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Bullshit, Hypocrisy, & Stupidity -- A Study of Social Acceptance - Lake Placidyl

About Lake Placidyl

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It was public knowledge that the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist used to be addicted to Placidyl back in the 70's. But now that he's deceased, the FBI recently released their "Rehnquist file" and the true extent of his addiction is detailed therein. Placidyl, or ethchlorvynol, was a semi-common tranquilizer used back in the 70's and early 80's. When the pharmacoepia of benzodiazepines expanded and their use became more widespread, they replaced more addictive, stronger drugs like Placydil, Seconal, Nembutal, Tuinal, and of course Quaaludes, most of which are no longer on the market. Placydil is no longer made as of 1999, as I recall. Indeed, the golden age of tranquilizers was the late 1970s, and it turns out Justice Rehnquist enjoyed his share of the tranquility.

Also detailed in the declassified file was Rehnquist's 1981 hospital stay for treatment of back pain and his dependence on powerful prescription pain-relief medication.

The FBI investigated his dependence on Placidyl, which Rehnquist had taken for at least 10 years, according to a summary of a 1970 medical examination.

When Rehnquist checked into a hospital in 1981 for a weeklong stay, doctors stopped administering the drug, causing what a hospital spokesman at the time said was a "disturbance in mental clarity."

The FBI file, citing one of his physicians, said Rehnquist experienced withdrawal symptoms that included trying to escape the facility and discerning changes in the patterns on the hospital curtains. The justice also thought he heard voices outside his room discussing various plots against him.

The doctor said Placidyl is a highly toxic drug and that she could not understand why anyone would prescribe it, especially for long periods.

Prior to his hospitalization, Rehnquist occasionally slurred his speech in his questions to lawyers at Supreme Court arguments. Those problems ceased when he changed medications, the doctor said.


It should be noted that Placidyl is not a painkiller, but a tranquilizer. Of course if you take enough of it, you'll be unconscious and won't feel anything. Physical withdrawal from tranquilizers such as Placidyl, barbiturates, and even the "safer" benzodiazepines can be very dangerous, much more dangerous than withdrawal from painkillers. In fact, only alcohol withdrawal is more life-threatening.

What bothers me is that Rehnquist was so adamantly anti-drug, pro-prohibition, and so unsympathetic to drug users/addicts throughout the many Supreme Court decisions he authored or joined. Granted he presumably had legitimate prescriptions for the 11+ years he snarfed down high doses of Placidyls; however, he was always one opposed to any sort of drug use out of general principle, often leading the charge to rape and pillage the Fourth Amendment in order to give the police state more tools/authority to catch, prosecute, and lock up drug users/sellers/addicts. Of course, as Rush Limbaugh taught us all, drug warriors are really only opposed to drugs for everyone else. They support prohibition and feel that fact alone gives them the right to buy all the drugs on the street they want. A combination of hypocrisy, friends in high places, and moral superiority always leads to the most shameful, intolerant, idiotic actions (throw religion in there and you have the four horsemen of jack-assery).
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 17th, 2008 01:19 am (UTC)
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Interesting story! I have to say that the back pain is something very bad ant it is not so easy to find the cure!
http://www.alleviatebackpain.net/back-pain-cure
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From:brucem
Date:September 11th, 2008 03:10 am (UTC)
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It's not really all that surprising. Drug warriors have no compunction about railing against the imagined evils of drugs and advocating harsh prison sentences for all drug users while gorging on drugs themselves. They "Know" (with the capital K) that they are moral, upstanding drug-hating American Christians, so their drug use poses no problem to anyone. They Know they can handle their drug(s) of choice. And they Know that all other people (especially those with dark skin and weak morals) are unable to use the same drugs without becoming violent criminals, so they Know that they are not hypocrites. Plus, they usually rationalize their drug use as a medical necessity. Rush Limbaugh had to buy thousands of OxyContin pills per week on the streets due to back pain. Dubya probably justified his cocaine use as a way to ammeliorate his constant alcohol-induced inebriation. You know, it was medicine. Sarah Palin admitted that she smoked - and inhaled - marijuana, yet for some reason she doesn't think she should have been punished by the judicial system. Why is that? She'll say marijuana was legal when she smoked it, but I explain in my most recent post that at no time during her life has marijuana been legal. And no, she was not talking about smoking it in Holland.

Of course, when no other reason can excuse a drug warrior's hypocrisy, there is always the fallback position of "protecting the children." You know... "I used drugs when I was young, and while nothing bad happened to me and I became extremely successful later in life, if kids knew this then they would think drugs are okay... so we need t lie to the children to set a good example for them."

There's a level of hypocrisy that amounts to being a sociopath. It requires such a huge mental disconnect that I think it is evidence of multiple personality disorder. Anyone who argues in favor of drug prohibition while simultaneously using illegal drugs clearly suffers from a major psychiatric disorder (and I don't mean addiction, which for the record I do not believe is a "disease" or "disorder" - but that's another post for another day).

Even though I hate to see anyone incarcerated for drug use, as a firm believer in ideological estoppel, I make an exception for all the drug using drug warriors out there. I wonder how many people who openly advocate prohibition do so only to distract from their own drug use/addiction. It's the same reason so many openly homophobic people are actually closeted homosexuals. "I hate gay people, I really do. They're gross. Yeah, they should all be sent to an island... yeah... gay people suck... uh huh, I hate them... yeah... uh huh... yuck... eww.. ick... gay people" is proof positive of homosexuality. Likewise, those who openly protest drug use are probably going to to snort cocaine and shove Vicodins up their asses. Drugs are bad, mmmmkay....
From:kalie_b
Date:August 25th, 2009 02:06 pm (UTC)
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You got some very good points here. I don't use drugs and I am not an anti-drug activist but I do work in a rehab center. I can tell you for a fact that a lot of people use drugs and there is no stereotype here, having no stereotype for the drug user means having no reliable solution for solving the problem of the masses. Perhaps that's why it's so difficult to send drug addicts messages to get treatment and go on with their lives, although we live among them we are not close enough of them.
Kalie at Narconon Vista Bay
From:dharmastrain
Date:December 2nd, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
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The 70's and early 80's were the pioneer years in using steroids too and a lot of "enthusiasts" have opted for one anabolic steroid or another without knowing the dangers they were exposing themselves to; unfortunately only few have survived to tell the story.
From:qassatan
Date:January 6th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
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Aside from the painkiller/tranquilizer/hallucinogenic effect any prohibited drug should have an addictive effect to the users (if it's not addictive why bother, you can regulate its use with usual prescription laws) you're going to need more than one example of Placidyl addicts.
Drug Rehab Treatment
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 11th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC)
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I have been to a rehab facility and it was the best experience of my life. I, like others there, didn't think it was going to be worth it and a waste of time. Like any addict would think. I found myself in awe when I got there. They had the best motivational speaker (http://www.keynote-speaker-motivational.com/choosing-keynote-speaker.htm) come talk to us once a week about his struggles and how it changed him to what he is today. It was great seeing someone that was able to change their life around that was in the same position as I was at one point. It really changed my life around.
From:elizabeth1988
Date:February 11th, 2011 02:51 am (UTC)
(Link)
I have been to a rehab facility and it was the best experience of my life. I, like others there, didn't think it was going to be worth it and a waste of time. Like any addict would think. I found myself in awe when I got there. They had the best motivational speaker come talk to us once a week about his struggles and how it changed him to what he is today. It was great seeing someone that was able to change their life around that was in the same position as I was at one point. It really changed my life around.
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