Churches and Drug Addiction

 

About 10 years ago, when I was running a local group to help make people aware of the dangers of drug addiction I approached some local Churches. I was fairly confident that they would be supportive of the work I was doing and would want to learn more. I could not have been more wrong. I was told, kindly but firmly that “We do not have a drug problem”. Only one local Church made any effort to become involved.

Today I spoke with an old colleague that I had worked with years ago. She is also working on addiction issues. I mentioned to her the lack of concern shown by the Churches and she laughed and said that she had encountered the same thing. The slight difference was that in her case, she was trying to work on domestic abuse. She was given to understand that the Churches did not have issues with domestic abuse!

To both of these situations I say GARBAGE! Everyone is affected by drug use and many also by domestic abuse. The sad part here is that these people do not realize just how much they are affected.

In the county where I live, our Sheriff told me some years ago that 80 – 90% of all crime was drug related. 80 – 90%!! Crime costs all of us. It is taxpayer money that bears the main burden of crime. That, along with insurance companies, who merely raise the rates for the rest of us when hit by unreasonable payouts due to crime.

Drug users can cause havoc regardless of whether it is a drugged driver in the car behind us who rear-ends us and has no insurance, or the petty thief who steals a new bike or the crack smoking addict who sets fire to an apartment complex. All costs money and you can be sure it does not come from the addict themselves. It also costs to either incarcerate them (taxpayer expense) or send them to rehab (taxpayers again pay up).  Every day the courts and police departments are spending thousands of dollars dealing with the results of drug users, not to mention the health care system, as few drug addicts have any health insurance. Addicts are not big on insurance at any time, so once again the burden falls on the rest of us.

The ‘rest of us’ must include Church-goers. These are the people who ‘do not have a drug problem’! Actually they do, but until they step forward and are willing to learn just how big of a problem there is with drug use, it will continue to get worse.  Remember, All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Even though this saying cannot be definitively attributed to Edmund Burke, the principal is correct. While our Churches continue to do nothing, and consider themselves above both drug addiction or domestic abuse, both will continue to flourish.

I know that there must be Churches who do acknowledge addiction and who take steps to help deal with the problem. Sadly, I have not found any.

In need of help for these cats.

It is terrible how your life can change so quickly. My cousin and I were so happy caring for our rescued cats and two disabled dogs. Had dealt with Troopers diabetes and he was doing well. Then Bo got the dreadful news. Cancer.

Stunned disbelief. Pain – hurt – tears – falling apart. Life has changed and will never be the same again. Now I have to chose between helping her and caring for my cats. Right now, as she cannot even manage the stairs, I am doing it all. Feeding, meds, litter boxes….the list is endless and I am exhausted. I MUST find homes for some of these babies. They deserve better that what I am able to give them right now.

sammy1smallThis is Sammy. Age unknown. Neutered male and a poly. Very friendly guy and goes out into the fenced yard but never away. OK with other cats and dogs. He was rescued from drug house. He was totally bald from shoulders down due to fleas. Urgently needs a loving home.

mandii1smallThis pretty girl is Mandi. She was dropped off at SpayInc right before they closed. (Non profit ran out of funds). I took her in as she has some issues. Enlarged nose and sore on her paw which I am treating. Looks like she could have been caught in a trap. If I cannot find someone to take her, the only choice is PTS. I have no money to get her the help she needs. She seems quite young and VERY friendly. No idea if she is spayed. She needs a chance.

Alice1smallThis pretty Siamese Snowshoe is about 18mos we think. Named Alice. She is very shy and does better when with her Mommabetty3smallBetty.

Betty is super friendly and loves a lap. Both girls are spayed.alice and bettysmallMomma and daughter stay together most of the time.

UPDATE on the girls above. They will be heading to their new home this week. My daughter’s parents-in-law have offered a home to both these girls. Thank you Donna and Bob.

kiki4small This is Kiki. Himalayan and a beautiful girl. Spayed. age unknown but think 6 – 8. Has flea allergy and/or nervous licking. Very friendly and good with other cats and dogs.

marmedukesmallMarmeduke arrive to eat here after his family moved and left him. He appears to be partly deaf. Also has knots on his back which need care to remove. VERY friendly and neutered. Age unknown.

If you can help with any of these cats I would be more grateful than you can know. They deserve good care and I cannot give them any but the most basic right now.

Help! Non-profits are dying!

The non-profit groups who have helped so many people are in trouble. After years of struggling they are losing funding at an alarming rate. In this past week I have learned that yet another group,  one that helps Veterans suffering from PTSD, is going under.  This is also the case with groups for animal welfare, homelessness, teen pregnancy, drug addiction and even the local food pantry.

