The world of science never ceases to amaze. Not always positively though. Scientists at John Hopkins University made headlines this week by giving MDMA to some cute octopuses. This wasn’t by accident like when Dr. Fleming accidentally discovered antibiotics. These people were paid to do this… What they found was that our favourite eight legged sea creatures behave surprisingly like us when tripping balls. The octopuses got more social and physical with each other and seemingly had lots of fun. See Current Biology [https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(18)30991-6]

But that’s where the issues are. It’s not just octopuses that are enjoying the benefits of the drug. There has been much talk in recent years about using drugs such as MDMA and Ketamine to treat PTSD and depression with some interesting studies yielding positive results [see links above]. People are starting to take this more seriously yet others are still completely against it out of prejudice. Of course, any drug that has a reputation as a party (read: affluent rich whites) or “street” drug (read: minorities) is completely unquestioned in terms of it’s negative connotation.

What’s more, medical cannabis use has also had a tricky time, even though now, in precisely two weeks from day, will fully legalize it for recreation. There is little argument that cannabis can be a great benefit to people, especially those with epilepsy, PTSD, chronic illnesses, etc etc. Some governments refuse to even touch the issue though, due to the “stigma” around the drug. (again read: racism against minorities)

Researchers at John Hopkins University have also announced yesterday that they recommend Magic Mushrooms be used to treat terminal patients and help them accept death. But the scientists know that even if their studies are 100% true, it could take years or even decades to implement. (read: old white racist and stupid politicians who know nothing about anything, especially science. Except Catholicism of course.)

We have mentioned just a few examples of groundbreaking research into how certain stigmatized drugs can be massively beneficial to people suffering serious mental health problems yet are ignored or marginalized because of said stigma.

The one real drug issue right now though, defies all logic: opiates.

In 2016 alone, drug overdoses killed more Americans than the entire Vietnam War and car crashes, gun violence, and HIV/AIDS ever did. in a single year. In a single year.

In a single year.

In a single year.

In a single year.

In a single year.

In a single year.

In total, more than 170 people are estimated to die from overdoses every day in the US, and most of the deaths are linked to opioids.

North America is seeing the worst drugs epidemic in it’s history, on a scale beyond comprehension and it wasn’t caused by immigrants, shady government agencies or even poverty, but rather by doctors.

The opioid epidemic stems from the frenzied prescription of the drug to everyone and their dog and their chia pet since the 90s. Big Pharma pushing pills on everyone with every type of pain. When these prescriptions ran out, or just didn’t work anymore, people moved on to hard opioids like heroine and fentanyl thus causing the current crisis.

It hasn’t stopped though, per the CDC [https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/opioids/infographic.html], In 2015, the amount of opioids prescribed was enough for every American to be medicated around the clock for 3 weeks. A decline, but still a shocking amount.

And therein lies the hypocrisy… every time you hear a study where some stigmatized drug is hailed as a miracle treatment for some sort awful mental health issue, you know it will be decades until it can be used legally, yet at the same time doctors are prescribing deadly, horribly addictive drugs daily, entrapping people and causing dependencies that big pharmaceutical companies can profit off.

There of course needs to be ethics in science, and care taken in medical research but to disregard the useful of a drug or medicine just because it is misused is not only stupid, in the midst of the worse opioid crisis America have ever seen, it’s down right evil.