Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bad drugs and good drugs

I think I'm constantly pointing out the obvious, but as most good ideas are so simple as to be ridiculous, I'm going to continue.

Isn't it time to stop our hypocritical "war on drugs"? Our society loves drugs! We want a drug, or are told we should want a drug for everything. We think we can live any way we want - indeed, it is our right - and then take a drug that'll make the effects of living in ways that aren't good for us a-okay. If our drugs have unwanted ("side") effects, we take another drug to take care of the side effects.

If we have a grueling schedule and are sleepy, we drink coffee. Hey, "America Runs on Dunkin'!" Are you anxious because you drink too much caffeine? Then you're probably taking an anti-anxiety medication, and if not. . .um, maybe you should ask your doctor about it. Coffee isn't illegal, and neither is an anti-anxiety medication.  Most employers would prefer that one drinks coffee. Who wants a sleepy employee? There's nary a workplace in America that doesn't have free flowing coffee. The coffee pot, coffee mug, and thermos are all icons of the American workplace.

We used to get smoke breaks during the workday. We still do, but less of us smoke. How come those of us who don't smoke don't get breaks? When I worked at a stressful job, I started smoking again just to get a break. If a person wants a five minute stretch and some fresh air, it's seen as slacking. Isn't it simply healthy?

Oh dear. I've gotten off topic. Do you think I might have Attention Deficit Disorder?

Back to the War on Drugs.  I've been trying to find statistics about the drug Suboxone for weeks. I can not find any. When I search for information about Suboxone on the Web, all I can find is:
  • Suboxone treatment doctors and facilties
  • Pro-suboxone information from drug companies
  • Where to get Suboxone illegally
  • How to get Suboxone cheaply
  • Forums for people on Suboxone
If I do a Google search on "anti-Suboxone," all I can find is folks who are upset that someone might have the temerity to suggest they not take this drug, or folks who want some, can't afford it, or are upset about the long waiting lists  for those dealers who are otherwise known as Suboxone Doctors.

For those of you not familiar with Suboxone, it's the new methadone. It's a drug replacement for illegal opoid drugs. It is expensive, physically addicting, and bad for your health, a drug company's dream. Heroin may be an addictive drug, but it's not that bad for one's health, at least compared to either replacement drug, both of which are far harder to get off of. For those of you who don't know, both methadone and suboxone do get people high, can be, and are abused.

If said drug company was not a corporation, it would be called a "drug cartel," and we would be at war with it, but no, they are the "good guys." They just want to help us, right?

Just say no to certain drugs.

Let me be clear: I am not advocating drug use. Not in the least. What I am advocating is an end to our societal insanity. Why shouldn't people self-medicate in a society where they are miserable and are told on a daily basis that the best way to deal with a problem is to take a drug?

If you can't get an erection, if you have an unhappy marriage, if you have a lousy job or no job at all, if you have high blood pressure because you're stressed, if you are stressed, if you have high cholesterol because you eat too much junk food, if you can't sleep, if you sleep too much, if you can't hold in your urine long enough between rest stops. . .just ask your doctor about what pill you can take. There's gotta be something for it, right? In most cases, there is, and if not, it's either too obscure a problem or folks are working hard to find "a solution."

Prescribing your own medication? Bad. Very, very bad.

Folks who live miserable lives want drugs. They'll get them, but only if they have a diagnosis, so they'll get one. It's usually called "depression." If they don't, and they self-medicate, they're addicts. They just may be, but so are the folks on prescription medication.

People who go back to their doctor and say the drugs aren't working are "medication resistant." The medications that will indeed make their miserable lives feel better are illegal and considered immoral to (mis)use. You all know what those drugs are called. You might have been D.A.R.E.'d not to take them. If you do take one of these immoral drugs, you may wind up in prison.*

I dare you to not take the doctor's drugs.

What if everyone who is miserable in America went off their medication? We might start asking for healthy breaks at work, or affordable housing, or seeing that what we really need is community, or start questioning the status quo of any sort. That would be a disaster for capitalism, so we can't let that happen.

It just might be that going off one's medication is a revolutionary act.

Addendum: I just spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find out who owns the website MedHelp. This information is even more impossible to find than anything "anti-Suboxone." MedHelp is one of the many websites giving what appears to be objective, scientific information about health. The number one purpose of websites such as this one is to make a profit. If you are feeling blue, this website will first, determine if you are feeling suicidal for liability reasons, informing you to go to an emergency room ASAP, and not suggest that you do anything that is free, such as talk to a friend, get some fresh air, or engage in any community building and empowering activity. Folks, everything is designed to have you be dependent on corporations and spend the money you have, and borrow money you don't.

Once upon a time I would have looked upon someone who is writing something like the above and accuse that person of being a conspiracy theorist. I would have dismissed them pretty much out of hand. I do not think there is a conspiracy. Conspiracies are secret. What's going on is not a secret. As I've written, it's called capitalism. The "conspiracy" is to make the most profit possible. Profit is amoral. The profit motive doesn't care if you are an addict, for instance, but for the sake of profit, it is preferable that you take the most expensive and addicting drugs possible. Any drug dealer will tell you the best customer is one who is addicted, and well, alive. Heck, any person owning a business, if they were honest, would say that their best customers are ones who appear to be "addicted" to whatever they're selling, whether it's shoes, tattoos, video games, or knickknacks for the home.

Cartoon note: Emma Hollister,  cartoonist and "health freedom activist."

*According to the Justice Department, 59.6% of the 1.5 million people in prison are there for drug offenses. This does not include people who were committing another crime because of their addiction. What's most interesting to me about this number is that no other single "offense" even approaches the double digit range.

The film, "American Drug War: The Last White Hope," is a scathing and eye-opening look at the prison system and drugs. Though I don't agree with it's pro-marijuana stance, it's a fascinating (and harrowing) film. Ira Glass, on This American Life, just recently did a show about the "drug courts," something I had not known about. Listen to "Very Tough Love" here

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