We are all going to feel the effect of these cuts. There will be more homeless people living on the streets. There will be more families who cannot pay their rent and also put food on the table.  There will be more babies born to teen mothers who are ill-prepared to care for them.  There will be more animals left un-spayed and un-neutered so there will be more and more unwanted animals.  There will be more people turning to drugs to relieve the stress in their lives and there will be more addicts who are unable to get the help they need to get clean. This in turn will fuel more crime to pay for their drugs. None of this is a pretty picture, so what can be done?

This is a time when we all should be doing our small part to help in at least one of these areas.  Provide a can of food for the food bank, buy a spay or neuter voucher for your local shelter, ask at your local Church how they are helping with the homeless or the drug addiction problem.  If we all do even a small part to help, then we are contributing to the solution and not the problem.

Teens and Addiction. Turning the tide.

What do we really need to do to turn the tide of more and more teens becoming addicted, especially to prescription opiates? Consider this: I currently see millions of dollars being spent of Rehab, Counseling, drug courts, and the like. These are all ‘after-the-fact’ repair mechanisms and do not deal with the root cause.  In my opinion we do not give our young people the knowledge or life-skills that they need to be able to take care of themselves. We also keep them ‘children’ for way too long.

What do I mean by this? Let me explain.  All creatures learn survival skills from their parents and the similar creatures around them. These skills begin at birth and continue until adulthood. Adulthood usually means the time that they can reproduce. This applies to animals as well as humans. In many cultures, viewed by the western world as primitive, children learn all adult skills from very small. They learn the dangers:  – fire burns and knives cut – by seeing and eventually doing.  By the time they reach puberty, they are ready to be accepted into the adult community. They have a place and a responsibility. They are raised, for the most part, to support their community as well as their mate and children – not just their own children but all the children of the community. They know that the survival of their community depends on teaching the children what they need to know.  So the cycle continues.

In our society we have come too far from this natural model. Please bear with me while I explain what I mean. We isolate our children, often from birth, into unnatural groups; childcare, babysitters, early childhood learning, kindergarten, grade school……and on and on.  If that were not bad enough, we keep them tied to an isolated group of age mates until they are at least 18 years old. This is at least 5 years beyond puberty and the ability to reproduce. We give them no ‘place’ in our society so they have created a place for themselves – Teenagers!

I hear so much about Troubled Teens, The Problems of the Teen years, Teen Hormones etc . When you think about this, it is pretty ridiculous. We do not talk about Twentyagers as a group nor yet Fortyagers, so why Teenagers? Because they have had to defined themselves to give them the power that we are denying them.  By the time people reach the twenties, they are at last perceived as adults and mix freely with people of all ages. Alongside that we have a huge, and I do mean huge industry built on this Teenage culture. Everything from Teen music to teen clothes to the best drugs for teen problems. Ritalin comes to mind here, which  has made millions for the pharmaceutical companies.  Also we have a self fulfilling prophecy as we expect the ‘teens’ to have problems. This is far from the expectations of the primitive society who expect a young person to be an asset to the whole community.

So what are we, this wonderful western society that we have created, teaching your young people about themselves? We teach them that they are an isolated group. They have no actual purpose in our lives.  We do not need them in our communities. They serve no useful purpose until they emerge as a twentyager, where hopefully they can find some productive work. They are constantly reminded that the teen years are hard. That teenagers cause problems. That teenagers ARE a problem and we, the wise ones here, are working on a solution to the problem.  Is it any wonder that they turn to drugs and alcohol? I do not think so!

What is the answer? I think our whole society needs a swift re-evaluation of the situation that we have created. Teenager are not a problem to be solved. If they were allowed to be the people they are becoming, the problem would go away – naturally. I homeschooled my daughters and never had a problem with the teen years. Why? Because they were doing adult things in an adult world.

Now I know that homeschooling is not possible or practical for many families so how could we accomplished what I am suggesting? First, the schools need to be totally restructured. In my opinion they need to be structured like a college. From the very first years in a school, the subjects that are needed – reading, math, sciences and living skills need to be divided into courses which the children take in order. Once they achieve proficiency in one course, the go on to the next. This does away with the current group by age and puts each child where they should be, grouped by experience and ability. This should continue until a basic level of proficiency is achieved. By age 12 or so, the young person should have mastered all the basic skills and also living skills. Then they should be directed to use their given gifts to explore what work they will likely be drawn to in the future. Whether it is art or truck engines, nursing or gardening, these skills should be explored with the way they have been done for centuries, by learning from someone already skilled in the craft.