pig for Big Pharma for the last 50 years, and their nostrums have not worked. Worse yet, they have conduced to anhedonia, a kind of emotional flat-lining - making life bearable, perhaps, but only by removing highs and lows. What's more, my particular "medicine," Effexor, is so addictive (productive of chemical dependence, if you prefer) that my own shrink tells me not to bother trying to get off it! He says that an NIH study shows a 95% recidivism rate for those who try.

I am plenty upset about this. That's why I'm dumbfounded and frustrated to read Miller's no-doubt-correct observation that there is little public interest in changing the status quo. Don't the depressed millions see what's going on? Apparently not. Not yet anyway. And this must change if organizations such as Heffter want to be in the mainstream and reap monetary donations accordingly.

The current tendency of psychedelic advocates (Like Lauren Slater in Blue Dreams) is to write as if psychedelics are just another way to approach the problem of depression and are in no way meant to take the place of Big Pharma's addictive meds. (Slater is so "soft" on psychiatry's failings that she even supports shock therapy - a vicious therapy that only becomes a default option thanks to America's anti-scientific outlawing of psychoactive plants.)

This failure to "take on" Big Pharma also results in the psychedelic movement "reckoning without its host," at least when it comes to depression therapy. Thus we see that many otherwise exciting clinical trials are completely off-limits to those taking SSRIs and SNRIs. This means that the victims of the Drug War—the vast majority of the depressed—are not even eligible for the cures being brought forward by the psychedelic movement. And yet this same movement wrings its hands about a lack of funding?

How can one expect funding from a demographic for whom one's research is essentially useless? More than 1 in 8 Americans are addicted to SSRIs and SNRIs (1 in 4 women, according to psychiatrist Julie Holland). They are the folks you need to reach, not the lucky few who so far have had little or no contact with such disempowering poisons.

If the psychedelic movement really wants to excite the depressed layperson, they will work to develop a therapy that simultaneously eases depression while weaning a patient off of their SSRI. This would involve, in broad strokes, a ratcheting up of psychedelic doses for the patient as SSRI intake is decreased in proportion. Your researchers already have one guinea pig for use in trialing such a therapy: namely myself.

Creating a successful movement for psychedelic therapy requires creating a movement for the overthrow of the addictive Big Pharma status quo. Until professionals, authors and organizations realize this and change their rhetoric accordingly, a truly motivated fan club of psychedelic therapy will remain limited to the handful of forward-thinking individuals who were cited by Miller in "Psychedelic Medicine."


PS This is essentially the reason why I started my website, AbolishTheDEA.com, to connect the dots between the Drug War and the depression crisis in America. Part of that task is to point out the inconvenient truth that Big Pharma's cures - made necessary only thanks to the existence of that Drug War -- are expensive, addictive - and bad for morale, since they turn the depressed into eternal patients.







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Are you wondering why I stopped you? Well, aside from the fact that you're Black, of course. No, seriously, seriously! (Sorry, my mom always said I should have been a comedian.) I stopped you to give you a warning. No, not about your dodgy right headlight (tho' you really should get that fixed). I wanted to warn you that this website is all about criticizing the willful ignorance of society when it comes to so-called "drugs." It is not -- I repeat NOT -- about encouraging either "drug use" or the LACK of "drug use." Ya feel me? It's about encouraging EDUCATION about substances rather than DRUG WARRIOR DEMONIZATION of substances.

Got it? Okay, repeat after me, then: THIS WEBSITE IS ABOUT ENCOURAGING EDUCATION ABOUT SUBSTANCES RATHER THAN DRUG WARRIOR DEMONIZATION OF SUBSTANCES!!!

So if you're contemplating using anything from table salt to heroin, you've come to the wrong site. The author is neither a doctor nor a pharmacologist. This is a philosophical website, not a practical website. You dig me? You need to study up on any and all substances using reliable sources: don't get your medical opinions about specific substances from a philosophy website like this one, for Peter's almighty sake! Ya feel me? Is the copper right or is the copper right?

Now, be on your way -- unless, of course, you're Black, in which case, get out of the car this instant and put your hands on the top of my vehicle! Move! Move! Move! Papa's gonna rough you up a bit. (Tee-hee.)

Just kidding. I really should have been a stand-up comedian, you know.

And get that right headlight looked at, ya numbskull!

Whoo-hoo!





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