In today's society, drug abuse is a daily occurrence. It takes no rocket scientist to figure that out. We get bombarded with statistics every day, but let me bombard you with just a few more.
As of 1997 there were a reported six billion (yes I said Billion) teenage drug addicts in the United States. More than half of those are on heavy drugs; cocaine, crack, heroin. Over twenty million Americans tried cocaine or crack last year (1998).
The money making end of drug trafficking in 1998 was estimated to have been nearly 110 billion dollars. Over 150 TONS of cocaine had been spread across the country in 1998. Just cocaine, which doesn't include the more pure form of cocaine, known as crack.
In 1996 approximately 32,000 people went into treatment programs, over 17,000 returned to using. According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration); of persons aged 14 to 54, 21 percent will have a mental disorder with no co-existing substance abuse disorder in their lifetime. Another thirteen percent will have a substance abuse disorder and 14 percent (about 25 million) will have substance abuse disorder coupled with a mental disorder.
SAMHSA estimates that substance abuse cost the nation $276 billion dollars in 1995, including $34 billion in direct health care cost, $94 billion in earnings lost to illness and $51 billion in lost earnings due to crime associated with drugs.
These are just a few of the frightening statistics out there. More important than focusing on the statistics, is to remember that each statistic is a human being. These are not just nameless nobodies with a number tagged to them. These are daughters, sons, mothers, fathers. Living, and unfortunately dying souls. Not to mention the effect that drug abuse has on entire families and communities. For each single drug addict, at least six other people are affected by the abuse.
I am here to testify of that. To coin a phrase from AA; Hi, my name is Brenda and I'm an addict. I have been drug free since February 1993. Some studies show, that like with alcohol, once an addict, always an addict. Some scientists claim that there is a chemical present in the brain; called Dopamine, which is like a stimulant that makes some people more prone to addiction than others. It really doesn't matter to me, all I know is that cocaine had such a hold on me I cared about nothing else; not even my daughter or my life.
This is my story. I submit this to you not for sympathy or mere entertainment by passing your time turning pages of a book. I submit this so that you may have a better understanding of a tool of Satan called "addiction". Also to facilitate you being able to possibly deal with your own addiction, or the addiction of someone you love. Also to serve as a reminder that behind every government study, or treatment facilities figures; there is a living, breathing person with a spirit.
I must also give a warning here; some of this is graphic. I didn't do that to shock anyone, or "gross you out", as my teen says. I did it because it is part of the nature of the drug; I mean addiction is not a glamorous thing, no matter how the television shows want to portray it. I can't count how many shows I've seen that show the dealers of narcotics driving around in fancy, expensive sports cars, living in some penthouse.
How did they get the money for those things? By working hard, earning an honest living? Don't bet on it, they got it by addicting children, taking advantage of everyone they come into contact with and stealing. The victims of abuse; the actual addict, are not very elegant either. They are not "cool", refined, dignified, or sophisticated. There is nothing glorious about addiction, it's not a pretty picture, trust me.
Some authors change the names of the innocent to protect them, I didn't do that, I couldn't find any. With the exception of my children, every character in this book is guilty.
I don't intend on giving you some watered down version, or sugar coated perception. This is serious stuff, and if we are to be of any help to anyone, we need to be honest, up-front, bold and yes, sometimes blunt. Pampering or babying the addict, or the issue is of no value to anyone. You can't just put a band-aid on a broken leg and expect it to "fix" it self. It needs serious attention. So does addiction.
Our society has tried to avoid the subject for so long now, thinking it will just correct itself on it's own, in it's due time. Well, that time is NOW. We can't sit idly by and watch another human being be destroyed by this attack of the devils! Wake up! Get up, take action. Have the courage to do something. Not to do so, is morally wrong, I dare say, even a sin. It's not the governments problem. It's not the schools problem. It's not the DEA's problem. It is ALL OF OUR problem.
We've been pacified and numbed for too long. If each one of us took the time to help just one person, and that person another and so on, it would not only make a world of difference, it would make a different world. So, I beg you, no, I CHALLENGE you to reach out to just one person. There are throngs of hurting people in our society. If we call ourselves "Christian", shouldn't we act like it? Don't we have the God given responsibility, and privilege to help our fellow humans?
Stop making excuses for why you can't or won't give of yourself to others. This does not mean you give a hand out, it means you give a hand up. It's fine to give a hungry person a fish, but if you don't teach them how to fish, you do them an injustice.
Has God blessed you with health? Money? A home? A family? Well, don't you think that it's time that you were a blessing to someone else? Freely you received, so freely you should give. Lets roll up our sleeves, get our hands dirty and clean up the filth that we've allowed to accumulate in our society. Inside every drug addict is a soul crying out for help and healing. Don't close your eyes or ears to the pleas any longer.
If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, please contact me directly or one can be purchased off of Trafford Publishings Website.
copyright 2003 Pastor Brenda Libby
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