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Psychedelics and Depression

another open letter to Vincent

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher




November 27, 2022

incent is probably right: my responses did not directly address the Tweet that he had posted about Time magazine flaunting the wonders of psychedelics in fighting depression. Had I been a little less headstrong, I might have fashioned a more diplomatic response. But the Tweet in question suggested that the power of psychedelics to overcome depression was "BS," and I think it's far too early to draw such conclusions -- just as it may be far too early for Time to announce a psychedelic victory over depression.

But my support for the power of psychedelics in this regard must be seen in light of the new paradigm that I am calling for in treating mental conditions, one wherein a pharmacologically savvy empath combines talk therapy with the use of any and all substance or substances, at various doses, to elicit change according to 1) what is likely to work best for a given client and 2) what the client's goals are in undergoing shamanic treatment, again using any substance or substances available on God's green earth or in Humanity's white laboratories.

In other words, I picture a world full of Alexander Shulgins, the famous pharmacologist who tested over 200 psychoactive medicines in order to determine efficacy in improving the mental status of the user. There's a man who knew what the problem was with "drugs" -- it wasn't "drugs" themselves but "the overpowering of curiosity with greed," in other words the instinct to turn a buck off of such medicines.

He also knew how to test such substances wisely. He would start with miniscule doses and ratchet up while the experience continued to be enjoyable and/or potentially therapeutic. As for drugs frying the brain, he apparently never received that memo, since he lived a long life and died in the full possession of his faculties.

Because of Shulgin's pharmacological genius, the DEA let him be for the most part, but when folks began sending him drugs to test for purity, the DEA performed one of those highly orchestrated raids for which they're infamous and fined him $25,000, as if the last thing the DEA wants is for someone to use such drugs safely.

While I may come out of this virtual scrape looking like a loose cannon, I should say in my defense that I'm a chronic depressive who's gone 40 years without the ability to use the shrooms and other godsends that grow at my feet. The result: I've been hooked on mind-deadening Big Pharma meds for life. That's why I'm not in the mood to read what sounds to me like a categorical dismissal of the powers of psychedelics to help the depressed. There are plenty of case reports that say otherwise, from the detailed study of hundreds of psychedelic therapy cases by Stanislav Grof and James Fadiman, to the more recent research and treatment reports published by William Griffiths and William Richards.

Of course, I do not expect psychedelics to do the job by themselves. My openness to change will play a role, as will the advice and insights of my shaman. The chewing of the coca leaf and occasional relaxation with opium and laughing gas will also play their parts -- or rather they would play their parts in a sane world, a world wherein psychology hasn't been coopted by materialism and thereby rendered blind to the common sense therapeutic power of elation and anticipation.

For more on this, see my essays on the naive psychology of the Drug War, an aspect of the war on drugs which (credit where credit's due) literally no one else seems to have noticed thus far. I guess it takes 40 years of suffering the downsides of this close-minded scientistic outlook on life for one to realize that this anti-patient ideology even exists.

Guardian on Alexander Shulgin

Author's Follow-up: February 1, 2024

picture of clock metaphorically suggesting a follow-up


The best legal antidepressant I have ever used is coca wine, which amazingly is legal in America despite the fact that the hateful DEA has outlawed the coca leaf itself in violation of natural law. I wish I had known about this wine years ago. But even though this form of coca is legal in the States, do not wait for your psychiatrist to recommend it for you. Such substances are "thrice damned" in the language of Charles Fort, author of "The Book of the Damned," and so the powers-that-be in the healthcare industry pretend that it does not exist.




