Vermont’s Brave New World of Prison Addiction

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The idea behind administering suboxone to inmates to prevent withdrawal from heroin seemed sensible, but has turned into a ghastly slippery slope in which inmates entering Vermont’s prisons system free of opioid addiction exit them addicted to publicly-funded Suboxone.

This does not have to be intentional to resemble Aldous Huxley’s predictions of a future “Brave New World” in which government pacifies the citizenry to enable totalitarian control.

MAT is defined as “an addiction treatment program that pairs therapy with medication to treat substance use disorders,” but inmates are provided synthetic opioid “medications” such as suboxone and methadone without adequate therapy.

This is a half-measure not supported by the scientific studies used to justify providing synthetic opioids to users at public expense. Without the counseling that helps people change their behaviors, they are unlikely to rid themselves of chemical dependency.

Huxley’s most famous novel, “Brave New World,” envisions a society in which a government-administered drug called “soma” is used to subjugate the citizenry:

The government encourages its citizens to take soma to eliminate unhappiness because the government sees unhappiness as antithetical to social stability. It does not want its citizens to question the system or become disillusioned, and soma is just one of many means of social control that makes maintaining societal order easier. Soma is a form of escapism that is socially and politically sanctioned and strongly encouraged. … The book strongly implies that an increased reliance on soma indicates an increase in the level of brainwashing a character has undergone.

Vermont seeks to “decarcerate” and eliminate prisons, and has weakened probation rules, eliminated cash bail in many cases, and released dangerous criminals back into the public. For those it incarcerates, it offers them soma — Medically Assisted Treatment, without the “treatment.” This is truly criminal — a crime against both the victimized public and the compromised inmates. Prisoners should get reformative assistance to quit drugs, not automatic pathways to greater addictions.

If a young inmate with only alcohol or marijuana abuse enters prison and wants to take these pharmaceutical drugs, they get them with ease. This was proved by the “experts” quoted in response to claims by officials last year that COVID had been spread in a prison from mouth-to-mouth transmissions of synthetic opioids. VTDigger published an article claiming that there was no evidence that COVID could spread this way, and that if people needed Suboxone it only proved an unmet need:

Josh Barocas, an infectious disease specialist at the Boston Medical Center, said that’s a ‘preposterous theory’ that only serves to blame inmates. Barocas said there is some MAT diversion in prisons, but ‘it’s not very common.’ He said if there is a widespread diversion problem, that’s almost more concerning, because it means the people incarcerated at that facility aren’t getting the help they need. ….‘I think a big thing to ask ourselves is, if there is diversion, why are people diverting their medications for opioid use disorder within a correctional facility anyways? The answer is because the people there need treatment,’ he said.

Ipso facto, if people want drugs they should get them — and not a word about therapy.

Skeptics who question my assertions are avoiding facts. There is a lot of fact-avoidance by Progressives these days: that renewable energy programs burden the poor, that decriminalizing opioids encourages gangs to travel here to sell drugs, that our police in Vermont are not racists for arresting dealers of color, that OneCare Vermont is not a fraud. But as Huxley claimed, “The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence.”

The evidence for Vermont citizens who are not on government-pedaled synthetic drugs and who have not sacrificed their minds to a far left ideological cult is clear: the government is enabling criminals to transport illegal drugs here with lax enforcement and warped systemic racism; releasing dealers with little consequence so that they are eager to return; taxing citizens heavily, making the state unaffordable, thereby increasing the economic despair that leads to broken families and substance abuse; quickly putting people on a new form of pharmaceutical dependency to replace the scourge of addiction seeded by the pharmaceutical companies in the prescription drug conspiracy.

Those with their eyes wide open observe that Huxley’s “deepest sin against the human mind” is unfolding in the Green Mountains. The corrections officers know that people are being offered these drugs, which are prison currency that can be traded for sex, protection, cigarettes, or illegal drugs. The probation officers know that their hands are tied to hold criminals accountable, and then blamed when violent criminals reoffend. Citizens on the street know that these synthetic drugs create dependency that is dehumanizing and wicked.

Vermont must prioritize therapy over pharmaceuticals, compassion over medication, common sense over utopian folly. Otherwise more victims of crime, and of corporate drug dependency, will join a despairing population impoverished by government bloat in a dystopian deterioration cautioned strongly by Aldous Huxley:

There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it.

It is hard to determine who is more greatly enslaved in today’s Vermont: the people persuaded to become unbearably dependent on the synthetic opioids proffered by this government/pharmaceutical conspiracy, or those whose minds believe (without facts or logic) that progressive “theories” about decriminalization, social justice (including critical race theory and queer theory), and regressive economics are somehow going to improve, rather than destroy, human communities and society.

Aldous warned us of many such future incarcerations:

The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him, the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free.

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