Alcoholics of the world rejoice! Soon you may be legally sanctioned to take horse tranquilisers to rid you of your addiction to alcohol.
Special K, Vitamin K, K2, Kitty, all of these adorable street names and others are used to refer to ketamine as a recreational drug where its use can lead to hallucinations and a sedated state, but it is also a medicine sometimes used for legitimate anaesthetic purposes for humans and animals.
It may sound counter-intuitive using one recreational drug as a method of treatment for the addiction to another, but in fact there is growing interest in using several different recreational and otherwise illegal substances in the treatment of a whole host of different medical conditions, physical and mental. No lesser advocate than Tim Ferriss, famous for his 4-hour work week, is putting his money where his mouth is to promote the use of drugs to treat drugs.
Psilocybin of magic mushroom fame, LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) aka ‘acid’, MDMA (ecstasy) – the list goes on, but the most obvious case is that of the legalisation of marijuana, first in limited medical applications, and now increasingly legal for personal use in several countries.
It is truly astounding the volte-face that first medical practitioners, and then government officials, and finally law enforcement will have to perform, as some of these drugs go from being classed as contraband, dangerous narcotic substances, to being allowed for medical use, and potentially legalised for doctors to prescribe or even individuals to use.
The number of deaths caused by fighting “the war on drugs”, the massively powerful and hugely rich criminal cartels that the criminalisation of drugs allows, along with the risks to citizens of overdosing or being injured or killed by drug-users all need to be seriously weighed up against the benefits that may result from decriminalisation before any concrete steps are taken in that direction.
However, for the moment, if limited medical applications have clearly documented benefits against some of society’s current ills, why shouldn’t they be used? Fight fire with fire!