Excellent report Wed. on Democracy Now by Johann Hari and what causes drug addiction that’s unlike anything we’ve been taught (except for those who take the time to look close enough). In his new book, Chasing the Scream: The First and last Days on the War on Drugs, Johann reveals what I’ve known and have been writing about and trying to tell people for many years. It’s about Being PRESENT. Only Nature can heal and only giving people what they need can heal them. Meditators and those who practice mindfulness have known this for thousands of years. The problem is,, there’s too much $$ to be made from problems so the system keeps them going. Only lately, perhaps, are the problems outweighing the “profits” that are being made and it’s time for some Genuine
Johann describes an experiment with a rat in a cage and 2 water bottles; one bottled filled with just water and the other with water and either heroine or cocaine. The rat will almost always prefer the drug water and drink it til it kills itself. Bruce Alexander, a Professor from Vancouver BC who explained the old theories of addiction came from these experiments. In the 1970’s Prof Alexander pointed out that the rat is being placed in a empty cage with no stimuli and nothing besides 2 water bottles, the rat has nothing to do except drink the drug water. Prof Alexander wanted to try it a little differently. This time, taking 2 different settings,, the same setting with the empty cage and the 2 water bottles and the other “cage” was Rat park which was like heaven for rats with colored balls, cheese, other rats and so on. The rats in Rat Park were not interested in the drug water, they used very little of it and they never OD’d on it and never used the drug water in a way that looked like addiction or compulsion.
ADDICTION is the ADAPTATION to your ENVIRONMENT,, says Prof Bruce K. Alexander. It’s the Deprived, DEBT conditions that create the drive to compensate towards addiction. The lack of Love in a person’s life, the job with no meaning or purpose, people in society that feel marginalized and discarded, the poor, the unemployed or under employed, even the Fully employed with out a Spiritual life. I’ve been trying to tell this to people for decades.
This explains the immense addiction to Greed in our Society and the Lust for “wealth” and “profit” but, at the expense of True meaning or purpose other than enslaving the masses, destroying the environment and stealing the “wealth” because Corporations and banks simply can’t get enough. The only difference with Addiction to Greed and “power” is that it’s Not the the addict who kills themselves,, it’s others they kill with their addiction.
What creates the addiction to $$, “power” and Greed? If the rats in Rat Park are satisfied and don’t need the drug water, then how is it with all the pleasures of the world the 1% have, they Still cannot find satisfaction in 1% park?? With All of their $$, their travel, mansions all over the world, sex anyway you can get it, I’m assuming a “deprived” environment isn’t just about geography or materialism. It’s about the Quality of the environment, the “Nutritional” value. Johann doesn’t get into that point.
Johann goes on to talk about Billy Holiday and her addiction to heroine that she turned to to deal with the pressure Harry Anslinger from the Bureau of Narcotics put on her because he didn’t like the fact that a black woman was an up and coming star. She was also beaten and raped while working as a prostitute by her Manager, “husband” McKay.
Billy wasn’t even allowed to enter the hotel through the front door where she sang, she was forced to enter through the back. A black woman singing a song about lynching to a white audience was seen a shocking at the time. Harry Anslinger told Billy Holiday to stop singing the song Strange Fruit, a song about Lynching and Billy refused, vowing never to bow to a white man. Harry Anslinger tormented Billy Holiday throughout the 40’s and 50’s and said Jazz music sounded like “the jungles in the dead of night”. Harry Anslinger blamed marijuana for the way jazz music sounded, and believed Marijuana slowed down one’s perceptions of time and thought the musicians were living in different inhumane rhythm. Harry believe the music of jazz proved marijuana drove people insane.
Billy Holiday became a drug addict due to the abuse she suffered, being raped and being forced into prostitution in NYC when there was no other work. She was sent to jail for being raped and when she got out she turned to the hardest drugs to keep her from deepest, darkest hole of depression. Billy was so shy she could barely speak without the drugs. Her Pimp, “manger”/husband stole almost all her $$. After her greatest performance at Carnegie Hall he greeted Billy with a punch to the face that sent her flying.
Harry Anslinger heard that the singer was becoming a rising star and a heroine user so he sent Jimmy Fletcher to watch Billy’s every move. Harry didn’t like hiring blacks but he couldn’t send a white man into Harlem to spy on Billy. He was allowed to deal the drugs to to gain the confidence of the buyers, those he was planning on arresting.
Jimmy Fletcher fell in love with Billy Holiday after spending time with her, talking for hours, dancing with her at Club Ebony. Billy Holiday and the Bureau of Narcotics agent swaying together to jazz music.
McKay, Billy’s “husband” was finally given the boot by Billy after having been beaten by him so bad so many times they had to push her on stage to perform after taping up her ribs. He then, went to DC to meet with Anslinger to set Billy up for drugs. Billy was busted again and sent to jail for one year where she was forced to quit drugs cold turkey. She didn’t want to cry in front of the judge and simply told the judge she just wanted to go to a hospital where she can get off drugs and get better.
Having now, been a convict, she was stripped of her cabaret performers license not allowing her to sing anywhere alcohol was served which meant all the jazz clubs in the U.S.
