Overcoming Drug Dependency
hat do you want for your birthday?" friends of one middle-class fifteen-year old asked.
"Let's do crack," he said.
Within a week this young teenager was smoking $50 worth of crack a day. Soon he was stealing money from his parents to support his habit. He began skipping school classes, and with friends began breaking into homes to steal cash, jewelry and anything that would sell.
"You are willing to do anything to get it," he said. "We just had to get more."
One couple I read about, who tried sniffing cocaine at a party eight years ago, developed a $250,000-a-year habit and ended up selling $80,000 worth of coke a month to support themselves. They came close to destroying themselves.1
According to Mark Gould, M.D., founder of the toll-free National Hotline for cocaine users and victims, "An incredible twenty-two million Americans—one out of every ten—report that they have used cocaine at least once! Every day some 5,000 teenagers and adults try it for the first time!"2
"Twelve million use it a least once a year; almost six million are current users. Young professionals are mortgaging their futures on it, lying and embezzling to assure one more high. Mothers-to-be are sacrificing their unborn babies for the powder's lean pleasure. In the streets, men kill, maim and rob to get another crack at crack. In five years, cocaine-related deaths and emergency-room visits have tripled."3
Not long ago, heroin was the bondage of inner-city users, marijuana was smoked by rebellious middle-class youth, and cocaine was sniffed at high-society parties. Not any more.
Men kill, maim and rob to
get another crack at crack.
Doctors, airline pilots, lawyers, engineers and other highly skilled and professional people are now being caught in the trap of cocaine. The results are tragic. Babies are being born brain damaged. People are experiencing excruciating death, strokes and heart attacks. "But the most chilling characteristic of the drug is the phenomenon called cocaine psychosis, in which people just go crazy."4
Even more alarming is that cocaine "has been boiled down to hard and mean little pellets of crack, giver of euphoria, taker of lives."5
Crack, which is extremely addictive and extremely dangerous, has been described as a vicious cancer, a dread disease that is affecting all levels of society.
The question is, when drugs are so extremely addictive and dangerous, why do people use them? Not only hard drugs but also other drugs such as analgesics, tranquilizers, cigarettes and alcohol? Experts point to a number of deep-seated causes behind the national craving for drugs.
First. The unparalleled breakdown of family life and the emotional pain this causes are taking a huge toll on our society. People turn to drugs to escape their pain.
Second. Our materialistic society, which measures success largely in terms of wealth and possessions, leaves little time for meeting our deeper emotional and spiritual needs.
Third. Our culture has taught many of us to deny and repress our deeper emotions including the emotion of awe. This is the emotion that appreciates the beauty of nature, life and simple things, and puts sparkle into life. When this emotion is repressed, it leaves us feeling empty and bored with life. We then seek the lost sparkle in substitutes—such as fancy cars, houses, materialistic possessions, or alcohol and drugs.
5. All articles on the ACTS International website are by Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise noted.
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