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Why Louis Theroux is Clueless about Addiction and Alcoholism

like almost every other would-be Drug War reformer on the planet

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

April 9, 2022

hen Louis Theroux saw a young alcohol addict outside a London hospital, he mused: "What struck me was the sense of impotence I felt about how to help him. I only hoped he could find his way back to happiness and sobriety."

Louis fails to realize that it is the Drug War which renders us impotent in treating alcoholism because it outlaws all the psychoactive medicine that might be of real help to the alcoholic. That impotence is reinforced by our Christian Science focus on sobriety as a goal, thanks to which the patient is only considered "cured" if they are using no psychoactive medicine whatsoever (with the possible hypocritical exception of dependence-causing Big Pharma tranquilizers). If we thus counsel the addict both to foreswear medical godsends and to strive to achieve a state of completely drug-free sobriety, it's little wonder that we feel impotent when it comes to truly helping them. We might as well just tell the alcoholic, "Let go and let God," and then move on to the next alcoholic who is waiting for our "help."

The sane alternative to this Christian Science prescription for alcoholics and other addicts is to treat them with strategically chosen psychoactive medicines with the goal, not of making them sober (i.e. drug-free) citizens but rather of helping them to wisely use precisely those substances that allow them to succeed in life rather than to fail. That should be the goal in treatment, after all, not to turn the addict into a good Christian Scientist who dogmatically eschews the use of all psychoactive medicine whatsoever. To enforce the latter goal is to ignore the needs of the addict and to turn their experience into a morality tale, instead, a narrative that follows the usual drug-warrior narrative: a person is entrapped by evil substances, turns to God (or a higher power) , and finally realizes that he or she can do all that they need to do in life by becoming completely sober. Most Americans would be shocked by such Christian Science advice when it comes to physical disease, yet we feel justified in enforcing those same Christians Science principles by law when the goal of treatment is to expand or improve one's mental outlook.

Author's Follow-up: April 3, 2023

Besides popularizing MDMA, Alexander Shulgin has synthesized hundreds of drugs that could cheer up the alcoholics and help them screw their heads on straight, especially when employed therapeutically with the help of a pharmacologically savvy shaman or empath. It is really a crime that all substances of this kind are illegal -- it means that curing alcoholism is illegal. In the age of a Drug War, we do not want to help alcoholics, we want to make them "sober" as that term is hypocritically defined by western society. We want the alcoholic to go through hell so that we can turn their plight into a morality play, whose moral is that we should all turn to the Christian god for help, the god whom we conveniently disguise as a "higher power," of course.

The Links Police

Do you know why I pulled you over? No, if anything you were navigating too slowly. No, I just I wanted to tip you off on some additional essays that touch on the subject of addiction and drugs:

Addicted to Ignorance
Addicted to Addiction
America's Invisible Addiction Crisis
How The Drug War Killed Andy Gibb
The Myth of the Addictive Personality

Next essay: How the Drug War Killed Amy Winehouse
Previous essay: The problem with Modern Drug Reform Efforts

More Essays Here

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Addicted to Ignorance
Addicted to Addiction
America's Invisible Addiction Crisis
Open Letter to Addiction Specialist Gabriel Maté
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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
Night of the Addicted Americans
The aesthetic difference between addiction and chemical dependency
Tapering for Jesus
How Addiction Scientists Reckon without the Drug War
How Prohibition Causes Addiction
Four reasons why Addiction is a political term
Some Tough Love for Drug Addicts
My Cure for Addiction
The FDA's Hypocritical Concern about Addiction
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Richard Feynman and the Drug War

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, Why Louis Theroux is Clueless about Addiction and Alcoholism: like almost every other would-be Drug War reformer on the planet, published on April 9, 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)