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How the Drug War turned me into an eternal patient

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher




August 18, 2020

f I had my life to live over again, I would never set foot in a psychiatrist's office, at least not while a Drug War was in effect. Why? Because the Drug War has outlawed every mood medicine except those that are the most addictive of all: namely, modern antidepressants and benzodiazepines. So if you go to a psychiatrist's office, chances are you're going to be started on a "regimen" of highly addictive medications that will turn you into a patient for life. Even as I write this, 1 in 8 American men and 1 in 4 American women are addicted to Big Pharma meds.

I once naively thought that the whole point of psychotherapy was to make the patient self-sufficient and to empower them to face life on their own. But I have learned the hard way, after 40 years of addiction to prescription meds, that modern psychiatry does not seek to empower patients at all. In fact, it does the exact opposite, by turning them into patients for life, who must visit a shrink every 3 to 6 months of their lives in order to qualify for yet another prescription of the addictive pills on which they were started. What could be more demoralizing than this constant expensive and time-consuming reminder that one is an eternal patient, living life as a ward of the healthcare state?

If the meds in question were simply addictive, that would be bad enough, but the DEA requires that I see my doctor every three to six months to have him or her officially determine that I have the right to continue taking these expensive and ineffective meds - and I say "ineffective" advisedly, because Big Pharma PR to the contrary, the Effexor I'm taking does not fight depression. At best it seems to dull the mind to make one slightly less worried about that depression. And yet the DEA thinks that I can't be trusted after 40 long years to use these medicines wisely without constant surveillance by the medical establishment? What a laugh, considering that I myself would be the first to renounce these drugs were any of the hundreds of natural alternative medicines actually legal.

Why is the DEA so pathologically worried about drug misuse, even when the drug in question is legal and does not provide the user with anything approaching a good time? It's because the Drug War is all about superstitiously turning psychoactive substances into giant bugaboos, all-purpose scapegoats, holding them responsible for everything good and bad in the world. In the past (that is before 1914), we knew that substances were amoral and that their proper use depended solely on context. Society's goal was to educate the citizen about making wise decisions. In the superstitious Drug War era, we label substances themselves as bad, making the tyrannous claim that citizens cannot be trusted with them, that the government must either outlaw psychoactive substances or watch like a hawk as its citizens use such substances under the closest bureaucratic scrutiny possible.

Of course, if the legal dope that I was taking actually worked - like the cocaine with which Sigmund Freud overcame his own depression or the opium that helped Benjamin Franklin get through the rainy days -- I might not mind the regular visits to the behavioral health clinic to jump through the required hoops. But it's a double insult to be subjected to this demoralizing indignity for the purpose of receiving a prescription that one does not even want, to be catechized about one's mental health by a constantly changing roster of interns who might be half my age at most.

Perhaps someday I'll have the nerve to truthfully answer the shrink's obligatory question about suicide:

Q: Have you ever thought about taking your own life?

A: Only when I think about the fact that the Drug War has turned me into an eternal patient.


Author's Follow-up: September 30, 2022



There are plenty of scientific reasons to think that SSRIs don't work (see the works of Robert Whitaker, Irving Kirsch and Julie Holland), but there is a philosophic reason that they do not work as well. Before you can claim that a drug cures an illness, you have to tell me how you define the word "cure." I want to live large like a friend of Jack Kerouac, "The ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn burn like fabulous yellow roman candles." I will consider my depression "cured" when I am able to live life like that. But that is not Big Pharma's definition of "cure." Their definition of "cure" is to make me accept the status quo, by essentially tranquilizing me -- not increasing sensations but numbing them.

That is not curing my depression, that is making me a good consumer in a capitalist society, which was never my goal.




Next essay: What Obama got wrong about drugs
Previous essay: How Cocaine could have helped me

More Essays Here


PSYCHIATRY AND THE DRUG WAR

We don't need people to get "clean." We need people to start living a fulfilling life. The two things are different.
"I can take this drug that inspires me and makes me compassionate and teaches me to love nature in its byzantine complexity, or I can take Prozac which makes me unable to cry at my parents' funeral. Hmm. Which shall it be?" Only a mad person in a mad world would choose SSRIs.
The search for SSRIs has always been based on a flawed materialist premise that human consciousness is nothing but a mix of brain chemicals and so depression can be treated medically like any other physical condition.
Imagine the Vedic people shortly after they have discovered soma. Everyone's ecstatic -- except for one oddball. "I'm not sure about these experiences," says he. "I think we need to start dissecting the brains of our departed adherents to see what's REALLY going on in there."
PSYCHOLOGY AND THE DRUG WAR

Did the Vedic People have a substance disorder because they wanted to drink enough soma to see religious realities?
No more than Jimi Hendrix had a substance disorder because he wanted to play his guitar with "total abandon." Drug warriors made sure he could not do that safely and then blamed his downfall on "drugs."
The search for SSRIs has always been based on a flawed materialist premise that human consciousness is nothing but a mix of brain chemicals and so depression can be treated medically like any other physical condition.
In a sane world, we'd package laughing gas for safe use and give it to the suicidal -- saying, "Use before attempting to kill yourself." But drug warriors would rather have suicide than drug use.
He'd probably then say: "In fact, we'd better outlaw this substance for now until we understand its biochemical mechanisms of action. We should follow the science, after all."

essays about
PSYCHIATRY AND THE DRUG WAR

America's Puritan Obsession with Sobriety
America's biggest drug pusher: The American Psychiatric Association:
Christian Science Rehab
Depressed? Here's why.
Electroshock Therapy and the Drug War
How Psychiatry and the Drug War turned me into an eternal patient
In Praise of Doctor Feelgood
In praise of doctor hopping
MDMA for Psychotherapy
Replacing Psychiatry with Pharmacologically Savvy Shamanism
The Drug War and Electroshock Therapy
The Myth of the Addictive Personality
The Prozac Code
Time to Replace Psychiatrists with Shamans
Doctor Feel Bad
Psychedelics and Depression
Drug Use as Self-Medication
This is your brain on Effexor
Depression is real, says the APA, and they should know: they cause it!
The Mental Health Survey that psychiatrists don't want you to take
The Depressing Truth About SSRIs
Don't Worry, Be Satisfied
America's Great Anti-Depressant Scam
The Origins of Modern Psychiatry
Modern Addiction Treatment as Puritan Indoctrination
Why Rick Doblin is Ghosting Me
Lord Save us from 'Real' Cures
Disease Mongering in the age of the drug war
The War on Drugs and the Psychiatric Pill Mill
What Jim Hogshire Got Wrong about Drugs
Tapering for Jesus
America's Anti-scientific Standards for Psychotherapeutic Medicine
The Whistle Blower who NOBODY wants to hear
It's the Psychedelics, Stupid!
So, you're thinking about starting on an SSRI...

essays about
PSYCHOLOGY AND THE DRUG WAR

The Naive Psychology of the Drug War
Psychedelics and Depression
Drug Use as Self-Medication
Suicide and the Drug War
The Handicapped NEED Crutches
Obama's Unscientific BRAIN Initiative
Assisted Suicide and the War on Drugs
Lord Save us from 'Real' Cures
Disease Mongering in the age of the drug war
Why America is Hung Up on Drugs
The Therapeutic Value of Anticipation
It's the Psychedelics, Stupid!
Illegal Drugs and the Imp of the Perverse



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You have been reading an article entitled, How the Drug War turned me into an eternal patient published on August 18, 2020 on AbolishTheDEA.com. 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 abolishTheDEA.com. (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)