A three-part series on drug addiction and answers
If I were to name three conditions of life that put you in a hopeless state of mind, here they are: Finding yourself in a powerless condition over life; being dependent on things; and the feeling that life is unmanageable.
I am beginning with this column a new three-part series of articles on the subject of “Conditions of Life.” If you know someone who has a problem with addiction, dependency or that their life is out of control — this is not only for them, but for you.
Let us look at this first condition of being powerless over life. There are many folks who feel there is absolutely nothing they can do to impact their life. They feel ‘pinned down’ and ‘trapped’ by the circumstances they are living in now, thus that feeling of being totally powerless over life.
The first people that I think feel this type of emotion and condition would be individuals using drugs illegally. Those addicted to drugs because of substance abuse find themselves in this powerless state of mind because they have surrendered control of their lives to their substances of choice.
For law and order members of society we can take a strong firm stand and say that those who are using drugs did so because they wanted to. We can keep our firm stand resolutely by saying it was there choice to use drugs, especially if you never provided them with drugs, never facilitated for their empowerment with drugs by giving them money, giving them rides to their dealers or to the location where they purchased drugs.
Sometimes we who have never used drugs can become very arrogant regarding this issue. That power comes because we’ve never used drugs and we like to think how stupid it is for someone to become addicted to drugs. It is in my opinion this is the wrong position to take but I understand parts of the battle and I too have had some of these very same thoughts and feelings I’ve just written about.
The fact of the matter is that those addicted to illegal drugs would agree that it is stupid to be on drugs. No argument there. They would agree that for them to be in the position of drug addiction is unreal and their condition is one they never dreamed they would ever find themselves in. They can agree with these thoughts easily. They understand them much better than those who have never used drugs or found themselves in this position.
No one dreams about being powerless. Many begin using drugs because they want to first just have some fun, not understanding the consequences or accepting the position that what they have seen happen to others will not happen to them. If you can understand that line of thinking, you can see clearly they believe they have all the power in the world, because somehow they are stronger, wiser and just plain better than someone else they know using drugs. And what has happened to those they know will not happen to them.
Yes, for many reading this column, we know that is a lie. We know they are not some super human with stronger power than others. You and I for whatever reason know and understand our skill set, our abilities, weaknesses and struggles. We know what to stay away from but for many of our family members, friends, neighbors and people we see in passing in our communities did not learn this truth early in life. Thus, they now find themselves totally powerless in life all because of drugs.
This is the most frustrating aspect of helping people for me. My frustration is not that someone is addicted to drugs, but that rather Christians who should be so ever mindful that they too could easily be in this same condition choose only to say “I will pray for you” and never move beyond that stance to be involved and helping someone regain power over their powerless state of mind.
Luke 8:43-48 tells of a woman who believed differently. There is a faith that heals but it involves action.
In this column series we will have an opportunity to see the role Christians and concerned individuals can play in helping others discover power in their lives for the first time, and for some it will be to re-discover the power they surrendered. I believe there is an answer to the epidemic experiences of illegal drug abuse. There is an answer to regaining our communities and helping those who are addicted to drugs. We can win in this issue but we must be involved. The answer begins with you and your faith. Jesus said it was her faith that made the difference. We cannot keep this secret answer to drug addiction to ourselves.
Tim H Mills can be followed on Twitter @THMills or emailed firstname.lastname@example.org