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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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Our drug problem is really a spiritual problem

Our drug problem is really a spiritual problem

We have a serious drug problem in our country and in our area. The problem affects the users, their families, and the community at large.

When someone is hooked on drugs, they usually pay “big bucks” for their addiction. They may have a hard time keeping a job so they have to steal to continue their habit.

The drug problem is really a spiritual problem. It is extremely difficult for people who do not have a relationship with God to face life. Instead of facing life with the help of a Divine Power, they escape through drugs.

Pope Francis has been speaking about the problems of drugs for many years. In his address to hospital personnel in Rio de Janeiro, he said, “The scourge of drug-trafficking, which favors violence and sows the seeds of suffering and death, requires from our society an act of courage (to fight this evil). A liberalization of drug use will not achieve a reduction in the spread and influence of drug addiction, as is currently being proposed in various parts of Latin America.

“Rather, it is necessary to confront the problems underlying the use of these drugs, by promoting greater justice, educating young people in the values that build up life in society, accompanying those in difficulty and giving them hope for the future. We all need to look upon one another with the loving eyes of Christ, and to learn to embrace those in need, to show our closeness, affection and love.”

Some people in our own country are recommending that all illegal drugs be declared lawful. This may solve the violence attached to the buying and selling of drugs, but it doesn’t address the root cause of the problem, our relationship with God and other people.

Once people step back and look at the big picture, they may realize that they are not just hurting themselves by taking drugs; drugs effect the whole society. Again Pope Francis in his address to the United Nations Assembly last September made that point.

“Another kind of war experienced by many in our societies is the narcotic trade, a war taken for granted and poorly fought. Drug trafficking is, by its very nature, accompanied by trafficking in persons, money laundering, the arms trade, child exploitation and other forms of corruption. A corruption that has penetrated to different levels of social, political, military, artistic and religious life, and has usually led to a parallel structure that threatens the credibility of our institutions.”

Mother Teresa addresses the root cause of addition when she says, “I worry some of you still have not really met Jesus, one to one, you and Jesus alone. We may spend time in the chapel but have you seen with the eyes of your soul how he looks at you with love? Do you really know the living Jesus, not from books but from being with him in your heart?

“Have you heard the loving words he speaks to you? Ask for the grace; he is longing to give it. Until you can hear Jesus in the silence of your own heart, you will not be able to hear him saying ‘I Thirst’ in the hearts of the poor. Never give up this daily intimate contact with Jesus as the real living person – not just the idea.”

I am sure that we all have seen families torn apart by this affliction. Some users have to hit rock bottom before they are willing to get help. Tough love is needed to enable the user to want to get out of the hell he or she may be experiencing.

Don’t give up on them but don’t give in to them either. Urge them to get help from God as well as competent programs that can set them free.