Monday, April 6, 2009

more on how speed is speed

And don't tell me the method of ingestion makes all the difference. The tablets of stimulants given out to children are easily crushable and snortable, damaging the nose by making a deviated septum more likely, intensifying the drug's effect, and leading to a shorter if stronger high that peters out all the faster. It is rare that a child does not learn to snort the pills by tween age.

Another issue: Many parents complain that their child's ADD medications "poop out" by late afternoon or evening, and stop working. This is what any recreational user of speed worth their salt recognizes as the speed crash. It is not that the medication has "stopped working", it is simply that it is time to pay the speed piper. The law of mental gravity applies here and what goes up must come down--the user becomes irritable and tired and yet unable to sleep for a few hours. Yet, how do doctors advise solving this problem? By adding another dose of amphetamine at the end of the day, merely exacerbating a speed crash that is now delayed, but not eliminated.

If the children were using it recognizing the drug as a risky stimulant, choosing to use it of their own free will and approaching their use from a harm reduction standpoint, it would be one thing. But as minors, children are forced to ingest an intensely mind altering substance (I, for one, see being forced to take uppers in multiple doses every day as sheer torture, and I'm sure many of these pathologized children are experiencing it as exactly that.) Their parents might not even be aware that the drugs their children are taking are good old fashioned uppers. And the doctors, who in another context would recognize a speed crash when they saw one, are blinded by the false conceptual divide between drugs that are marketed as cures for "psychiatric disorders" by Big Pharma and drugs that are sold by the blackmarket for recreational or lifestyle use--not even when, as in this case, it's the *exact* *same* drug under discussion.

This why the mad movement and the anti drug war movement need to begin a dialogue.

For a brilliant explanation of how our society alternately demonizes and angelicizes certain drugs in different eras (and in this case, the same drug in different packaging in the same era!), read Richard DeGrandpre's _The Cult of Pharmacology_.

Here, Will Hall, co-founder of mad movement group the Freedom Center(full discosure, I'm an organizer and collective member)interviews the author on Madness Radio, our Valley Free Radio show.

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