Medicine of a Bygone Era

If someone today were to boast of the health benefits of heroin, cocaine, LSD or methamphetamine they would be deemed nothing less than bat-shit crazy delusional, or perhaps a pawn of Satan, here to plant the seeds of corruption and demise in the minds of the young, tempting them to taste the forbidden fruit and lure them into a life of hedonistic pleasures. At best, they would ridicule him for the absurdity of such preposterous thoughts and write him off as an addict, delusional in his attempt to justify his destructive behavior. He would be denounced for slanging such reprehensible pro-drug propaganda that could only been intended to corrupt the minds of young children who might believe such heinous lies. The anti-drug crusaders allow no room for grey area or self-interpretation. All drugs are unequivocally, universally bad for you. Those who use them are considered unstable, weak-willed flunkees who lack self-discipline and a moral compass. They are unequipped to cope with reality so they use drugs as a cowardly means escape. Nothing good can come of illegal drugs and those who are brazen enough to dare question this universal truth are dealt with cruelly and promptly removed from decent society. As if the social and legal ramifications of drug use weren’t enough, anti-drug crusaders need you to believe that all drugs rot you from the inside and will inevitably eat away at your body until you die. It is black and white. It’s not good enough to say that they can lead to addiction and that can have devastating consequences to your life. Or that not practicing harm reduction can lead to life threatening diseases like AIDS or Hep C. We must also unquestionably believe and that all drugs also ravage your hair, skin, organs and will ultimately kill you. While a large percentage of the population happily insists on killing themselves slowly with a transfat, high-sodium, processed sugar, take-out diet. And have no problem popping mood altering prescription drugs for anything and everything, including anxiety, depression, hyper-activity, menopause or low-testosterone.

But what people have a tendency to conveniently forget, is that almost every drug at one point in time, was legitimately used as medicine for many of these same conditions. Some, like heroin, were even used for more legitimate medical purposes. In fact, there are opiate painkillers used today that are stronger than heroin. I read a blog the other day that said something like “If heroin came in a pill form, would you be curious enough to try it?” All heroin is, is a pain killer that has been made illegal. It is no different than any other pain killer on the market. Cocaine, at one time, was considered a miracle drug. Methamphetamine was used by Nazi German to increase the productivity of their soldiers. LSD has been used successfully for many psycho-therapy purposes. But for one reason or another, usually when the drug proves to provide unintentional “feel good” benefits to the user, Lord forbid, they have been labeled ILLEGAL. At that point they become target for a free-for-all hate campaign where truth is often overshadowed, and often blatantly denied, in order to thoroughly manipulate an uneducated public to willing jump on the anti-drug bandwagon. There’s an attempt to erase history and replace it with a story that is more in-line with the new way of thinking. To a degree, this works. But if you do a little digging, you find bits and pieces remaining.

This is a video I made of medicine that was widely used and popular among our not-to-distant ancestors. My intention was not to make some grandiose political statement like I just prefaced it with. I simply wanted to provide some entertainment value. Because it’s fun to look at all these different drugs that have become such taboos in modern society that if they were to be recommended today by a health care professional, that doctor would no doubt lose their license. But there was a time where they were not only acceptable, but easily purchased over the counter, or through mail order, without a prescription. It’s not the drugs that are dangerous or harmful,  they are just another type of medicine, just like everything else we use today. It’s how we use them, and the prohibition of these drugs that make them so dangerous. At the time the Harrison Act was passed, the majority of heroin addicts were upper class, Caucasians, over the age of 40. Slightly more women were users, since it was not considered socially acceptable for women to drink, so they turned to heroin instead. Many doctors recommended that their male alcoholic patients switch to heroin because it didn’t cause violent outbursts or lend to domestic abuse. That’s a very different picture of the heroin user we’ve come to think of today. This could be, and no doubt will be, a topic large enough to deserve its own blog. But for now, I’ll just leave you with this little video featuring medicine of a bygone era. Enjoy 🙂

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