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Helping the Elderly with Drugs

Call for a new paradigm and protocol

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

June 23, 2023

y 96-year-old mother who suffers from progressive dementia was in quite "a state" last night at the assisted living complex. It was difficult to figure out what the problem was, or if there even was a problem, objectively speaking, especially since I was speaking with her via my computer screen and so was not actually in the room with her. She would point, first to her TV screen and then at the nearby hallway, complaining (as far as I could tell) of a group of conspiring children (the young caretakers on site?) who were foiling her in her attempt to do something: perhaps to leave the building in search of her parents, or perhaps merely to watch TV undisturbed, I could not tell precisely. The only thing that I knew for certain was that she was quite "worked up" and that there was very little that I could do or say to help her.

I say there was very little that I could do. But upon looking back on this incident this morning, I realize a still greater problem: that there is very little that modern medicine can do, either. When we call a doctor in on such cases, we expect a pep talk for the patient and perhaps the prescription of a one-size-fits-all cure for extreme anxiety, which today means nothing more than a tranquilizer. We do not really want to make the patient feel good - that would be giving her "drugs." We want them to be quiet and peaceable. This has been the leitmotif of psychiatry through the 20th century and beyond: a search for treatments and drugs that pacify the patient rather than inspire them. That is why Antonio Moniz won a Nobel Prize for creating the protocol of electroshock therapy: not because it inspired patients or made them feel good, but because it quieted them down so that they caused less trouble for their overseers. Lithium, Thorazine, enemas and ice baths: all were used with the same goal in view: to render the patients placid, either by using these treatments or by merely threatening their use. Nor have the goals of psychiatry changed much over the years. Whatever one says about SSRIs today, no one has accused them of making users leap for joy and see the world in a new and brighter way.

But that's what my mother really needed last night.

The funny thing is, however, I cannot imagine a doctor administering this kind of medicine. Today's doctor qua doctor is a materialist who wants to "really" fix something and it's beneath their dignity merely to make their patients laugh. "Any drug dealer could do that, after all," they would sniff.

But that's the whole point: any drug dealer COULD do that, and doctors won't. So much the worse for doctors.

The fact is that my mother did not need a doctor last night in any case. By assigning doctors to such cases we are medicalizing and pathologizing an entirely natural manifestation of spiritual angst. That's not a field in which doctors have any special insight. My mother did not need a doctor looking down at her from the icy realm of professional objectivity. She needed an empathic individual, albeit one who is trained in psycho-pharmacology from a scientific and a sociocultural point of view. She needed a friend who is ready and authorized to use ANY SUBSTANCE IN THE WORLD that can help her deal with her extreme angst and confusion by elating and inspiring her! (Any substance in the world - imagine that!) And drugs for this purpose abound, starting with MDMA and the hundreds of related substances synthesized by Alexander Shulgin.

The empath I envision would listen to my mothers concerns while hugging her and drinking tea with her, which in this case would contain the medicines that the empath deemed useful under the circumstances for calming and clearing the sufferer's mind of worry. Nor would these medicines be administered "on the sly" but rather with the patient's full knowledge that they are receiving a medicine to help them process their current situation -- not just their immediate physical situation, such as one's residency in a care home, but also their overall situation in the grand scheme of things, as a unique human being on planet earth with connections to the world around them. The goal? Make them happy with simply sitting and talking about their situation and concerns with this newly minted shamanic "professional" by their side, perhaps while leafing through a scrapbook of old photographs from the sufferer's past.

Just imagine the enormous amount of psychological suffering that is going on right now in care homes and assisted living facilities around the world, all because we have been taught from grade school that we should hate drugs rather than use them for the benefit of humankind. If we really care about preventing suffering, then this attitude must change. We must consider psychoactive medicines as our friends, not our enemies. When that day comes, I hope that the above suggestions will provide at least a hint of a protocol that can be used to leverage the power of psychoactive medicine for the elderly.

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Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

Richard Evans Schultes seems to have originated the harebrained idea (since used by the US Supreme Court to suppress new religions) that you have no right to use drugs in a religious ritual if you did not grow up in a society that had such practices. What tyrannical idiocy!
The benefits of entheogens read like the ultimate wish-list for psychiatrists. It's a shame that so many of them are still mounting a rear guard action to defend their psychiatric pill mill -- which demoralizes clients by turning them into lifetime patients.
The drug war tells us that certain drugs have no potential uses and then turns that into a self-fulfilling prophecy by outlawing these drugs. This is insanely anti-scientific and anti-progress. We should never give up on looking for positive uses for ANY substance.
If drug war logic made sense, we would outlaw endless things in addition to drugs. Because the drug war says that it's all worth it if we can save just one life -- which is generally the life of a white suburban young person, btw.
Materialist scientists are drug war collaborators. They are more than happy to have their fight against idealism rigged by drug law, which outlaws precisely those substances whose use serves to cast their materialism into question.
Materialist puritans do not want to create any drug that elates. So they go on a fool's errand to find reductionist cures for "depression itself," as if the vast array of human sadness could (or should) be treated with a one-size-fits-all readjustment of brain chemicals.
I agree that Big Pharma drugs have wrought disaster when used in psychotherapy -- but it is common sense that non-Big Pharma drugs that elate could be used to prevent suicide and obviate the need for ECT.
Materialist scientists cannot triumph over addiction because their reductive focus blinds them to the obvious: namely, that drugs which cheer us up ACTUALLY DO cheer us up. Hence they keep looking for REAL cures while folks kill themselves for want of laughing gas and MDMA.
We need a scheduling system for psychoactive drugs as much as we need a scheduling system for sports activities: i.e. NOT AT ALL. Some sports are VERY dangerous, but we do not outlaw them because we know that there are benefits both to sports and to freedom in general.
We need a few brave folk to "act up" by shouting "It's the drug war!" whenever folks are discussing Mexican violence or inner city shootings. The media treat both topics as if the violence is inexplicable! We can't learn from mistakes if we're in denial.
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Elderly Victims of Drug War Ideology

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You have been reading an article entitled, Helping the Elderly with Drugs: Call for a new paradigm and protocol, published on June 23, 2023 on For more information about America's disgraceful drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-scientific, anti-mother nature, imperialistic, the establishment of the Christian Science religion, a violation of the natural law upon which America was founded, and a childish and counterproductive way of looking at the world, one which causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, visit the drug war philosopher, at (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)