A brief thought on alcohol prohibition

The period in the 1920s and 30s where alcohol was banned nationwide in the US was a volatile time. It led to an explosion of organised crime, hundreds of thousands of moonshine-related injuries and deaths, and only a moderate reduction in the use of alcohol. The US missed out on untold millions of tax dollars in that 13-year period of prohibition – in a particularly tumultuous economic time that included the great depression of 1929.

moonshine

Few people would argue that prohibition was a good idea. Although it may have reduced liver damage and moderately reduced alcohol consumption, it increased crime, led to thousands of deaths from poisoned alcohol, and unfairly targeted working class Americans. Any benefits from reducing the sale and production of a harmful drug were minor compared to the unintended consequences of criminalisation.

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Ketamine for depression – miracle drug?

Ketamine is an anaesthetic drug, first used on American soldiers in the Vietnam war, and part of the World Health Organisations’ list of essential medicines. Its effects include sedation, euphoria, dissociation and psychedelic introspection, leading to its popularity as a recreational substance. Now, many psychiatrists are touting it as a miracle drug for the treatment of depression.

ketamine

Ketamine crystals

Over the past year, you may have seen some of the many articles suggesting that this psychedelic compound could provide relief for sufferers of depression. This surge in public interest derives from several studies over the past few years that show remarkable improvements in depression scores of patients who are given moderate doses of ketamine.

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