If only we could focus on the fact that addiction is what is behind this [epidemic], not heroin, and begin to treat the right aspects of it; to help addict’s overcome their disease instead of just their heroin use. If you help an addict recover from their disease, they don’t have to use any substance, including heroin. [The threat is] the ever steady and more noticeable…disease of addiction that has been around since humans realized that substances could offer relief to a discontentedness within themselves. [Addiction] is real…it is killing people… if we helped individuals…solve that need for relief. If we offered them a solution to their addiction. There would be no need for heroin. Until then, the Addiction Epidemic will continue on, and on, and on…As long as addiction keeps going untreated and unnoticed, there will be a new drug problem every day, every week, every month, and every year. ~ ~ Rhea Rosier, “Stop Calling it a Heroin Epidemic. It’s Actually an Addiction Epidemic“
I read the article where this quote was taken from several months ago. I essentially archived it until now. The key point in this quote and the article resonated with me; yet, I struggled with articulating its relevance without going on a long winded diatribe.
Yesterday, sitting in a worship service, my pastor reflected on the story of David and Goliath. In his talk, he put Goliath into a different context for me. The giant, Goliath, was not the real problem in the story. Goliath was actually a manifestation of the other issues that existed at the time. As my pastor put it, we all face giant problems every day – work issues, health troubles, financial struggles, relationship problems. They are not the real issue, they are a manifestation of a bigger question – are we truly focusing our lives in the correct direction?
Through my pastor’s message and the author’s writing, I am reminded that our giant problem is not heroin. Our society has an addiction problem. Far too many people are lost, hurt, disenfranchised, suffering, unloved, and uncared for. When they reach a point where they cannot find hope and opportunity in their lives – they escape, retreat, quit. Heroin is one of those paths. It is not the only path. It is the giant we see today; but, killing the giant will not make the real problem go away.
Our relentless, selfish pursuit of wealth, affluence, influence, and power are interrupted and corrupting the individual pursuit of self-actualization. We are defined by our job title, our income, our societal status, and by the success and accomplishment of our children – which is measured by the same scorecard. We have created a vicious, unhappy, unending perpetual cycle of fear, stress, and conformity. Very few people thrive in this environment. In fact, far too many are destroyed by it. This is the source of our addiction problem.
We can help fix it; but, it requires us to recognize the problem, seek a recovery from it, and help others find their recovery.
Every one of us has had a moment of absolute pain, doubt, isolation, fear, or hopelessness. Fortunately, many of us have found a way through the heartache and confusion. Whether you are willing to admit it our not, you did not do it alone. Each one of us who found our way out of the darkness and the despair had a friend who stepped into our mess and offered us their love, their hope and their encouragement. From there, we moved forward and changed, improved, or altered our lives.
The problem of addiction requires the same commitment. Yes, I would love to solve the heroin problem; but, I am more committed to solving our human problem. Every one of us comes across someone who is at their point of absolute failure every single day. Whether we see it or not, is a different discussion. We constantly comes across people who are ready to give up, quit, escape, and surrender.
You can help them. You know what it is like to be in that place and you also know what it is like to be given the gift of love. You want to slay the dragon – pay it forward, give the gift of love, hope, opportunity, and encouragement freely, selflessly, and unconditionally. You will change a life and begin the healing process for someone who needs it. Solving the problem takes a lot of little steps and your consistent effort creates a great deal of powerful momentum. Make that commitment to help those around you – that is how we will collectively slay the giant among us.