This is my list of the effects that I have discovered in alcohol. It is possible to add more, but the fact remains that the positive effects are almost negligible in comparison with the negative. Alcohol is by far the most dangerous and destructive drug I’ve come into contact with. (I have however not been in contact with heroin and crack cocaine, which are two other dangerous drugs that have a lot in common with alcohol.) It would be hugely beneficial if people would switch to other substances, both at the individual level as socio-economically.
Toxic, there is a real possibility of dying
Health degrades rapidly
Increased risk behavior
Less responsible and respectful
Everything is someone else’s fault
Can trigger mental disorders, such as schitzophrenia
Today I sent a Swedish version of this e-mail to all politicians in the Swedish parliament and government, as well as some party board members, MEPs, party secretariat staff and the political youth party organizations.
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My name is Daniel Wilby and nine years ago I was literally about to drink myself to death. I was on the run from life and I accused everyone else for my pain. Around that time I began smoking cannabis, and at one point my pusher offered me some LSD. I bought it thinking that it would offer yet another escape from life.
Something happened during that first LSD trip. I was able to move outside of my body and from that perspective I could see that all the pain in my life, all the sorrow, all the hurt that I wanted to escape from was my own creation. When I saw that, I realized that the power over my life originated from myself, and just as I had chosen to feel bad and hurt myself, I could choose the opposite – to heal and fill my life with joy and love.
I came back to my body and decided to take responsibility for my life. My 13 year long and deep alcohol abuse ended abruptly that night. It took me another three months of intensive work, with the help of LSD, to heal a four year long very severe depression.
Since then I have worked hard to heal myself and sometimes also guided others. At first I thought that my recovery was unique. Gradually, I realized that it was not. Such stories are very common among people who work with psychedelics.
Meanwhile I naturally followed the Swedish drug debate, and I am frankly quite angry and deeply disappointed at the low level of it. Today’s drug laws harm a great many people and those that debate and legislate are obviously deeply ignorant. Science is replaced by a very damaging dogmatism, while healing and spiritual exploration is persecuted and stigmatized. The laws that should protect the individual’s right to health and spiritual freedom, are instead curtailing these rights in today’s simplistic and offensive drug policy.
Here are five blog posts that I wrote last week. I would be grateful if you took the time to read them, to nuance the picture given in the drugs debate. You are most welcome to get in contact with me if you have thoughts, concerns or questions.
Finally, I want to say that I hope that you and your political party in the future works for:
● a real change in how we treat the most vulnerable among our fellow humans.
● broadening the way society looks at and works with healing.
● people’s right to their own spirituality.
● correcting the image of different substances that are currently illegal and that many of them, if not all, are promptly legalized.
Photo: Party leader debate between Stefan Löfven (S) and Annie Lööf (C) by Melker Dahlstrand.
Today’s repressive drug laws are at a dead end. The war on drugs harms society and citizens in a multitude of ways, of which I listed some in yesterdays blog post. Ironically it also prevents effective treatments for such things as addiction. But where can we go from here? Let’s imagine that all substances are legal. How can we organize the community to limit the damage and help addicts?
Legalizing all drugs would of course not mean that you could buy them next to the sweets at your local supermarket. And everything doesn’t just fall into place because they come under government control. There would probably need to be a combination of solutions, some of which already exist and others that don’t. Here are some possible parts to such a system.
In the current situation the entire drug trade is a black economy that is largely controlled by criminal organizations. If all substances were legalized they would become part of the regular economy, where it becomes possible to set up rules for manufacturing and quality control products. The substances would be provided with a table of content, just like any other commodity. The goods may additionally be provided with other labels, such as organic and fair trade.
Those working in the trade would have the same rights as other workers, would have the support of existing labor laws, would have the right to organize themselves into unions and would become tax payers.
Sales could take place within established models, such as the state control (pharmacies/tobacco sales) or as a state monopoly (in Sweden all alcohol is sold by the state run Systembolaget). Age limits could be imposed on substances and they could also be differentiated, so that one would have to be older to purchase some of the more potent compounds.
When drugs come under government control it is possible to steer people away from more harmful substances by levying heavier taxes on them. It’s would be easy to see which substances are economically costly for society and adjust the taxes accordingly.
Possibility to withdraw the right to use certain substances.
People should be able to lose their right to use certain substances if they commit crimes or harm themselves or others when they use them. I think it is strange that those who repeatedly get into fights drunk, drive intoxicated or get wasted on the verge of dying, still have the right to buy as much liquor as they can pay for.
When one shows that they aren’t able to handle a certain substance, it should be possible to revoke that person’s right to do so, in the same manner that one can lose ones driving license or license to practice medicine.