Billy Holiday was clean after getting out of
Yolande Bavan told Johann Hari that Billy Holiday could survive anything but this, to lose her ability to sing. That’s the cruelest thing that could happen to a person,, to lose the One thing they Love an that keeps them alive. “How do you best act cruelly?” her friend Yolande Bavan asked me in 2013. “It’s to take something that’s the dearest thing to that person away from them.” Billie had been able to survive everything — but this? “You despair because you have no control. You can’t do the thing that is a passion and that you made your livelihood at, and that has brought joy to people all over the world,” Bavan says.
How many people walk around in this world Not doing what they Love and what brings them health? Or, for that matter, how many people even get to develop their gifts at all to even find out what they Love, like Billy Holiday? It was most likely the fact that Billy Holiday was in touch with her Love, her gift and talent that caused so much misery to be brought upon her. Action/Reaction. In those days it triggered so much hatred and racism from those around her like Harry Anslinger & McKay, white supremacists, to see a black woman rising, they just had to bring her down. Too many people want others down so they feel “up”. They don’t realize that helping others in need helps them.
What is it that makes people have the need to beat others down so? The fact that it was done to them, most likely. How does the vicious cycle of abuse get broken?
There are TOO many people being “born” into this world and Not given the Love and “Rat Park” they need to even get remotely in touch with their gifts so they have the ability to live an authentic, healthy life. That makes them despise those who do.
It’s a War against Nature and the natural passion that drives ALL people to want to be their fullest expression. That Spirit threatens many who fear that in themselves and others. Because so many are not raised and Loved and end up doing jobs and using that job to inflict unjust harm on others instead of using their position fairly.
No matter how you slice it, everything ultimately comes down to Nature and what people are made out of. No matter what people do for a living, it’s whether or not they’re a quality person inside.
Not much has changed today. When we have so much “power” and control in the hands of the few who continue to to suck more and more for themselves and instead of the masses standing up to them,, all they do is abuse the vulnerable.
Johann Hari went on later in the program to talk about the drug problem in Portugal and Vancouver and how they found ANOTHER WAY of dealing with it. They tried the usual unconscious way of “cracking down” and all it did was make matters worse. How many Countries, States SEE that the way they’re doing things doesn’t work and STILL keep doing it because people are making money? We will Never be Free of these Problems as long as we have predators who just want to Capitalize of others’ miseries and those who work for them.
Johann said Vancouver and Portugal abandoned the Drug War model and turned to alternatives,, The Light Bulb moment. In the year 2000, Portugal had one of the biggest drug problems, 1% of the population was addicted to Heroine. Time after time the country handled the situation the typical way and “cracked down” by criminalizing the problem, like some dysfunctional “parent”, only to make the problem worse. Again, like many “parents” who alienate their children by doing the same things over and over refusing to look at what they’re doing and admitting THEY are the one’s creating the mess,, NOT the child. It’s ALWAYS the one with the “power” who is responsible. Those in the “lower rank” position are always the result. It’s when those in “Charge” are illegitimate and are Not REAL Authority and blame the result rather than themselves,, they want the Privileges that come with being in “authority” MINUS the responsibility,, That’s a Child. There for the taking,, not the giving.
The Prime Minister decided to find an alternative solution and a way to GENUINELY solve the problem. They took the problem OUT of POLITICS and got a panel of doctors together to come up with an amazing method of treatment and agreed to do what ever they said. What the doctrs said to do was,, LEGALIZE EVERYTHING! Cannabis, Heroine, cocaine AND take all the money that was being spent on arresting, jailing and trying drug users and put it towards TREATING Drug abuse. Instead of fighting the problem, they got to the bottom of it. Portugal woke up and broke the vicious cycle. What a concept! Now, if that was only done with Greece! If those involved REALLY wanted to solve Greece’s Debt problem, the problem would get solved. it’s that Simple. But, the fact is,, like every other “problem” in the world,, be it “terrorism”, the Environment,, which is a REAL Problem, “Wars”, the “Economy”, those involved don’t REALLY want the problems solved, they Pretend to to get their foot in the door then, once it’s in, they do the opposite of helping. the banks, investors, the IMF run by Wall St, Want to suck from Greece’s already vulnerable position and put the country, and keep them, further in debt.
The focus of the drug treatment was to give every addict a purpose in life. They offered to pay half the clients wages for a auto shop to hire there for a year. 15 years later, injecting drugs use is down by 50%. THERE’S THE ANSWER! Instead of so many people Capitalizing off of or working FOR Companies that “profit” off other people’s miseries, addictions, vulnerabilities, their poverty, their ignorance, their innocence we need people who Genuinely WANT to help and see the True value is in HELPING solve problems rather than “profit” off of them till they spill out of control.
It’s important to know WHO we’re letting into our lives, who we’re getting involved with and make sure they’re really looking out for our best interest or not. When a person or country is in debt, they’re desperate and don’t usually make clear decisions. Like a person in shock, their judgement is off causing them to make ever poorer choices. That’s what debt does if not met by and helped by someone who truly desires to help.
Johann also mentions a drug user turned activist, Bud Osborne from Vancouver, who said he had to something besides watch people around him die. Him and the other users took turns patrolling the ally way when they were not using and would call an ambulance for the others. It began to give them self worth. They started to think maybe they’re not the losers they came to believe they were.