February 23, 2019
Why American Drug Policy is Insaneby Ballard Quass
First America takes away the citizens' right to manage their own pain by rendering opium illegal. Then the American psychiatric field decides that it will treat the resultant epidemic of depression by damaging the patient's brain, i.e. by treating depressed patients using electroshock therapy.
Imagine what this says about our attitude toward drugs: It means literally that we would rather damage a depressed patient's brain than allow them to be made happy, damage-free, by the occasional use of naturally-occurring medications such as opium that are not under the control of psychiatrists.
This is insanity.
I shared these thoughts online on Reddit, assuming that the point I was making was self-evident. To my horror, I found many otherwise sane-sounding individuals indignantly protesting that ECT was a valuable tool in the psychiatric arsenal, even though the therapy's very proponents admit that it can cause brain damage. I was finally, in fact, banned from posting on the Reddit Psychedelic Studies group because I had outraged the many fans of traditional psychiatry by my heretical stand on ECT - as well as other dubious "cures," such as addictive modern anti-depressants, to which one in four women are now addicted in America and which conduce to anhedonia and a loss of creativity in long-term users.
Even if we grant that ECT is "better than nothing" (a lax standard, indeed, for efficacy!) surely it is unconscionable to use such damaging and addictive treatments when emphatically successful benign treatments are staring us in the face in the outdoor pharmacopeia provided by Mother Nature, in the form of opium, mushrooms, ibogaine, etc.
Doctors claim that ECT is a last resort - but what they really mean is that all better options have been rendered illegal.
If ECT is really required these days, we should at least make it clear that we are forced to that expedient by inane drug laws - rather than pretending to ourselves that this is a inherently beneficial treatment choice that we have selected for its own peculiar merits.
In other words, the DEA and all who believe in it should be shamed every time we are forced to damage a patient's brain in order to relieve depression via ECT - since it is the Drug War's know-nothing mindset that has deprived the suffering of God-given natural medicine that could give them reason to live. So the next time we bemoan the newly vapid personality of a victim of ECT, let's remember to point fingers of blame at the self-righteous Drug Warriors.
The first step in combating the devastating Drug War is to acknowledge its inanity. This means that is the doctor's moral responsibility to turn every shock therapy session into a publicity stunt to shame the drug warriors who made the barbaric treatment necessary. If we fail to do that, then it is not just our drug policy that is crazy and immoral but Americans themselves, as witnessed by their patient acceptance of brain-damaging cures and their failure to recognize (let alone denounce) the fascist forces that have rendered such Pyrrhic treatments necessary.
Doctors say that "shock therapy is a last resort," but what they really mean is, "shock therapy is a last resort once we rule out all the hundreds of godsend psychoactive plants that the DEA does not allow us to use or even study." Not only are doctors in denial about the DEA's role in making shock therapy necessary, but authors are as well. Few authors (apart from genius Thomas Szasz) see the connection between hideous psychiatric treatment and America's anti-scientific drug war.