Our Stance on Drugs
The NNRF maintains a neutral approach to psychedelic drugs. The focus of the NNRF is to address the growing global concerns of HPPD and VS, rather than enter into the fray of the global drug debate. We do not align ourselves with any particular agenda or view, as this is not our interest or in any way relative to the objectives of the organization. We have no desire to alienate ourselves from any subset of groups, organizations or society due to alignment with any particular cause. Our focus is on getting HPPD and VS the attention, awareness, and treatment required to help a desperate community in search for effective treatment and relief.
Truth be to told, the war on drugs has proven to be a futile effort which has proven to b more harmful than beneficial by taking a public health issue and turning it into a criminal justice issue. The fact of the matter is that human beings will probably never refrain from using drugs, regardless of warning or consequence. It is foolish to believe that any form of suppression will ever succeed in this regard. Mankind has proven throughout history that abuse and misuse of substances stems from complex societal issues, and thus it is conclusive that the notion of the drug subculture ever dissipating to be highly improbable. New research has shown promise in the controlled and therapeutic application of certain psychedelic drugs for several neurological disorders including depression, PTSD, addiction and other uses including hospice/end of life care. Sadly, there is no research being conducted by these institutions and organizations for HPPD.
The Stigma Associated With HPPD
HPPD sufferers face disregard and blatant stigma from all sectors of society. Many people and medical professionals that maintain an anti-drug position adopt the belief that an individual that suffers from HPPD deserves it. This is a heartless belief to hold, as no human being deserves to be cast out or deemed unworthy of medical care, regardless of what caused their medical malaise.
Many people and professionals on both ends of the drug debate also claim that people that suffer from HPPD had a pre-existing mental disorder, whereby it was the hallucinogenic drugs that drugs triggered it. A blanket statement saying that a preponderance to mental illness being the root cause without knowing if a history of family mental illness existed, is used as more of an excuse to refute HPPD for the sake of the party and the justification of continued drug use by placing blame on the sufferer, rather than thinking critically in, how and why HPPD occurred. It’s an escapist’s declaration in that it could never happen to them. HPPD does happen and more frequent than currently thought.
The bottom line is that HPPD is a serious problem, and is more than capable of destroying individual sufferers’ lives. Many sufferers have no idea how to continue living with the condition and most have a dramatic decrease in their overall quality of life. Some are forced to lead a life of seclusion or sadly commit suicide. HPPD affects a person’s life dramatically which extends to family, friends and employment.
Getting back on the subject of stigma, Hallucinogen Persistent Perception Disorder is not psychosis nor is it schizophrenia. It’s not a gift or some mystical way into seeing other dimensions but a neurological disorder that affects how the mind processes visual stimuli. It’s a condition that sorely requires support from physicians, patients, parents the public and naturally psychonauts for until this condition is fully elucidated, anyone is liable to get it.
The main reason HPPD is not considered psychosis is the presence of insight, that is the understanding that the sensory disturbances are just that in HPPD, as opposed to misinterpreting them as an accurate reflection of reality in psychosis (Hermle et al., 2013).
Evaluating the manifestation of HPPD, there is an absence of the other symptoms which form the diagnoses of schizophrenia and other disorders featuring psychosis.
Hermle et al. (2015) provide the following description:
“Consistent with the ICD-10 (F16.70) definition ‘Flashback’ is often used to describe brief visual perceptual, mood, and altered states of consciousness effects reminiscent of acute hallucinogen intoxication effects. Many users regard flashback phenomena as benign and even pleasant. HPPD is described in DSM-5 as a visual perceptual disorder, sometimes persisting for months or years causing severe individual distress.”
Hermle (2013): https://www.omicsonline.org/…/hallucinogen-persisting-perce…
Hermle (2015): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/26421858/
If you have fully perused this website then it should have been made abundantly clear that HPPD is a highly distressing disorder and is indeed quite real which unfortunately has been ignored and shunned for far too long. There is documented evidence regarding the persistent effects of hallucinogenic drugs that spans decades and despite the facts the medical establishment has grossly overlooked if not flat out ignored this life altering debilitating condition. Shamefully, the stigma attached to this condition gives rise to the notion that those who suffer from HPPD deserve it, that it is their fault for engaging in the risk of using hallucinogenic substances. If ever there was a more heartless position to take regarding anyone suffering from a chronic condition, this is it.
No human being deserves to suffer a lifetime of pain and anguish, regardless of cause. Psychedelic use is increasing at a rapid rate globally and because of the risk and unpredictable nature of HPPD, the number of sufferers is only going to keep growing. Therefore, it is critical to give Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder the attention it so desperately needs. It is imperative to discover the underlying factors behind HPPD and to fundamentally understand what goes wrong in the minds of this patient population. As research forms and progress, it will be possible to formulate a cure and prevent others from acquiring it living a lifetime of mental anguish which is why it is of paramount importance that this disorder gets the attention, research and awareness that is so desperately needed.