The possibility to exclude oneself from certain substances.
Many people are very aware of which substances they should not take. For example I know many who say they have no problem drinking beer, but go berserk if they drink hard liquor. It’s the same with all substances. What is pure bliss for one, can be hell for another. What one is able to take a couple of times a year without developing a craving for, another becomes addicted to after just a few doses.
But then again, many people know perfectly well what substances are dangerous for them. It could be made easy for them to take responsibility with the choice to voluntarily waive the right to use certain substances. They could also be able to set limits for themselves, by specifying how much of a substance they may purchase during a certain time period.
Many addicts will arrive at the point where they want to break free from their habit. During a certain period the window of change is open. The problem is often that they relapse because the substance will continue to be available to them. If they can exclude themselves from the right to buy certain substances, such as if an alcoholic does not allow him/herself to buy liquor, it would effectively help in the recovery process.
Licenses to handle certain substances.
With some particularly heavy drugs such as heroin, it would be possible to introduce a license allowing an educated person to handle the substance. For most substances it would probably be enough with basic education in school and a little everyday common sense, but with substances that carry serious consequences, it is important to be sure that those who use them have proper knowledge about risks and safety. The education for such a license may contain things like responsible management, how to use in a safe manner to prevent spread of infection, and how to deal with accidental overdoses. Such a license may be revoked if the person is irresponsible and for example sells substances to other people or uses them in an unsafe manner.
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In addition to the distribution itself – what can we do to get control of the situation regarding different substances?
Universal education in dealing with drugs and addiction.
I often wonder how drug education in schools can be allowed to be so absolutely worthless. The “education” is basically designed solely to scare people not to try anything. As a teenager I was an exchange student in the United States and the school that I went to worked in exactly the same way when it came to sex education. There was no information about STDs, contraception or sex. The whole message was only “you should not have sex until you get married”, and it was really crammed down the teenagers throats. It is a dangerous kind of indoctrination that creates ignorant and bigoted citizens, while increasing the actual risks.
Instead we should have a proper drug education, which includes such themes as:
∙ What is an altered state of mind and how you can you work with it?
∙ How to use drugs safely.
∙ What to do if you or someone else feels bad under the influence.
∙ How to manage an overdose.
∙ How to identify and get rid of substance abuse.
Use tax revenues for addiction treatment and prevention.
A legalization would generate tax revenue that I think primarily should go to addiction treatment and prevention. Even more money is now being spent on hunting, harassing and punishing people.
If we add a substantial part of those resources to create good addiction treatment, we will soon have the best addiction treatment the world has ever seen. Health care should be accessible and able to quickly help addicts who express a desire to receive care. Addiction is a disease and addicts should be treated as patients, not criminals.
There will always be addicts, but it is my firm belief that the addiction is to be found in the person – not in substance. People flee into abuse because they are fleeing from themselves, from the traumas they try to forget or from situations that are unbearable. Good prevention work builds on this understanding and aims to help people face themselves, help them process past trauma and to make their lives bearable. It helps them to stop fleeing and encourages them to take responsibility for their own lives. Much of today’s preventive work lacks this basic understanding.
Make substances available for scientific research, therapists, health care workers and healers.
There are many substances that are currently incorrectly classified as drugs with no medical value. This applies above all to psychedelics that are proven to be extremely effective in curing such things as addiction, depression, post-traumatic stress, empathy disorders and death anxiety. There are lots of stories about absolutely miraculous healing taking place with these substances, and they are at the same time very safe when used correctly.
Another substance that is being discussed greatly right now is cannabis and not only in its mind-altering form, but also as tinctures without the mind-altering properties. It is used with good results for such things as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, depression and end of life care. There seems to be some evidence that it also has cancer fighting properties.
These substances need to be made available to those who need the help and for the professionals who are working on this – from therapists, to regular health care workers, and also in alternative treatments. Today there are plenty of alternative therapists and traditional healers such as shamans, who have the knowledge and who have been passing it on for thousands of years. Here are exciting cross over’s to be made, when traditional methods of healing meet western medicine. Such work is already taking place. To fully take advantage of this scientific research needs to get started as soon as possible.
Making up for abuse committed by the state.
While the intention has probably been good, many people have been abused and badly treated under the current legislation. The current drug laws have stigmatized people, forced them into alienation, punished them, led people into a criminal lifestyle, actively withheld health care for sick addicts and has also led to many unnecessary deaths.
There is a need for redress and reconciliation. The very least the government should do is to apologize for the abuse that occurred under the current legislation.
I was asked today why I am interested in younger women.
It’s obviously something I have asked myself too. My relationships in recent years have been with women who are 10 to 20 years younger than me. Depending on the perspective one of course sees different things, but here are three things that I feel are relevant.
