Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Wide Path to Hell

Last week I started working for a public health program called Forensic Intensive Recovery (FIR) which offers court assigned treatment alternatives to incarceration. We work with offenders, probation offers, recovery houses, and other agents involved in the criminal justice system. Yesterday I was downtown at the Criminal Justice Center sitting in on court cases, most being PWID (posession with intent to deliver), and Monday I spent the day at a Methadone Maintenance Center in Germantown. While there was a lot going on in both places, the main thing I took away was that nothing good comes from drug use. Nothing.

In Debbie's bible study they were recently discussing the "cycle of defeat" which comes when one tries to live in obedience to the precepts of God. Nowhere is the cycle of defeat more apparent than in drug addiction and alcoholism. I don't want to go on and on about this, but I will say that being in the throws of addiction to crack or heroin or alcohol is like a modern day possession by evil spirits--it makes you into someone else. I don't know if I necessarily agree with our country's War on Drugs and how it is being enforced, or our cultural acceptance of alcohol and the double standard in marijuana prohibition; but I do know that drug addiction is a scourge of humanity, and if you are looking at it theologically, there is something demonic about it.

Reading the intake evaluations is sobering: clients reporting use of marijuana, alcohol since as young as 9 years old; $50, $100, $300 per day cocaine, crack, and heroin habits; some guys in treatment for abuse of things as benign as cough syrup and OTC medications. Men and women with children and no education. It goes on and on. And I can't help but wonder: if drugs did not exist, where would we be as a society? It certainly wouldn't be here...


Michael said...

A haiku from me to you:

There is only one
foot at a time, winding down
the wide path to hell.

Michelle's Spell said...

Great post! I'm reminded of the quote about the easy thing being the most truly evil and the hard thing ending well. I think people always want to get away from themselves, though. If drugs didn't exist, we'd figure something else out unfortunately.