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The Handicapped NEED Crutches

on the anti-patient morality of the drug war

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

January 5, 2022

herapists tell us that shock therapy is only used as a last resort. But that is a lie. The fact is that there are hundreds of psychoactive substances that could help the depressed tolerate -- and even enjoy -- this life without frying their brain. This would be all too obvious in a world that wanted to profit from psychoactive medicine rather than demonize it, but in the age of the Drug War, I have to "spell it out" for folks:

The severely depressed could be given what today we disparage as "feel good" medicines on a weekly basis, in such a routine as to avoid addiction when desirable (remembering that even addiction is preferable to frying one's brain). The depressed could be taken on guided psychoactive trips to examine their lives and hopefully identify and surmount the conceptual hurdles that depress them. We could pharmacologically let them experience happiness (say, with one of the hundreds of drugs synthesized by Alexander Shulgin) so that they know that such a thing exists, that life does not have to be one uninterrupted span of gloom. The only thing holding us back is the puritan ethos of the Drug War, which tells us that it's better to fry this person's brain with ECT than to let them use a so-called "crutch." And that is fanatical Christian Science nonsense at its worst. For if people are severely handicapped, then they NEED crutches. But modern 'psychology' says we should kick such crutches out from under them -- and fry their brains into the bargain.

Let's hope that someday this ideology will be seen for the hateful and fanatical expression of drug-hating Christian Science that it is -- the same attitude that keeps kids in hospice and adults in chronic pain from getting the degree of pain relief that they require. For the DEA today is a moral censor: it evaluates (or rather second-guesses) the prescription of pain relief medicine on moral grounds, not on scientific ones, and, of course, the morality to which they subscribe is the drug-hating morality of the Christian Science religion, which tells us such lies as, "the less drugs, the better," and "drugs are not the answer," with the religious implication being that faith in a higher power should be the cure of choice.

Of course, psychiatry will tell us that they have the "REAL" cure for the depressed: you know, the one that has addicted 1 in 4 American women to Big Pharma meds for life. Now, THERE'S a crutch, and a faulty one at that, for I've used such 'godsends' for decades now and am more depressed than ever. And then there's the inconvenient fact that the number of depressed in America has been skyrocketing over the last 50-plus years, during the very time that these supposed miracle pills have become omnipresent.

Author's Follow-up: November 9, 2023

When psychiatry says that natural medicines like opium are "crutches" for depression and anxiety, they are suggesting the notion that science has found the cure to such things in brain chemistry. This claim is hogwash, and not just because these dependence-causing pills seem to cause the very chemical imbalances that they purport to be fixing. There is a basic philosophical problem with such alleged "mind fixes" as well.

First of all, if you're going to solve a problem for me as a depressive, you first have to tell me how you define the problem. When I say I'm depressed, I mean that I cannot live large -- or not as large as I would like. I want to grab the ball and run with life. I do not want a pill that merely keeps me from committing suicide, meanwhile fogging my brain and keeping me from crying at my parents' funeral.

I won't go into detail here, because I've expressed my philosophical qualms with the psychiatric pill mill in many other essays. suffice it to say here that it's a folly on par with frankenstein to even attempt to 'solve' the problem of human unhappiness, rather than treating it on a symptomatic basis. (There's another psychiatric lie: that it's wrong to treat the symptoms.) God keep us from ever "curing" depression, lest we live in a world of Stepford Wives. to the extent that we need anything at all, we should be able to use godsend meds to help us stand up to pain, sadness and anxiety. to say that this is somehow wrong is not science. It's not even logic. Such a view does not follow from any set of givens that one can adduce. Rather, it's the point of view of a Christian Scientist, aka a puritan who is convinced that it is morally wrong to use substances to improve or expand one's mental state.

So remember this the next time someone tells you that drug use is a crutch. That statement is always based on one of two unproven premises: 1) that psychiatry has already "sorted" depression, thank you very much, and 2) it's wrong to expand and improve one's mind with godsend medicines.

Finally, you'll note I refer to "drugs" as godsend medicines. This is because all substances have positive uses, Drug War ideology notwithstanding.

Besides, "drugs" is a pejorative label today. Like "scabs," it not only denotes a thing, but it passes judgment on that thing in so doing. So if prohibitionists are going to routinely slander psychoactive substances with their vocabulary, then they can scarcely blame me for routinely praising them in the same way. And praising what about them, you ask? Praising their great and almost entirely untapped potential for helping humanity, a blessing which the Drug Warrior is perversely determined to prevent through Pyrrhic victories which, if pursued to their illogical conclusions, will mean nothing short of the end of both democracy and human progress.

