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It's the Psychedelics, Stupid!

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher




October 13, 2019

elcome to the DEA Lounge!

[laugh]

How many of you have read Consciousness Medicine, by Francoise Bourzat? Let's see a show of hands.



Stay seated, everyone, I still haven't counted the folks in the back. Raise those hands up, high.

OK, let me see, now. 25, carry the one... It looks like... zero people have read that book.




Well, in fairness, it is pretty new.




It's all about the way that psychedelic medicines can heal psychological conditions.





Or rather, that's what it SHOULD be about. Unfortunately, Francoise keeps hawking the benefits of deep breathing and drum therapy, et cetera. Which I find a little off-putting, frankly.



Just like Stanislav Grof, when he came out with HIS breathing routine. I'd rather these folks stay focused on the value of psychedelic therapy rather than to start promoting second-best cures that simply don't work for the vast majority of cases.



Hey, listen, folks, been there done that, with every manner of self-help approach you can imagine. How many unfulfilled lifetimes do I have to live before self-help mavens get the message: "It's the drugs, stupid!"




You know what I'm saying? Time for some real politik in treating what ails me.



I mean, Freud did not turn to psychotherapy (let alone to self-help fads) to help him get through life successfully. Like it or not, he turned to cocaine and theory be damned. Freud was not going to sacrifice his own self-fulfillment by becoming a guinea pig to psychology's unproven "cures." And as long as modern psychology does not even acknowledge, let alone come to terms with, Freud's therapeutic use of cocaine, we are never, for all our scientific pretensions, going to understand human motivation. Instead, we'll live in a fairy land where the effects of drugs are established for psychologists, not by proof, but by strong political prejudices that insist, via law, on what the truth SHOULD BE, that fairy land in which we pretend that substance use is ALWAYS substance abuse. (The DEA lives by this absurdity, for when they say that a drug is subject to abuse, they mean simply that it might be obtained without a prescription -- which is a tautological definition if there ever was one, since an illegal drug CAN'T be obtained with a prescription. But it helps work the Drug Warriors up into a frenzy to tell them that drug X is subject to abuse, so they need not know the philosophically shabby way in which that definition was derived.)





But, Francoise, bless her, writes as if psychedelic therapy is just one of many helpful strategies in life. The unfortunate corollary of this opinion is that the outlawing of such therapy is no big deal -- since cures for depression and related psychological problems are a dime a dozen, to be easily found in the self-help section of any bookstore or library.





But as a veteran depressive, I would have zero interest in the psychedelic renaissance if it held no greater transformative promise than that of breath work or drum therapy. I mean, how many unfulfilled lifetimes do I have to live in order to prove to the fad peddlers that their nostrums don't work in the long run? And why not? Because they presuppose the incentive and follow-through and self-insight that a successful depression therapy should generate rather than take for granted.




Psychedelics alone among drug therapies offers the possibility of true change based on self-insight.


Am I right or am I right?





My name is Ballard Quass and I'll be here lambasting the Drug War until the government thinks up a way to outlaw free speech.




Which can't be far off, by the way, given that they've already had the chutzpah to criminalize the plants and fungi that grow at our very feet! I mean, how anti-scientific, fascistic, and downright childish is that? What? I'm just sayin'!









Author's Follow-up: May 17, 2024

picture of clock metaphorically suggesting a follow-up


It will be argued that Freud eventually soured on cocaine, but that is a little like sour grapes. He was prolific for a reason, and those who argue that cocaine had no role in that great output are living in the ideological fairyland of the Drug Warrior. In this way, Freud was like those pop stars who rise above their insecurity with the help of drugs, then, after achieving fame by help of a virtuous circle (for success breeds success), they publish morally posturing books about their struggles to get off those drugs after said drugs have helped them become secure both financially and emotionally speaking (for success breeds self-confidence).

Thus Americans take home the fairytale message that drugs are evil -- whereas the real message to an unbiased mind would be that drugs have to be used wisely, such that dependence is voluntary and can be removed with relative ease thanks to the legalization of all sorts of medicines that could help a drug user fight drugs with drugs. But for now, the idea of fighting drugs with drugs is so foreign to the kneejerk Christian Science metaphysic of the Drug Warriors that they simply never even think of that possibility, believing instead that the goal of all "addiction" therapy is to get the user off ALL drugs -- with the hypocritical exception of drugs like coffee and SSRIs, of course.

That said, I think that drum therapy and breathing exercises have their place and can surely "work" to varying extents in cases where the motivation is already there. It is only when such therapies are proffered as an equally good alternative to "drugs" that I cry foul. In fact, that's my problem with the whole self-help movement. It owes its very existence as a genre to the Drug War, which outlawed all REAL self-help. And yet almost zero self-help authors take the Drug War to task, or even mention it, in their books. The honest author would say: "Of course, psychoactive drugs could help you tremendously, but since they are outlawed, I have some second-best ideas that you might wish to try."




Next essay: Addicted to Christianity
Previous essay: Thought Crimes Blotter

More Essays Here




Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

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.
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.
Psychiatrists keep flipping the script. When it became clear that SSRIs caused dependence, instead of apologizing, they told us we need to keep taking our meds. Now they even claim that criticizing SSRIs is wrong. This is anti-intellectual madness.
To put it another way: in a sane world, we would learn to strategically fight drugs with drugs.
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.
It's "convenient" for scientists that their "REAL" cures happen to be the ones that racist politicians will allow. Scientists thus normalize prohibition by pretending that outlawed substances have no therapeutic value. It's materialism collaborating with the drug war.
Alcohol makes me sleepy. But NOT coca wine. The wine gives you an upbeat feeling of controlled energy, without the jitters of coffee and without the fury of steroids. It increases rather than dulls mental focus.
"Drugs" is imperialist terminology. In the smug self-righteousness of those who use it, I hear Columbus's disdain for the shroom use of the Taino people and the Spanish disdain for the coca use of the Peruvian Indians.
By reading "Drug Warriors and Their Prey," I begin to understand why I encounter a wall of silence when I write to authors and professors on the subject of "drugs." The mere fact that the drug war inspires such self-censorship should be grounds for its immediate termination.
The goal of drug-law reform should be to outlaw prohibition. Anything short of that, and our basic rights will always be subject to veto by fearmongers. Outlawing prohibition would restore the Natural Law of Jefferson, which the DEA scorned in 1987 with its raid on Monticello.
More Tweets


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How Psychiatry and the Drug War turned me into an eternal patient
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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
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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
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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
How the Drug War turned me into an eternal patient
The Therapeutic Value of Anticipation
Illegal Drugs and the Imp of the Perverse



front cover of Drug War Comic Book

Buy the Drug War Comic Book by the Drug War Philosopher Brian Quass, featuring 150 hilarious op-ed pics about America's disgraceful war on Americans



You have been reading an article entitled, It's the Psychedelics, Stupid! published on October 13, 2019 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)