Of Drugs and Druggies

 In 1947 I was stationed with the Navy in the Federal Building in, what was then, beautiful San Francisco. Then there was the Mission Street slum with Winos cluttering the sidewalks. It reminded me of Detroit's Third Street when I was sworn in. Growing up in Lansing -- it was not normal to see drunks staggering about in public. Alcoholism was and is an epidemic among Americans. The cure for alcoholism was Prohibition, but America did not like the cure. So we therefore chose to live with the disease.

 Among the religious right, Prohibition continues to be preached - although the pew lags behind the pulpit when it comes to practice. Social drinking is too often practiced but seldom advocated openly. Although the context is sex, the basic Biblical principle against all misbehavior is the fact that the Christian's body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit and is therefore sanctified to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). God makes it clear (1 Corinthians 6:10; Galatians 5:21; etc.) that drunkards shall NOT enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Although alcohol is labeled a drug I find myself confused by titles of "alcohol and drug abuse." Distinctions are made between "soft" and "hard" drugs. Marijuana, or if you prefer cannabis, is now legal in some states -- which makes it difficult for law enforcement to determine the degree of illegal intoxication. In spite of the drive by Libertarians to legalize "recreational" drugs everywhere, it will not nor -- cannot,  make it right in the sight of God -- for a Christian must "obey God rather than man" (Acts 4:19 and 5:29). 

 Not all druggies are hooked on alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, or even LSD. Some are addicted to prescription sleep aids and painkillers like barbiturates and codeine. The zombie-like existence of many, found in our nursing homes, is too often the result of being made druggies. They are made zombies by the staff to keep their charges quiet and manageable - much as paregoric was once used to quiet a fussing infant. Not all prescription druggies are in our nursing homes.  Many of them are our relatives, fellow workers, and even friends. 

In order to kick the dependency or addiction, we must first realize we have a problem. Secondly, we must WANT to be free and masters of our own destiny. A few years ago, I had a young friend that was waiting to go to prison on drug charges. I was counseling him on getting away from the drug community, much as I would an alcoholic. His response was, "Dale, I am not sure I want to get away from drugs." At about the same time a medical doctor was giving our Rotary Club a program on drugs. He stated, "If you ever try cocaine, you will always want to try it again." 

Drugs are dangerous. Christians are under the power of God and his Spirit. We, as God's children must not be brought under the power of Satan. As with the apostle Paul, let each of us determine, "I will not be brought under the power of any" (1 Corinthians 6:12).

Dale I. Royal, Elk City OK