Drug War Oped-Seattle Times.
Thirty years ago, I decided to embark on a journey of discovery. I knew that that authoritarian drug war was another ill-conceived war crime of attrition and destruction so common to my nations’ history. As the people fell into the usual mode of contemptuous self-righteous abuse of yet another voiceless defenseless people, I decided to buck the trend and learn a whole lot more about both the drug business and related subcultures while positing another much more humane medical/psychological based solution to the growing problem back then, that has actually become so much worse with overdose fatalities so much on the increase now. All I have learned since then is how little I actually know about what is actually an extremely complex social psychological phenomenon that ends up being rooted and worsened by the completely inhumane policymaking of the present criminally corrupted, hate-filled, and greed-empowered national leadership. It is clear to me and a whole lot of other people that the last thing you want to do to make this situation better is cut medical support and care. Remember how far backwards the Bushs’ took us culturally when they first came to power?
I started this journey when I talked to homeless people in crisis for around fifteen years. I learned what kinds of barriers there were to them getting services and ended up disciplining 30+ social workers in Seattle/King County who were criminally negligent and/or abusive of the homeless in the commission of their duties, and likewise in another small city; most everyone who claimed to “help” the homeless really didn’t actually do that. They punished them for their “failures”, actually helping no one. Then I found out the hard way how it was that so many people really invalidated and discredited the viewpoints of the homeless and unemployed in favor of an irrational indoctrination; “get a job”. It’s a common brushoff but unfortunately the US has never adequately employed it’s peoples in it’s entire sordid history. And how many people look at a person and judge them harshly, saying “they must be homeless, or a another type of freak”, and then exclude them from inclusion in their circles because of their irrational “deeply held beliefs”.
It is this malicious fabricated delusion that plagues state senator Miloscia’s perspective on drug addiction. His perspective has nothing to do with the reality out there that is more complicated than his over-simplistic and contrived delusions so common in an ascendent authoritarian dictatorship; always ascendent in aspirations. He desires for a decent reality in his nation and holds deeply held beliefs in the service of those goals; laudable in theory but extremely destructive when the reality refuses to bend to his over simplified and delusional expectations. So far the drug war that he pushes has only succeeded in producing a whole lot more addiction fatalities as his party withholds resources to alleviate poverty and effective support medical life saving medical services. This was also the dynamic when the drug war, a war on afflicted people living in a poverty created by their initial round of budget cutting, started in 1980 with the wrongful election of Ronald Reagan in another manipulated fiasco that time. . . It is clear from the policies they have relentlessly pursued that they had in mind killing the addict/alcoholic, not saving them in the service of their malicious delusions surrounding our situation in the US while furthering the development of the problem to benefit themselves at the expense of our communities and collective future as a nation. What has become clear though from a whole lot of people’s perspectives, is that their malicious and also subversive prohibition policies have completely failed and worsened the situation ruining lives and worsening the problem, as was completely anticipated by their party leadership; the creation of another crisis to be exploited in the service of their criminal drive to subvert not only the foundations of our democracy, but also to render another group of defenseless people “untouchable” or socially unacceptable if you will via malicious media misrepresentations.
So many times the product of their policies ends up maliciously harming and excluding another group of people from proper legal inclusion in our now seriously deteriorating society and culture. Their base arrogance and hatred has come to the fore in their ridicule of the disabled and those suffering from chronic diseases in our communities like addict/alcoholics. They are incapable of recognizing addiction as a coherent medical condition. It is merely one more reason in their arsenal of arrogance for rejecting a person socially; see how it is that they are not actually helping the situation at all, they are making the problem worse due to their delusional rejection of a reality more complex than they care to examine. This speaks to an essential cruel inhumanity that plagues their subculture in so many ways, complete with aberrant anti-christian proto-nazi pseudotheology that validates their delusional hatred and judgement over all things and peoples not like them or not supporting their various irrational hatreds actually empowered by the forces of hell. They would not even begin to seek to understand the multiple personal and socioeconomic causality of hatred and addiction in our society because they just label and then exclude from consciousness the afflicted person as disposable and certainly not worthy of respect and consequent support and assistance.
It was a deep pleasure to chase the meetings that formed Seattle/King County’s public health drug harm reduction system and then to see it work most effectively at saving lives and reducing poverty in our communities. By making up a continuum of care, people started with the needle exchanges, then got in touch with doctors, then did inpatient treatment or outpatient rehab depending on their circumstances, and finally ended up reliably drug free due to this network of support in our community that operated to support them through the process of getting and then maintaining sobriety in what was many times a hostile and hateful cultural milieu, made so by the hateful attitudes promulgated by the lying rightwing haters that time on that issue. What we accomplished during those eight years was nothing short of miraculous and still stands as workable in the face of haters who have no solution for saving lives; rather they would further destroy them with more abusive rejection, criminalization and incarceration that would significantly worsen their addiction. Yes, we made the violence-trauma-addiction connection.
The idea that Mr. Miloscia’s criminally conceived prohibition policy would make the situation better has been roundly disproven these last thirty years of tragic community experience. The drug overdose rate is much higher in red states that have rejected funding adequate medical services for their peoples. This is because there is effectively no saving services in those states for poor addicts adequate to the need in the situation. So it is crystal clear that not only do the republicans not understand how to reverse the addiction crisis, what they propose will very effectively make the problem much worse than it is even now. This is what is necessary in order to reduce addiction in our communities:
1) Adequate medical support for all peoples in the community. Most of the veteran suicides were a consequence of being dishonorably discharged for whatever reason and then being denied VA healthcare benefits. Needless to say, eliminating health insurance is not going to help the situation.
2) Low barrier housing for ALL peoples in the community. The only reason for eviction is MAJOR PROVABLE CRIMINAL DISRUPTION or MAJOR PROPERTY DAMAGE; nothing else.