Next essay: Hey, You, Get Off Of My Creed!
Previous essay: What Terence McKenna Got Wrong About Drugs

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If psychoactive drugs had never been criminalized, science would never have had any reason or excuse for creating SSRIs that muck about unpredictably with brain chemistry. Chewing the coca leaf daily would be one of many readily available "miracle treatments" for depression.
That's why we damage the brains of the depressed with shock therapy rather than let them use coca or opium. That's why many regions allow folks to kill themselves but not to take drugs that would make them want to live. The Drug War is a perversion of social priorities.
Weaponizing science is a bigger problem. Even as we speak, Laura Sanders of Sciam is promoting Shock Therapy 2.0 for the depressed, this in a world wherein reductive scientists aren't even sure that laughing gas will help the depressed.
It's because of such reductive pseudoscience that America will allow us to shock the brains of the depressed but won't allow us to let them use the plant medicines that grow at their feet.
David Chalmers says almost everything in the world can be reductively explained. Maybe so. But science's mistake is to think that everything can therefore be reductively UNDERSTOOD. That kind of thinking blinds researchers to the positive effects of laughing gas and MDMA, etc.
"Can I use poppies, coca, laughing gas, MDMA?" "NO," says Jonathan Stea, "We must be SCIENTIFIC! We must fry your brain and give you a lobotomy and make you a patient for life with the psychiatric pill mill! That's true SCIENCE!"
In "The Book of the Damned," Charles Fort writes about the data that science has damned, by which he means "excluded." The fact that drugs can inspire and elate is one such fact, although when Fort wrote his anti-materialist broadside, drug prohibition was in its infancy.
In other words, materialist scientists are drug war collaborators. They are more than happy to have their fight against idealism rigged by drug law, which outlaws precisely those substances whose use serves to cast their materialism into question.
Drug warriors have harnessed the perfect storm. Prohibition caters to the interests of law enforcement, psychotherapy, Big Pharma, demagogues, puritans, and materialist scientists, who believe that consciousness is no big "whoop" and that spiritual states are just flukes.
There are endless drugs that could help with depression. Any drug that inspires and elates is an antidepressant, partly by the effect itself and partly by the mood-elevation caused by anticipation of use (facts which are far too obvious for drug warriors to understand).
But materialist puritans do not want to create any drug that elates. So they go on a fool's errand to find reductionist cures for "depression itself," as if the vast array of human sadness could (or should) be treated with a one-size-fits-all readjustment of brain chemicals.
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.
I'd like to become a guinea pig for researchers to test the ability of psychoactive drugs to make aging as psychologically healthy as possible. If such drugs cannot completely ward off decrepitude, they can surely make it more palatable. The catch? Researchers have to be free.
The drug war ideology of substance demonization actually outlaws such investigations. Why don't at least the saner half of the prohibitionists understand that this makes no sense in a purportedly free and scientific country?
Caveat: the experimentation must be done holistically, and not with the presupposition that brain waves and molecular analysis is more important than my perceptions -- for my perceptions are what really matter viz. psychological health.
I don't want purblind researchers telling me when I am happy or optimistic. Materialist researchers need not apply, especially those so immersed in minutia that they cannot even figure out if laughing gas could help the depressed!
To understand why the western world is blind to the benefits of "drugs," read "The Concept of Nature" by Whitehead. He unveils the scientific schizophrenia of the west, according to which the "real" world is invisible to us while our perceptions are mere "secondary" qualities.
This is why we would rather have a depressed person commit suicide than to use "drugs" -- because drugs, after all, are not dealing with the "real" problem. The patient may SAY that drugs make them feel good, but we need microscopes to find out if they REALLY feel good.
This is why the foes of suicide are doing absolutely nothing to get laughing gas into the hands of those who could benefit from it. Laughing is subjective after all. In the western tradition, we need a "REAL" cure to depression.
Both physical and psychological addiction can be successfully fought when we relegalize the pharmacopoeia and start to fight drugs with drugs. But prohibitionists do not want to end addiction, they want to scare us with it.
Materialist scientists cannot triumph over addiction because their reductive focus blinds them to the obvious: namely, that drugs which cheer us up ACTUALLY DO cheer us up. Hence they keep looking for REAL cures while folks kill themselves for want of laughing gas and MDMA.
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.
In the Atomic Age Declassified, they tell us that we needed hundreds of thermonuclear tests so that scientists could understand the effects. That's science gone mad. Just like today's scientists who need more tests before they can say that laughing gas will help the depressed. Science today is all about ignoring the obvious. And THAT's why scientists are drug war collaborators, because they're not about to sign off on the use of substances until they've studied them "up the wazoo." Using grants from an agency whose very name indicates their anti-drug bias: namely, the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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

How Scientific Materialism Keeps Godsend Medicines from the Depressed
Obama's Unscientific BRAIN Initiative
Materialism and the Drug War Part II
How Thomas Nagel Reckons Without the Drug War
Materialism and the Drug War
Alternative Medicine as a Drug War Creation
Why Science is the Handmaiden of the Drug War
David Chalmers and the Drug War
The Placebo Effect and Drugs
Why Rick Doblin is Ghosting Me
How Bernardo Kastrup reckons without the drug war
The Pseudoscience of Mental Health Treatment
Physics has found a theory of everything
Forbes Magazine's Laughable Article about Nitrous Oxide
Speaking Truth to Academia
A Quantum of Hubris
Unscientific American: the hypocritical materialism of Elon Musk
Modern Science as a symptom of insipient madness
Materialism's War on Drug Addicts and Alcoholics
This is your brain on Neuralink
The Book of the Damned continued
The Muddled Metaphysics of the Drug War
Illusions with Professor Arthur Shapiro

essays about

The Naive Psychology of the Drug War
Psychedelics and Depression
Drug Use as Self-Medication
Suicide and the Drug War
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

front cover of Drug War Comic Book

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You have been reading an article entitled, The Handicapped NEED Crutches: on the anti-patient morality of the drug war, published on January 5, 2022 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)