Essay date: March 21, 2023

Night of the Addicted Americans

Brought to you by America's disgraceful war on Mother Nature's medicine.  Must be over 13 or accompanied by an Big Pharma addict.

f 40 years' of experience means anything, DJ Nutt and the entire field of psychiatry are wrong. Antidepressants have been a HUGE mistake. They have rendered me personally less interesting and tired me out, making me absolutely unable to muster the enthusiasm of my youth. They have robbed me of my creativity. They have stolen my soul. If you came up behind me and shouted boo, there would be a delayed response. Spontaneity has become increasingly foreign to me over the decades of socially sanctioned pill popping.

Imagine what it says about America that 1 in 4 of its population needs some kind of tranquilizing medicine in order to be able to conform peaceably to the materialist status quo.

Antidepressants combined with prohibition is no way to treat depression: it is a way to manufacture depression, by denying us hundreds of godsends that could cheer us up and inspire us, under the harebrained and hypocritical theory that any drug which is potentially addictive must be avoided entirely - except, of course, when they're created by Big Pharma, in which case it becomes our moral duty to take them every day of our lives.

How has America arrived at this huge pharmacological dystopia, one so big that it is invisible to modern pundits?

The American religion is scientism, and so we fell for the argument that Big Pharma was going to treat all human sadness scientifically.

What a coup for conservatives: their natural enemies were no longer getting together to fight corporate power and income disparity: they were getting together instead to compare medicine lists and see "who's on what" and how their latest Big Pharma tranquilizers were working viz. their previous prescriptions.

If I had it to do again, I would rather die than be "started on antidepressants." I would go to the black market and take my chances.

This is why I hate the phrase "treatment resistant depression," because it implies that Big Pharma has conquered depression - it's just that some folks are resistant to the panacea just as some folks are allergic to milk.


If Big Pharma has conquered sadness, it is only because they have rendered Americans impervious to both happiness AND sadness. Big Pharma has merely made us able to tolerate the materialist status quo that we otherwise might have been so gauche as to deride and scorn.

Author's Follow-up: March 21, 2023

It's hard to write honestly about the Drug War -- almost nobody does because it requires calling out Big Pharma drugs that are used by at least 25% of Americans. So if one is interested in gaining "followers," they're tempted to avoid the topic entirely. The problem is that if everyone avoids the topic, things will never change.

We must not evaluate antidepressants in the abstract, asking merely "Do they make sense as therapy?" but rather "Do they make sense given the fact that the Drug War outlaws almost all psychoactive medicines?" I submit that no one in their right mind would take antidepressants (and certainly no one in their right mind SHOULD take antidepressants) if psychoactive medicines were legal. The former drugs will make you a patient for life and tranquilize you, while the latter drugs will inspire you and many of them are not even habit forming.

Moreover, even if they're habit-forming, so what? They still would not turn you into an eternal patient, with all the expense and stigma that represents. Moreover, psychiatry has no problem with making lifetime drug users with antidepressants: the fact that they disapprove of all other dependence-causing psychoactive medicine is a philosophical and business call, not a scientific one. They value a subdued patient -- but that is not my goal in life: my goal is to thrive in life.

Next essay: The Criminalization of Nitrous Oxide is No Laughing Matter
Previous essay: Science Set Free... NOT!

More Essays Here

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Open Letter to Addiction Specialist Gabriel Maté
Sherlock Holmes versus Gabriel Maté
Why Louis Theroux is Clueless about Addiction and Alcoholism
In the Realm of Hungry Drug Warriors
Modern Addiction Treatment as Puritan Indoctrination
How the Drug War Turns the Withdrawal Process into a Morality Tale
The aesthetic difference between addiction and chemical dependency

old time radio playing Drug War comedy sketches

You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at 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.

Brian Quass
The Drug War Philosopher

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)

Selected Bibliography

  • Bandow, Doug "From Fighting The Drug War To Protecting The Right To Use Drugs"2018
  • Barrett, Damon "Children of the Drug War: Perspectives on the Impact of Drug Polices on Young People"2011 IDEBATE Press
  • Bilton, Anton "DMT Entity Encounters: Dialogues on the Spirit Molecule"2021 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Boullosa , Carmen "A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the 'Mexican Drug War'"2016 OR Books
  • Brereton, William "The Truth about Opium / Being a Refutation of the Fallacies of the Anti-Opium Society and a Defence of the Indo-China Opium Trade"2017 Anna Ruggieri
  • Burns, Eric "1920: The year that made the decade roar"2015 Pegasus Books
  • Carpenter, Ted Galen "The Fire Next Door: Mexico's Drug Violence and the Danger to America"2012 Cato Institute
  • Chesterton, GK "Saint Thomas Acquinas"2014 BookBaby
  • Filan, Kenaz "The Power of the Poppy: Harnessing Nature's Most Dangerous Plant Ally"2011 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Griffiths, William "Psilocybin: A Trip into the World of Magic Mushrooms"2021 William Griffiths
  • Hofmann, Albert "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications"2005 Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Irwin-Rogers, Keir "Illicit Drug Markets, Consumer Capitalism and the Rise of Social Media: A Toxic Trap for Young People"2019
  • James, William "The Varieties of Religious Experience"1902 Philosophical Library
  • Mariani, Angelo "Coca and its Therapeutic Application, Third Edition"1896
  • Mortimer MD, W. Golden "Coca: Divine Plant of the Incas"2017 Ronin Publishing
  • Partridge, Chiristopher "Alistair Crowley on Drugs"2021 uploaded by Misael Hernandez
  • Rudgley, Richard "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances"2014 Macmillan Publishers
  • Shulgin, Alexander "PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story"1991 Transform Press
  • Shulgin, Alexander "The Nature of Drugs Vol. 1: History, Pharmacology, and Social Impact"2021 Transform Press
  • Smith, Wolfgang "Cosmos and Transcendence: Breaking Through the Barrier of Scientistic Belief"0
  • Smith, Wolfgang "Physics: A Science in Quest of an Ontology"2022
  • St John, Graham "Mystery School in Hyperspace: A Cultural History of DMT"2021
  • Szasz, Thomas "Interview With Thomas Szasz: by Randall C. Wyatt"0
  • Wedel, Janine "Unaccountable: How the Establishment Corrupted Our Finances, Freedom and Politics and Created an Outsider Class"2014 Pegasus Books
  • Weil, Andrew "From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs"2004 Open Road Integrated Media
  • Site and its contents copyright 2023, by Brian B. Quass, the drug war philosopher at For more information, contact Brian at