I may not have learned much about serenity in alcohol and drug recovery but I did learn the quickest route to every emergency room in town. One woman I carried into the ER in my arms had taken a bottle of miscellaneous drugs.

The doctor told me that if I had gotten there half an hour later, she would have died. But what would have killed her was not any of the illegal drugs. It was the Tylenol.

I knew a guy personally who killed himself with an aspirin overdose.

Back to basics:

If any drug that makes you feel good could kill you that easily, it would be strictly on prescription. But aspirin isn't and Tylenol isn't.

Why not?

Since I did grad work in Public Choice, it never occurred to me to ask anybody this. Drugs that make you fell good are a payoff. Medicine, as an institution, must control all payoffs.

Once again, this will be looked upon by most people as some sort of major scandal. If you understand public choice it is simply logic. Institutions like the medical profession must evolve, like any other living being.

A Public Choice professor would not understand this because Public Choice has evolved. It now looks like any other filed of economics, with endless equation and its nose in "the literature." I left it when it was an extension of common sense.

Every institution becomes wordist, that is, it becomes based more and more, not on reality, but on its own words. As an institution evolves and becomes stronger, its own survival takes the place of its original purpose. To bitch about that makes as much sense as groaning about the fact that evolution forces us to use the outhouse. It is an embarrassing fact, but it is also nature in action.

Medicine as an institution evolves to take over the payoff. The church evolved to make men accept all the pain so that the church got all the payoffs. The only thing that stopped the church's total control of all payoffs was competing institutions like kingship. In fact, for all the talk about "the first republic" in Iceland or San Marino, kingship is every bit as alien an institution, a Middle Eastern institution, as is the church itself.

One of the first things an evolving institution must get rid of is serious history.

I remember reading about a famous saint in the Middle Ages who wiped out his whole family by threatening them with Hell unless they gave up the world and became sterile in the church's service. He particularly talked about the STINK of Hell. He was a saint because his family disappeared and everything they had went to the church.

I can say this with such brutal frankness because, to me, this is nothing extraordinary. ALL institutions begin to operate this way. ALL institutions end up operating entirely this way. It is only a few mortal men who return institutions temporarily to morality. The institution goes back to what its evolution makes it do.

This is, of course, the exact opposite of the story we hear. The institution is perfect; it is only mortal men who mess it up.