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Scientism and America's Drug War hypocrisy

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

May 16, 2021

merica's addiction to scientism has addicted 1 in 4 American women to SSRIs, because of the mistaken belief that such therapy is "scientific" and therefore warrants the creation of such an unprecedented pharmacological dystopia -- dystopia for human beings, but a godsend for Big Pharma of course, whose bottom line has increased by several orders of magnitude over the last half century. Americans feel all warm and cuddly when they hear the party line that such antidepressants fix some chemical imbalance in the brain, failing to realize that, A, this was originally a PR line, not a medical claim, and B, the latest evidence shows that such meds cause the imbalance that they claim to fix.

Even if we grant the idea that some chemical imbalance is being fixed, the real question is, what constitutes a cure for depression? Is depression cured when a tranquilizing med keeps folks from worrying as much about their lack of satisfaction in life, or is depression cured when a patient sees through the fog of masochistic bad habits and begins seeing the wonders in the world around them? The psychoactive medicines that we fear and criminalize hold the ability to waken new worlds in our minds and make us finally see the world around us in all its wonderful detail and possibility. But psychiatry is never so ambitious as to aim for that kind of cure, one that can restart a life. A real solution for depression does not pay very well, and if they truly championed such a move, they would have to risk their jobs by publicly holding the Drug War in contempt, something very few American professionals are willing to do.

So we westerners shrink in horror at the thought of tribal men in robes availing themselves of non-addictive psychoactive plants to cure what ails a person -- or an entire community -- yet we have our own superstitions. We worship the kindly men and women in white robes who lead us through the ritual of clinic visits and prescription writing, even though the meds in question make us lifelong patients. Well, at least we're being cured scientifically, we think, and not by those evil plants of the rainforest. So we're addicted for life? So what? We're still proudly scientific!

This is just one of those problems that is just too enormous to be seen by anyone in America, immersed as we are in the omnipresent self-congratulatory banter of the status quo, our proud scientific country marching forth with "cures" -- cures that make everyone cheer except the patient, who finds themselves disempowered and abandoned, even by the so-called addiction experts who know better than to characterize Big Pharma dependency as addiction. Why not? Because "addiction" is a political term in a Drug War society, where we ban medicines, not based on science but based on the fears and prejudices of pharmacologically challenged politicians.

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Addiction Tweets

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 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.
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.
Chesterton might as well have been speaking about the word 'addiction' when he wrote the following: "It is useless to have exact figures if they are exact figures about an inexact phrase."
The government causes problems for those who are habituated to certain drugs. Then they claim that these problems are symptoms of an illness. Then folks like Gabriel Mate come forth to find the "hidden pain" in "addicts." It's one big morality play created by drug laws.
Chesterton wrote that, once you begin outlawing things on grounds of health, you open a Pandora's box. This is because health is not a quality, it's a balance. To decide legality based on 'health' grounds thus opens a Pandora's box of different points of view.
Using the billions now spent on caging users, we could end the whole phenomena of both physical and psychological addiction by using "drugs to fight drugs." But drug warriors do not want to end addiction, they want to keep using it as an excuse to ban drugs.
Jim Hogshire described sleep cures that make physical withdrawal from opium close to pain-free. As for "psychological addiction," there are hundreds of elating drugs that could be used to keep the ex-user's mind from morbidly focusing on a drug whose use has become problematic.
And this is before we even start spending those billions on research that are currently going toward arresting minorities.
When doctors try to treat addiction without using any godsend medicines, they are at best Christian Scientists and at worst quacks. They are like the doctors in Moliere's "M
As Moliere demonstrated in the hilarious finale, anyone can be THAT kind of doctor by mastering a little Latin and walking around pompously in the proper uniform.
Like the pompous white-coated doctor in the movie "Four Good Days" who ignores the entire formulary of mother nature and instead throws the young heroin user on a cot for 3 days of cold turkey and a shot of Naltrexone: price tag $3,000.

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The Philosophy of Drug Use
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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
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
Psychedelics and Depression
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

front cover of Drug War Comic Book

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You have been reading an article entitled, Scientism and America's Drug War hypocrisy published on May 16, 2021 on 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 (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)