The Runaway Train
I heard some sad news over the weekend. A young woman (former friend of my daughter) is shooting up heroin, stripping, and God-knows what else. If that is shocking to you, then you need to come out of that cute little bubble that you are living in and into the real world where this is becoming commonplace. It's hard to get accurate statistics, but one study recently showed "an estimated two hundred million people worldwide use illegal drugs." That's not including alcohol. Some have described it as "an epidemic" or a "runaway train." It certainly is, and it's clearly out of control.
Who are these addicts? If you think they are a bunch of low-class, uneducated hoodlums, you are deceiving yourself. They are our neighbors, co-workers, children, spouses, parents, doctors, lawyers, teachers, clergy, dentists, nurses.... you get the picture. They are people like you and me trapped in a nightmare of physical and psychological suffering. That suffering spreads to their families, friends, and workplaces. It's a battle -- a war -- and it needs to be treated as such. You don't go into a war without an army and a plan, and you don't go into it in ignorance. You need to educate yourself -- know your enemy. Then you must gear up, assemble an army, gather your weapons, and fight the battle with all the passion and rage of a person whose freedom is being taken away. It's unacceptable, and it must not win. Whatever it takes -- it must be fought and destroyed.
Addiction is a disease -- like any other disease. It is nothing to be ashamed of, and it can't be dealt with if it's hiding behind shame or fear. It must be brought to the light of day, and its victims must be treated with the love and respect of someone with a disease. But unlike cancer or diabetes, loved ones have to understand this disease to know how to "help." I hope you'll take some time today to educate yourself about this disease. I'll attach a link at the end to get you started. I also hope that you'll look around and really pay attention -- really listen -- because I'd be willing to bet a good amount of money that there is someone in your life who is suffering right now.
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