Chasing the Scream

Chasing the Scream, The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari. Portugal has legalized drug usage, but not drug dealing. In 1974, the people of Portugal overthrew the Salazar dictatorship.

“On my last day in Lisbon, I thought of João as a young man on the streets of Lisbon, watching tyranny fall–and I thought I could now see why he believes this is the continuation of the spirit of 1974. The Portuguese people rose up then to say that every single one of them deserved a life and a voice, and that they would not be beaten down or shut up ever again. And now their drug policy says that every one of them–even the weakest and sickest of their siblings–deserve not to be beaten down or shut up but to be embraced and offered hope, and love.

“In a true democracy, nobody gets written off. Nobody gets abandoned. Nobody’s life is declared to be not worth living. That was the spirit of the revolution. The revolution lives.”

Only in Trump’s America, Putin’s Russia and places like it are people written off.

Please see Drug use and abuse

Drug use and abuse

Chasing the Scream, The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari published in 2015. I don’t do drugs and know no one (I think) who does. I have often wondered why some people use drugs and become addicts and why drug use seems so common these days. This book presents some answers.

Drug use in the tropics is common as people without air conditioning try to beat the heat. Europeans who worked in hot climates turned to alcohol to make life endurable. Other drugs were available and differed from one part of the world to another.

One common reason for drug use is childhood abuse. Abused children grow up to be adults suffering much pain and drug use is a way to make the pain go away. Another common reason to use drugs is loneliness.

“So Bruce came to believe, as he put it, that ‘today’s flood of addiction is occurring because our hyperindividualistic, frantic, crisis-ridden society makes most people feel social[ly] or culturally isolated. Chronic isolation causes people to look for relief. They find temporary relief in addiction…because [it] allows them to escape their feelings, to deaden their senses–and to experience an addictive lifestyle as a substitute for a full life.’

“One recovering heroin and crack addict on the Downtown Eastside, Dean Wilson, put it to me simply, ‘Addiction,’ he said, ‘is a disease of loneliness.'”

Canadian Conservative

Just a few minutes ago on MSNBC, a Canadian Conservative politician and candidate to lead their version of the Republican Party, said that there are three ways forward on the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

  1. Repeal and replace
  2. Repeal and do nothing
  3. Fix Obamacare glitches

There is a fourth option which he did not mention, Medicare for all, which is what they have now in Canada. If this politician ever becomes the leader of Canadian Conservatives, he will never be elected Prime Minister. Canadians will not give up their health care. I believe that option 2 above is the real GOP goal.