At A Night To Remember, and event to remember those who lost the battle with drugs and died from an overdose, hundreds turned out to help raise an awareness of the problem. http://levittownnow.com/2017/08/31/night-remember-draws-crowd-overdose-awareness-event/
There already is an awareness; the event just reminded people about the drug problem. Unless you have been living as a hermit in the boon docks, you would know by now that there is a drug problem. The trick is how to best fight it.
It’s good the event aimed to increase awareness, and presented some practical tips such as not letting medicines build up in the cabinet to prevent temptation for those who can’t handle it, but I have a problem with the idea “the night was also about minimizing the stigma that goes along with addiction.”
Therein is the reason we are not winning the fight against drug abuse. When you tell people they are doing nothing wrong when they do dope, you are setting them up to fail. What ever happened to the saying “Just say no to drugs”? and “Why do you think they call it dope?” The point is that we humans have a will. Of course some of us are more physically and morally susceptible to certain bad behaviors, but it still comes down to a matter of the will, choices.
We should, however, accept people as having intrinsic value. We shouldn’t condemn them, just their actions.
After finding Sandi, whom I’ve been taking care of for 2 ½ years, had stage IV lung cancer, I recalled what the instructor of a physical education/health class at college told us. He said he’d like to go down south and burn down all the tobacco fields but added “don’t tell your parents I’m really going to do this” and explained he was just trying to make a point about how bad smoking is for your health.
I imagined getting together with this instructor, who was an Army Ranger and served in Vietnam as a 2nd Lieutenant, to actually burn down these poisonous plants. I could imagine the headlines: TWO WACKED OUT VIETNAM VETS BURN DOWN DIXIE TOBACCO FIELDS/ THE RETURN OF SHERMAN.
Dealing with addictions this way was tried before. Prohibition. In a documentary about prohibition, the narrator said that the US finally realized that you don’t resolve a problem that ten percent of the population has by keeping the source of the problem away from everyone.
This seems to be today’s plan to fight the drug problem, as found in the Bucks County Crime Stoppers Push Out The Pushers program. It’s basically a campaign to put up signs that encourage people to report drug dealers. Bucks County can lean on them, yet it pussyfoots with drug users, dopers. It wants to erase the stigma of being a doper. Why don’t they erase the stigma of being homeless?
The opioid and mental health task force, pushed by parents of a Pennsbury high school graduate who died after a drug overdose has all kinds of ideas for the district to use to deal with the problem. http://levittownnow.com/2017/08/24/pennsbury-launches-opioid-mental-health-task-force/
What parents need to do is raise their children right, teaching them values, Biblical principles, and lead by example. Of course, it’s not guaranteed. I was raised this way. I didn’t succumb to drugs or continual boozing, but I went astray, like the Prodigal Son. And like the Prodigal Son, I came home and got back on the right path. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke+15%3A11-32&version=NIV
Smoking is a problem in the homeless community. I’ve never seen so many smokers in one place until I started associating with the homeless in Bucks County, PA. With them, cigarettes are like gold, and the love of them creates problems just as it did during the Gold Rush era. When they don’t have the money for smokes, some people in this group scrounge for cigarettes in ash trays, parking lots and on the ground.
Drugs are the main reason the druggies in the homeless community have become homeless, to a lesser extent than alcohol abuse. Although a few people have come to the community meals drunk and caused problems, the druggies usually wreak havoc elsewhere. For example, because of complaints from neighbors who saw evidence of drug abuse in Queen Anne’s Woods, ambulance squads having to rescue homeless people who overdosed there, the woods were raided. And someone with a drug record caused cars to burn, totaling two of them, damaging others. Homeless people were allowed to stay in the cars on the lot, but one day a homeless woman had an argument with her boyfriend, and her firery temper caused the cars in the lot to burn baby burn!
The Bucks homeless community has a few drunks. Some of them are on the road to recovery. A couple of them have become productive members of society. At least one of them went through the Twelve Step program.
I believe a Twelve Step based program is the best bet for overcoming any anti-social behavior, whether it be drug abuse, an alcohol abuse problem, anger management, harboring resentment, anxiety, depression…
The first step is to admit you have a problem, and that your problem is a result of sin, a character flaw. It took me quite a while to admit I had a problem and deal with it, but finally I came around.
I’ve noticed that some of the churches that host the community meals for the homeless and needy host 12 step programs. Most are specific to a particular problem. There was one program that addressed many problems by getting to the root of the problem. After I lost my job and house, etc., I went to one such program in Levittown, PA. I was a minority in the group. The group was mainly composed of people who had a problem with alcohol, and regulars who had put their problem at bay began taking over the leadership. They overcame the besetting sin of drunkenness but couldn’t kick the cancer sticks. Consequently, this flaw caused a problem. Without telling the church that hosted the program, the regulars turned the program into their private club, and started meeting in someone’s house, where they didn’t have to forgo smoking for an hour.
Celebrate Recovery addresses your bad habits, hurts and hang-ups. There are locations in the general vicinity of Bucks County, PA. With what I’m now going through, I may take a break from my vigil at Sandi’s bedside and start going to Celebrate Recovery.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” -Romans 6:16