Next essay: How Scientific Materialism Keeps Godsend Medicines from the Depressed
Previous essay: Open Letter to Vincent Rado

More Essays Here


PHILOSOPHY AND THE DRUG WAR

The American Philosophy Association should make itself useful and release a statement saying that the drug war is based on fallacious reasoning, namely, the idea that substances can be bad in themselves, without regard for why, when, where and/or how they are used.
For those who want to understand what's going on with the drug war from a philosophical point of view, I strongly recommend chapter six of "Eugenics and Other Evils" by GK Chesterton.
If any master's candidates are looking for a thesis topic, consider the following: "The Drug War versus Religion: how the policy of substance prohibition outlaws the attainment of spiritual states described by William James in 'The Varieties of Religious Experience.'"
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
OPEN LETTERS

Open Letter to Addiction Specialist Gabriel Maté
Open Letter to Anthony Gottlieb
Open Letter to Congressman Ben Cline, asking him to abolish the criminal DEA
Open Letter to Diane O'Leary
Open Letter to Erowid
Open Letter to Francis Fukuyama
Open Letter to Gabrielle Glaser
Open letter to Kenneth Sewell
Open Letter to Lisa Ling
Open Letter to Nathan at TheDEA.org
Open letter to Professor Troy Glover at Waterloo University
Open Letter to Richard Hammersley
Open Letter to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Open Letter to the Virginia Legislature
Open Letter to Variety Critic Owen Glieberman
Open letter to Wolfgang Smith
Open Letter to Vincent Rado
Open Letter to Rick Doblin and Roland Griffiths
Critique of the Philosophy of Happiness
Heroin versus Alcohol
End the Drug War Now
How the Drug War Screws the Depressed
How the Monticello Foundation betrayed Jefferson's Legacy in 1987
How to Unite Drug War Opponents of all Ethnicities
Ignorance is the enemy, not Fentanyl
Majoring in Drug War Philosophy
MDMA for Psychotherapy
Predictive Policing in the Age of the Drug War
Speaking Truth to Big Pharma
Teenagers and Cannabis
Teenagers and Cannabis
The Drug War and Armageddon
The Invisible Mass Shootings
The problem with Modern Drug Reform Efforts
The Menace of the Drug War
The Mother of all Western Biases
Top 10 Problems with the Drug War
Why CBS 19 should stop supporting the Drug War
Why DARE should stop telling kids to say no
Why the Drug War is Worse than you can Imagine
Why the Holocaust Museum must denounce the Drug War
The Drug War Cure for Covid
Another Cry in the Wilderness
Open Letter to Vincent Hurley, Lecturer
Canadian Drug Warrior, I said Get Away
Open Letter to Margo Margaritoff
Open Letter to Roy Benaroch MD
How Bernardo Kastrup reckons without the drug war
The Pseudoscience of Mental Health Treatment

essays about
PHILOSOPHY AND THE DRUG WAR

The Drug War as a Litmus Test for Philosophical Wisdom
The Philosophical Idiocy of the Drug War
The Philosophy of Drug Use
The Philosophy of Getting High
Without Philosophy, Science becomes Scientism
Materialism and the Drug War
Calling All Philosophers
Critique of the Philosophy of Happiness
Heidegger on Drugs
In Praise of Thomas Szasz
Join Philosophers Against the Drug War
Libertarians as Closet Christian Scientists
Majoring in Drug War Philosophy
Rationality Uber Alles
Scientism and America's Drug War hypocrisy
Speaking Truth to Academia
Nietzsche and the Drug War
What if Arthur Schopenhauer Had Used DMT?
How Scientific Materialism Keeps Godsend Medicines from the Depressed
Drug Use as Self-Medication
John Locke on Drugs
Puritanical Assumptions about Drug Use in the Entertainment Field
Why Kevin Sabet is Wrong
I asked 100 American philosophers what they thought about the Drug War
The Great Philosophical Problem of Our Time
What We Mean When We Say 'Drugs'
Whitehead and Psychedelics

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
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
How the Drug War turned me into an eternal patient
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
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
It's the Psychedelics, Stupid!
Illegal Drugs and the Imp of the Perverse

essays about
VINCENT RADO

Open Letter to Vincent Rado
There Must Be Some Misunderstanding
The Great Unfollowing



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, Psychedelics and Depression: another open letter to Vincent, published on November 27, 2022 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)