1. What are the underlying factors that cause a person to choose to use addictive substances in the first place? What are they lacking in their life that they need to cling to an addictive substance to help them get through the next day, next hour or even the next minute?
2. A counselor once said to me that everyone has a story.
3. The difficulty lies when these addictive behaviors not only affect the circumstances around the addicted individual but society in general. Politics is now involved.
Traditionally societies have policed those taking drugs and many have gone to jail for extended periods of time.
Here is a link and an extract on what has been going on in Switzerland:
“In the late 1980s and 1990s an open drug scene associated
with rapid transmission of HIV in some Swiss cities,
especially Zurich, led Switzerland to rethink drug policing
and drug policy more broadly. Persuaded by evidence
that intensifying policing alone would not address
the problem, Swiss authorities opted for a strategy of
institutionalizing specialized health services, including
harm reduction services for people who use drugs, as part
of a comprehensive policy that included prevention of drug
use, treatment of drug dependency, and policing of drug
crimes. Dramatic expansion of low-threshold methadone
and needle exchange programs was an essential part of the
harm reduction pillar, which was endorsed by the Swiss
public in several referenda. While not every aspect of the
Swiss experience can or should be applied elsewhere, there
is much to be learned from the substantial and enduring
changes that Switzerland instituted in reforming its
approach to illicit drugs.”
Although I appreciate this rethink of the policing of drugs and it has produced some reduction in the dangerous spread of health issues, the problem is not solved.
As Christians we have to return to the heart of the problem, literally the state of the heart. There are hearts out there with gaping holes inside, holes that people are trying to fill with anything they can find to tolerate this life. These holes need to be slowly plugged up and renewed one choice at a time. Choices that will encourage lasting value. Some people even need to learn that they have choices, they do not have to stay this way for the rest of their lives. Teaching the Four Core Needs and the Life Is Full Of Choices Cornerstones is part of what we do to help people with their heart journey. We come alongside those before starting, during and after overcoming addictive behavior.
We truly need to help people to choose to connect to God through a living Savior. Then there is the hope of a completely transformed heart, not merely a plugged up one!!