I keep seeing reminders about how many lives are destroyed by drugs. It's a sorry road for all involved; that's for sure. And the people who claim drugs make them more creative. Yeah right. Are they the walrus?
What I've seen are mothers in rehab programs trying to keep the babies that they are pregnant with or just delivered, because their other children have already been put in foster care. (Incidentally, I am glad that I could be involved in serving a group of these women. I know that I made a difference in their day-to-day lives for a short time; but, the reality of it is that very few of them break out of being users for very long.)
I've also seen people who are sickly thin, very unhealthy physically and emotionally, and who have teeth rotting out of control. I've seen people falling asleep-mid sentence in a conversation with me.
A friend of mine has a daughter who spent many years in jail because of drugs. My friend picked her up on the daughter's release date planning to have her daughter stay with her until she got her bearings. She didn't even stay at her mom's home one night.
One of my best friends started using marijuana when we were in middle school. She was one of the brightest people I've ever met, but that decision took her down an entirely different road than the one she envisioned in her childhood dreams. So whether legal or not, it is destructive. That goes for alcohol as well; and, alcohol has had detrimental effects on some of my family members. I don't know why anyone would consider mind-altering drugs which limit our abilities to think logically and react skillfully or intelligently as a form of recreation. What is funny about losing control? Sometimes it might look funny if someone can't walk straight; it mind sound funny if someone's speech is slurred. But is it really funny? Is it funny to puke your guts out, or piss yourself? Is it funny to get raped, or to cause fatal accidents? Is it funny to limit your potential to learn and grow, maybe to the point that you can never hold a good job? Is it funny to be a slave?
We have a friend that recently had a stroke. She realized something was wrong because she couldn’t speak coherently and she didn’t have control of her one arm. Is that funny? No. It’s tragic. So why would the same effects be funny if the cause is self-induced?
I’m just thinking about this currently. I know I personally can’t change things. But we have an epidemic in our world. People want quick fixes, and they are hooked on seeking a way out. Life is hard; but, it is so much simpler if you are playing with a full deck of cards. I might be scoffed for writing this, because why would I know what I’m talking about? There are plenty of users out there who say they are just doing it for the recreation. It’s twisted recreation when people are willing to sell away their freedom and hand over control of their own minds and bodies. That’s slavery, in my opinion. And most honest, thinking people would never sell themselves into slavery. (Or, rather, most wouldn't pay to be slaves.)
So rather than wanting more substances legalized, I wish that we were creating defensible space that would make it virtually impossible to entrap our youth. It’s a shame that so many adults are getting rich off enslaving those who are our future. And I wish that there could be a greater chance for rehabilitation. But drugs are a powerful master. People need to desire what is real, what is hard, and what takes work if they are going to break the cycle. And they are going to need supporters that believe in their worth until enough self-worth, confidence, and ability are restored.
More than anything else, those who have been using drugs need to know there is a way out. They need to honestly acknowledge that they need help, and then they need to seek it. They need to hungry after help like they hunger after the loved and despised substances. Prayer is always a great place to start, because God can put the right people in our lives to offer us help. But seeking help and following through is mandatory. Loving life, loving family, and seeking a hopeful future need to become what is paramount. And it is possible. But not a smidgen of one ounce of the dreaded substances can ever be sought ever again for recreation or escape or any other purpose. To break free from slave masters, we need to walk a new road.