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Radically Inept
Thursday, July 08, 2004
  Okay. I'm game, but I get to say what's normal

Via Modulator, who credits The Agitator with the find, comes a report that should strike fear into anyone who thinks.

Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE), who describes itself as a "nonprofit research and policy center devoted to protecting freedom of thought", and whose mision is "to develop and implement social policies that preserve and enhance freedom of thought into the 21st century", has released a report entitled Pharmacotherapy and the Future of the Drug War, that opens with:
Executive Summary
INTRODUCTION
Over the next decade an increasing number of new “pharmacotherapy”
medications will become available with the potential to tremendously impact
the use and abuse of illegal drugs and the overall direction of national and
international drug policy. These pharmacotherapy medications are designed to
block or significantly reduce the “highs” elicited by illegal drugs. Used as part
of a drug treatment program, pharmacotherapy medications may provide
valuable assistance for people seeking a chemical aid in limiting or eliminating
problem drug use. However, the tremendously politicized nature of the “drug
war” raises substantial concerns that, in addition to those who choose to use
such medications, some people will be compelled to use them. In the absence
of extraordinary circumstances, governmental action forcing or coercing a
person to use a pharmacotherapy drug would violate a number of constitutional guarantees and other legal rights protecting people from forced medical treatment.
Among the rights implicated by compulsory use of pharmacotherapy drugs are the right to informed consent, the right to bodily integrity and privacy, the protection against cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to freedom of thought.

In this report, the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE) examines
what we believe could become a significant future threat to cognitive
liberty. With funding and other encouragement provided by the U.S. federal
government, pharmaceutical companies are developing a new breed of drugs
specifically intended to diminish or entirely block the effects of illegal drugs.
The aim of these new “pharmacotherapy” drugs is to inhibit at the biochemical
level the very ability of a person to experience the psychotropic effects of
certain illegal drugs. Section I of this report begins with an overview of
these new drugs: how they work, who is designing and marketing them, and
how they may benefit those seeking a chemical aid in limiting problem drug
use. In Section II we take a careful look at various factors that raise a reasonable concern that these pharmaceuticals will migrate from voluntary use to compulsory use within certain population segments. Section III identifies and discusses a number of constitutional and other legal issues that will arise should use of these drugs be mandated for some people. In Section IV, the final section of this report, we present our recommendations and conclusions. [emphasis added]
You know, my fear here is that there is no such thing as a "court of psychiatry", and no right of appeal. Or is it the MD, or worse, HMO/insurance companies, that decide what the "normal human chemical balance" should be?

And then, is it a physicist, a statistician or a physician that decides what "normal variance" in 'alpha' and 'gamma' brain wave patterns are allowed?

There is some very scary knowledge coming down the pike, and the people that decide how it's used, will be wielding massive power. If it's going to happen, I think it's in everyone's self interest to have a say. But than 'mob rules' scare me, too.

For those who haven't, may I suggest reading Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, amongst other of his writings for a sense of what kind of potential future is waiting if we choose not to be vigilant.

Addendum posted 2043 hrs EST - Oh, I guess I missed Big Pharma as the arbiter of proper mental chemistry.

Via The Corpus Callosum, comes The Rest of the Story:
"Bush established the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in April 2002 to conduct a 'comprehensive study of the United States mental health service delivery system.' The commission issued its recommendations in July 2003. Bush instructed more than 25 federal agencies to develop an implementation plan based on those recommendations.

[...] Dr Darrel Regier, director of research at the American Psychiatric Association (APA), lauded the president's initiative and the Texas project model saying, 'What's nice about TMAP is that this is a logical plan based on efficacy data from clinical trials.'

He said the association has called for increased funding for implementation of the overall plan.

But the Texas project, which promotes the use of newer, more expensive antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs, sparked off controversy when Allen Jones, an employee of the Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector General, revealed that key officials with influence over the medication plan in his state received money and perks from drug companies with a stake in the medication algorithm (15 May, p1153). He was sacked this week for speaking to the BMJ and the New York Times. [emphasis mine{his}]

The Texas project started in 1995 as an alliance of individuals from the pharmaceutical industry, the University of Texas, and the mental health and corrections systems of Texas. The project was funded by a Robert Wood Johnson grant—and by several drug companies."
Actually, The Corpus Callosum emphasized this part of the post:
By Joanne Kenen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) Jul 07 - Thousands of mentally ill American children, some as young as seven, are locked up in juvenile detention centers because there is nowhere else for them to go, a congressional report found on Wednesday.
And we're the richest country in the world. And, we're a 'christian' country?
 
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