Apr 22, 2022·edited Apr 22, 2022Liked by Leighton Woodhouse

You seem to think there is a known, tried and tested path to recovery for these addicts. I watched a documentary a few months ago that examined a number of anti-addiction programs in correctional departments in several different states (which typically depended upon the use of methadone and Suboxone), which made the same case. It was an encouraging film, and I wanted to believe, but I suspected it could be propaganda.

You and the filmmakers are making the case that this doesn't have to be something big and nebulous like homelessness. We can't begin to tackle homelessness because so many people are homeless for so many different reasons; which means the One Size Fits All approach preferred by bureaucrats (especially, in recent years, public health bureaucrats) will never ever work.

But if we know what does work in treating addiction, it's really criminal how, for example, California is spending billions on a jobs program for politically connected contractors (a train that runs from, what, Bakersfield to Salinas or something?) when this is something they could do right now, if only someone, anyone, had the will. They obviously have the money.

I have long been opposed to the criminalization of drugs, but as I watched the documentary I realized, the only way these men (it was all men in the doc, and oddly all the programs were run and staffed by women) were ever going to get help was through the penal code and the correctional system; that if drugs weren't illegal and they'd never been arrested, they would have no hope at all. All the men interviewed were (in some cases tearfully) grateful for the existence of the anti-addiction programs and the care of the staff. Most of them were interviewed while still serving their jail sentences and they could be oddly cheerful subjects, since they knew that when they did get out they would have new chances at life they would not otherwise have had. That is, arrest and incarceration saved their lives and they knew it.

I've known since I was about 30 that ideological purity is a sign of an empty head, and here was another hit to my big L Libertarian sensibilities.

BTW, serious question, can psychosis be reversed?

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If you can step back from the horror long enough, this is an interesting political problem that exemplifies the dysfunction of our current system where "winning" is all that matters, not actually serving. Both parties have an interest in letting this situation continue as it is, sadly enough. But the Cal-Psych idea is actually wonderful. I don't know realistically how many people it will help (I think it may underestimate the tenacity of addiction and the knotty problem of addiction combined with mental illness and how much a fight that is for individuals and may require lifelong monitoring), but it's a lot better than what we're doing now, which is nothing or prison.

Thank you for another great article.

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"Back then, [meth] was made from ephedrine, the stimulant found in Sudafed. But import bans on the substance in both the United States and Mexico forced meth cooks to come up with something different. The new meth is more potent and far more dangerous." So, not only did those of us with post-nasal drip have to give up the Sudafed that actually worked, doing so just made life worse for the addicts. Law of unintended consequences. But then the whole war on drugs was more to make the virtuous feel even more virtuous than to actually help the addict. Pass a law, pay no attention to consequences, move on to next problem to "solve."

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“Specialist” still have no clue. Drugs don’t cause these types of psychosis. Criminals with electromagnetic weapons wait for people to take drugs and then start messing with them so the victims’ testimony is made not credible by the drug association. Genetic relation is also inexistent, the criminals just target people who are related because they are already familiar with relatives.

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This is a good piece. But the pessimist in me worries that Cal-Psych merely will merely swap one herd of NGOs for another. What is the alternative, as there's just no useful state capaicty or state expertise left. Would you even trust the state to audit the program correctly if it's failure would prove an enormous embarrassment? I don't think that I would.

By the way, one of the reasons state mental health became an early casualty of neoliberalism in Massachusetts in the late-70s was that the treatment was very expensive and was open-ended. Discharge rates from State Mental Hosptials were typically very low - until they were simply shut down.

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