Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Richard Farrell: The Two Hour Orgasm

...And the Connection between Addiction, Universal Healthcare and our Wars on Drugs and Terror

Addiction first took hold of Richard Farrell after a torn knee put an end to hopes of a professional athletics career. That same injury started his relationship with pain medication. One thing led to another, as these things do, and by the time he reached thirty Farrell had succumbed to almost every aspect of the heroin lifestyle.

His journey to redemption is chronicled in his new memoir, What's Left of Us. Farrell was one of the lucky ones; after twenty failed attempts, he slayed his dragon at a run-down, state-funded detox clinic in Massachusetts, and went on to fulfill his potential as an author, journalist, teacher, filmmaker and screenwriter.

Many addicts will not be so fortunate. Clinics such as these are the easy victims of budget cuts. As bankrupt states struggle to pick up the incarceration tab for the collateral damage of the War on Drugs, and our federal government goes deeper into debt to pay for its War on (drug-funded) Terror, Farrell's life experience leads him to pose an important question: Have we forgotten the simple laws of supply and demand? By funding these two never-ending wars are we ineffectually treating the symptoms instead of battling the cause? Wouldn't our money be better spent reducing the demand for drugs?

The state-funded treatment of drug addiction has never been a vote-winning cause (just look at the tap dancing Obama was forced to do recently on the prickly issue of needle exchange programs). Here, in this special guest column, Farrell makes the case for a more enlightened drug (and healthcare) policy and talks of the horrors that will likely transpire if we continue on our current course, which is tantamount to treating cancer with a gold-plated plaster -- ridiculous, ineffectual, expensive and ultimately fatal.

Click HERE to read Farrell's essay, The Two Hour Orgasm, at

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