The prescription pad as politically correct authority
August 22, 2014 § 10 Comments
When it comes to mental illness and mood, we have to acknowledge that a small percentage of people are not fit to look after themselves. They need constant adult supervision or else they will become a danger to themselves and/or others.
But modernity values freedom – personal autonomy – above all else, which is actually why our politics becomes so tyrannical; and the idea of grown human beings placed under the authority of other flawed human beings is anathema.
Enter the prescription pad. Even though a drug like alcohol objectively has a similar profile of risks and benefits for improving mood to other drugs, it is unsuitable because it cannot be an instrument of social control. So the use of alcohol to improve mood must be frowned upon, even though going on a bender with the boys to get over a bad breakup might be a healthy thing to do, within limits. A war must be waged on strong psychotropics on one front; while on another front psychotropics must be brought under the supervision of experts, and heaven help you if you ‘go off your meds’ even when they make you feel awful and destroy your health.
So the sociological purpose of the prescription pad is twofold. One of its key functions is to place you under authority while pretending not to place you under authority. The other key function is to control the information flow and narrative around the use of psychotropic drugs. Naturally the ‘experts’ who wield this chemical power on behalf of the State would rather you didn’t see it that way.
The genie is already out of the bottle when it comes to alcohol, so it cannot be used as a means of social control. With alcohol you are free to wake up from the bender, drink lots of water, take a few asprin, and get on with your life without carrying the subordinate label ‘mental patient’ into your future. And we can’t have that.