My alcoholism has delayed me
An active addiction will stop your personal development on many levels. This is particularly true in the case of a substance such as alcohol, which is a powerful anesthetic and poison. I drank for 13 years. That was 13 years where my emotional and social development almost stood still. When I ended my alcoholism at the age of 31, I was therefore in many ways no older than 18, if even that old. When I looked at other people my biological age I felt that they were indeed very, very old. That feeling has lingered, but has also changed a lot.
However, there are two things that counter this effect significantly. The first is my intensive work with psychedelics. A trip can be the equivalent of many years of therapy, compressed into one evening. It is no exaggeration to say that psychedelics have given me a couple of lifetimes worth of therapy by now. I find that I have on many levels caught up with and gone far beyond my biological age. But having said that, there are parts where I find that I am still trying to catch up.
The second is this. As I become better at seeing where people are, I realize that most of them are stuck in similar ways as I was. These times we live in are incredibly childish and collectively we try to avoid taking responsibility. At the individual level that is because many are stuck in their 14-year-old, even though they are 30 or 50 or 70. The most childish among us often wear a suit.
– But shouldn’t that make it easier for you to find a partner your own age, some might wonder.
No, quite the opposite. Someone who is 40 but behaves like 14 is stuck and has been so for a while. The only way I could find any romantic interest in such a person is if she would be dedicated to healing herself and growing beyond what she has been. A 40-year-old who is happy to act like 14 is a real turn off for me, just as I assume that 30-year-old Daniel must have been very uninteresting for sensible peers when I drank like an 18-year-old .
Rigor mortis has not yet set in
I often prefer being around young people, because their thinking has not yet stagnated and their sense of discovery is still there. I am of course generalizing, but I often meet people my own age who don’t seem to be able to talk about anything other than television, sports, news, gossip or politics.
Contemplate the Sea squirt. When it is young it swims about in the sea, discovering and playing with other Sea squirts. When it gets older it sets outside a sewage treatment plant or such and devours its own brain. Humans, as far as I can see, have much in common with the Sea squirt. When they are young they travel around, playing and exploring their visions. Then they sit down in front of the TV and devour their own brain.
I do of course understand that there are young people who have already devoured their brain, just as there are older people who have theirs intact. But I feel that there are far more brainless people the older people get. Then there are also many young who have not yet connected their brains, but that’s another matter.
Kindred spirits attract each other
Although my girlfriends have all been younger than me, it must be obvious to all who met them that I have always attracted very strong, talented and special women. So even though the age difference has in some cases given a thrilling dynamic, we have also been able to meet as equals.
We live hundreds or thousands of lives. Through these lives we form communities and friendships with other souls that we feel comfortable with. We meet again and again to play out different roles in relation to each other. The physical body is just a vessel, which people that get hung up on the biological age tend to miss.
There are many young people now who are much older than what they look to be on the outside. They are old, wise souls in young bodies. There has been a steady increase of these people since the early 80s. They are our indigo and crystal children. I am one of them, but an early one, who was born when they were still uncommon. I’m attracted to old, beautiful souls that I have met in past lives and they are attracted to me, because we are travelling in the same direction.
Main photo: Hampton Court Bridge – June 1971 – My First Love by Gareth Williams on Flickr
At the age of 31 I was in bad shape. I was an alcoholic for 13 years, depressed for four, I hadn’t had a job in ages and I lived with my grandmother. I went through life in a haze where I constantly blamed all my failures and shortcomings on others.
By pure chance I was one day offered to buy ten hits of LSD. I had tried LSD once when I was 17 and remembered it as a strange and twisted experience, so I bought the acid thinking that it would offer yet another way for me to escape.
That weekend my friends and I drove out to an isolated farm. None of us really knew what to expect. At that time I had no idea what a chakra was. I did not even know the word.
A couple of hours after we took the acid my throat chakra opened up wide and from my neck a beam of energy shot straight out into the universe and connected me to everything. That allowed me to move outside myself, up the beam and observe.
When I saw myself from the outside, I saw that all the pain, all the sorrow, all the failures that I carried around and projected on other people, were in fact my own creations. The realization was that I truly created my own life. And just as I can create fog and pain and anger, I can choose to create clarity, liberation and harmony.
In that moment, I chose a different path. It required no effort, it was like turning on a light. Once I did so I no longer needed to think about it, because the light was lit. I chose to take control of my life again. I chose to take responsibility for my life and for my choices. I decided to sober up and begin to clear out the fog and the pain that blinded and enslaved me.
Then and there a new chapter of my life began.
Three months later I was sober, on the road to recovery from my depression, I had a job and an apartment.