Part two of a three-part series — Substance & Drug Abuse with Solutions
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. This is my second column in a three part series dealing with “Conditions of Life”, drug addiction and those we know impacted by their choices.
In this part of the series allow me to address “dependency upon things.” In dealing with drugs and the dependency upon things, so often it is really easier to address the dependency that we see others dealing with then address our own issues. One of the most important aspects of any genuine conversation or willingness to help others is best established with others when they can see our success in having been where they find themselves to be currently. Admitting that we each have a “dependency upon things” is a sure way to connect with others. My issues of dependency may not be drugs, it could be something else, but we can all identify because of the dependency no matter the subject or issue.
I am totally confident that we each know someone that is dealing with drug abuse and or drug addiction. Their dependency is rather easy to identify. We can see the impact of drugs because the signs of drug abuse and addiction show themselves publically even if those dealing with the subject have not yet admitted to themselves that they have a problem. Sure we know if you have not recognized your dependency there is a lot of work yet to do in terms of intervention. However, for those that have admitted their problem and have sought help, I believe individuals of faith, organizations of faith, church and community organizations and outreach groups can make a difference. Let us partner with those who have admitted their issue with drugs, who have sought treatment and just need a friend to walk with throughout their treatment. Let us commit to follow up with support and resources in aftercare too.
As a minister of over 30 years the most often heard quote or phrase shared with me is that they (people of faith) will say “I am praying about drugs in our community” or “I have a family member on drugs and all we can do is pray for them”. Understand that I am making a general statement and every situation is different, but there are some points that we can clearly point out and speak to. For instance, sometimes Christians can easily use the word pray, prayer, praying and feel good about having said or used those words, but never move beyond the expression. I have often shared that on many things we as Christians need to stop praying and start acting. For example, we can use this exercise of faith and it is clear what Jesus would do so we need to act and cease our practice of waiting on an answer when we already have it.
In each of our communities there are individuals we all know dealing with substance abuse & addiction to drugs. We see them walking up and down our roadways. We see them in the grocery store; our kids or grandchildren go to school with their kids or family members. It is sad but often times we avoid contact because we either don’t know what we should say, or what we could do to help. The answer is that there is much we can do. We can begin a conversation of friendship. We can listen to someone stories. Everyone wants to be heard and by listening things may not be as we assume from observation. Listening shows that we care. Many people fail in overcome drug addiction because in the end they ran out of resources as the victory was approaching. Many people have a “dependency on things” and our confession and then our volunteering to help a friend in need, could be the answer they were looking for and the answer for their victory. In addition you might just have made a friend for life because you were willing to help meet that need. After all, isn’t this was Jesus was all about? Our need was forgiveness and he met it even before we asked.