3) Access to adequate food and medical care is essential to stabilizing and reducing the stresses on this medically vulnerable population; 25% of the homeless have untreated medical conditions. Housing them will de-stress them and reduce drug use further while enabling them to get the specific care they need, supporting individual efforts at maintaining sobriety in the long term reducing relapses as well as other possible major medical crises. Additionally reversing the taboo against talking about, studying, and educating people humanely about the roots of addiction in our communities would work much better than allowing a mythic hateful taboo to continue destroying our communities as addiction actually proliferates under the present criminally corrupted fascist socioeconomic regimen.
4) Since the manufacturing economy that was the foundation of so many jobs in the US has left the country, it is past time that adequate funding for higher education and related skills training be funded to actually empower our peoples economically and personally in coping with a challenging and difficult future; one that the criminal right does not even seem capable of responsibly facing up to, let alone deal with humanely and effectively. This gift of something better to do than drugs grows organically from a community and really cannot be forced on a people from above, just like the desire to be finally drug free can only come from the addict, not from a society that is especially set up to dispense unspeakable cruelty but not adequate care for its peoples.
Lets remember how this went down originally. The rightwing cut the budgets the first of now 5-8 times under Raygun in 1980. Down went the economy into recession, and the republicans blamed the victim/survivor by instituting subversive drug war policy as a way of distracting peoples attention away from the fact that their budget cut policies cutting the Great Society programs were driving the consequent social breakdown. First they victimized the poor by cutting the budgets pulling the rug out from under them, then they criminalized them as a way to discredit their perspective on the situation, destroy their basic personhood, and even just destroy them personally so their perspective on the situation would be further invalidated if they were even able to articulate them; they wouldn’t even be allowed to speak under the new regime. What Mr. Miloscia is pushing in the community is an escalating of a criminally ill-conceived repression that will only make the situation much, much worse for tens of millions of peoples, even in the community he claims to serve.
Their policy of wrongful criminalization make the situation worse by driving the problem further underground, and making the problem worse by driving people away from saving medical help, even the possibility that it exists by cutting adequate healthcare funding out from under the people that most need it. No coherent health insurance proposals have come from the republicans because they just want to eliminate what is out there, not replace it with anything that works better because they actually have no intention of saving those that they maliciously and wrongfully judge as reprobate from their malicious, hate-filled reprobate beliefs, and consequently rejected from the community illegally and wrongfully, even housing, food, and basic medical access; civil rights be damned. I remember when the Toronto Globe and Mail published the heroin addicts request to their criminal rightwing government that time, that doctors be allowed to prescribe them heroin as a way to both save their lives from overdoses and get them in touch with saving medical services while reducing survival crimes related to securing their daily dose. Of course he denied it; he and his criminal rightwing friends were making too much money off it being illegal and criminalized and long term social costs be damned as well; we bear those losses, not our elite misleaders. This spotlight on actual reality is what they most dread in the service of their malicious nation destroying goals. A safe needle drug injection site pulls the problem out of the shadows of our many times hateful misconceptions and into a much more humane representation of the addict/alcoholic; delusional hatred is automatically put on the back burner while the proper humane legally required response is furthered and refined as necessity in the crisis.
The facts and reality is clear; housing, feeding, and providing consistent ongoing medical support to those afflicted by addiction is actually a much better investment in the future than doing nothing at all. To just push the problem under the rug by criminalizing and incarcerating addicts has been an abject failure in addition to being wrongful and illegal under the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and binding international human rights treaties. The criminal repression has made the problem much, much worse. Let’s reverse the addiction and the related problems of poverty and violence by housing, feeding, and caring adequately for ALL of our peoples, rather than withholding that care for what are deeply immoral reasons from a true biblical perspective. Jesus Christ told us to house, feed, and care for the poor and homeless and addicted among us, not ill and kill them off further with budget cuts, hate-filled lies, further malicious illegal criminalization, and indoctrinated psychotic vigilante death squads. When this fundamental perversion of Christian theology is reversed, when hatred and irrational delusional self-serving judgement is replaced with love, understanding, compassion and generosity, the essence of a compassionate medical response, only then we will succeed as the nation of inclusive freedom and diversity that we were intended by our founders to be.
I m happy to know what works in saving the lives of addict/alcoholics and proud of my city in standing in defiance of a hate-driven culture of cruelty and selfishness that now pervades our nation more and more. We did not take the easy way out that hatred and the devil so often provides. I am proud to know that the people of Seattle and Washington state hung in and did the hard work of God in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ in housing, feeding, and caring for ALL of our peoples without malicious and illegal discriminatory exclusion based on fabricated lies empowered by hate. We all reaped the benefits of that hard work in saving lives and reducing crime the correct moral way as delineated in our foundational laws. I will not go back to degenerate expedient criminally subversive cruelty as a means to an ungodly end for all the wrong greed-motivated reasons because I know we can save lives while restoring our Constitution and Bill of Rights as legal protections for all peoples if we want to; to step back from the cultural abyss that delusional, irrational hatreds of all kinds create. There are three books I recommend to those who want to learn more; The Phoenix Program, by Douglas Valentine, In the Land of Hungry Ghosts, by Gabor Mate’ MD, and The Final Mission; Spooky 8, by Bob King. Good history and hard truth on a problem that refuses to go away under ill-conceived, criminally subversive, malicious, and harmful prohibition policy. War is not healthy for children and other living things. . . . especially in the service of criminally subversive dictator wannabees.
Lyle Courtsal http://www.3mpub.com, http://www.alannasser.org, http://www.dopewardrugpeace.wordpress.com, http://www.leap.cc, http://www.narconews.com