How the Drug War Turns the Withdrawal Process into a Morality Tale
have been on Effexor for 30 years now and am as depressed as ever -- indeed, if truth be told, I'm more depressed than ever. Thanks for nothing, Big Pharma. Over the last five years, I've learned about the benefits of psychedelics to help my depression, and I was excited about the possibility of using them to help me get off of SNRIs. I contacted the Heffter Group about this possibility and was told that I would have to "get off" SNRIs before participating in any studies. It turns out my SNRI mucks about with my serotonin levels such that psychedelic use may have little effect for me. Thanks again, Big Pharma.
I then looked into getting off of my SNRI, but was astounded to find that almost no doctors (at least no doctor on record) would do this for me in a practical way, that is by upping the dose of an alternative medicine (say Xanax, Adderall or Ritalin) while decreasing the dose of my SNRI. Instead, the doctors all wanted me to spend a year or more going through a presumably excruciating period of "tapering," and only after I was completely "off" the SNRI would I then begin receiving alternative medicine.
This is madness. It puts the convenience of the doctor light-years ahead of the needs of the client. If I were going to a "drug dealer" for my medications, he or she would never insist on such a strategy.
I looked up one site on this subject, and the webmaster piously writes: "You won't like to hear this, but you will have to taper, taper, taper" with the obvious implication being that you could receive no other medication at the time as a replacement. The goal is a hypocritically defined sobriety, rather than the client's self-actualization, as he or she defines that term.
No doubt there are benefits for this tapering approach: it's slightly less dangerous and the doctor can more clearly determine which drugs are causing which symptoms. But these considerations pale in comparison to the downsides that the patients must suffer thanks to such an approach. They have to put their emotionally balanced lives on hold, which most can literally not afford to do. What's more, NMIH studies show the recidivism rate for SNRIs to be so high that it is folly to think of quitting them without simultaneously replacing them with another pharmacologically assisted approach.
This mindset of piously telling the client to "taper" is so anti-patient that it can only be successfully explained with reference to the Christian Science ideology of the Drug War, which puts a higher premium on sobriety in the abstract than on the attainment of self-actualization, as the client defines that term.
This is why doctor hopping is a moral duty in the age of the Drug War, because someone like myself, who does not believe that drugs are bad in and of themselves, must search for a doctor who shares my viewpoint, as opposed to the many doctors who have unconsciously adopted the Christian Science mindset of the Drug War in dealing with patients like myself. They're more than willing to sacrifice several years of my life to an unproductive time of emotionally wrenching "tapering," because they feel that's preferable to seamlessly moving me to yet another psychoactive "drug," even if the drug in question is legal. Why? Because they have internalized the Christian Science ideology of the Drug War, which tells them, "the less drugs, the better."
Yes, but better for whom? The doctor? Yes. The Christian Scientist? Yes. The patient? Not so much.
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