Ending Drug Stigma

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 our 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 the search for treatment and relief.

Contrary to what may be thought, the NNRF does not take an anti-drug position. The war on drugs has proven to be a futile effort. This is 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 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.

On the other side of the coin, new research has shown promise in the controlled and therapeutic application of certain psychedelic drugs. Certain psychedelic drugs are making a comeback in the therapeutic space for several neurological disorders including: depression, PTSD, addiction and other uses including hospice and end of life care.

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.

Conclusion

What we as the NNRF are asking from the pro and anti-drug camps is to have a little compassion and to end the stigma surrounding drug use. To the non-drug user; you may have someone in your life you care about who deserves empathy not disdain. To the drug user; moderate to severe cases of HPPD is a fate, one which nobody has a clear understanding of, and why it affects some and not others. The truth of the matter is that not everyone that has used hallucinogenic drugs has a history of mental illness. There is no clear understanding of what causes HPPD. This patient powered research foundation’s goal is to discover precisely why and what can be done to restore and rebalance the mind from the excitotoxic effects of hallucinogenic drug use. Until the reason of what triggers HPPD is discovered, anyone using hallucinogenic drugs is able to acquire it.

We are asking for help and support along both sides of the drug divide. Ultimately, our work is geared toward salvaging lives and preventing others from having to suffer years, maybe decades of the unyielding torture that is HPPD.