Driving home from work today, I heard a story about the devastating costs of drug abuse in Austin, IN. This community is approximately 3 hours southeast of where I live. Many of its residents have chosen to ingest opioid painkilling drugs and, consequently, a disproportionate share of that community’s individuals have contracted HIV. The Indiana Department of Health has been forced to set up a needle exchange program to provide “palliative care” to these individuals.
During the presidential campaign, there has also been some discussion of the drug problem. This was particularly prominent in the run up to the New Hampshire primary as candidates from both parties addressed how large numbers of Granite State residents have chosen to succumb to various illicit drugs and lost their lives as a result. Note that in both of these cases I have said that individuals in these states have consciously chosen to take these lethal concoctions. To many media stories and political debates have fallen for the fallacious notion that drug abuse is some vaporous airborne transmission or virus which can be caught by unsuspecting individuals.
It is true that the mental health and physical vulnerabilities of some individuals and their life circumstances may make them more susceptible to the temptation of using illegal drugs to lessen their pain. The brutal fact of the matter is that the decision to take opioid and other dangerous drugs is a sign of serious moral weakness and an indication of a nihilistic world view that rejects moral absolutes and the inescapable reality of a sovereign God and the satanic reality of hell.
Our country’s decades long slide into secularism is reflected in the growing use of illegal drugs and in the abuse of legitimate painkilling drugs. We see this as states such as Colorado and Washington have allowed recreational use of marijuana, promoted needle exchanges, sought to decriminalize drug use, reduced jail sentences for drug users and dealers, and encouraged people to tune in, turn on, and drop out by following the horrendous example of 1960’s drug addict “guru” Timothy Leary.
Using illicit drugs is not some harmless recreational activity without societal consequence or cost. It is reflected in family breakup, personal bankruptcy, crowded jail cells, transportation accidents, numerous acts of criminal violence in cities such as Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit and elsewhere including our rural regions thanks to the corrosive influence of methamphetamine, and providing financial sustenance to drug traffickers and terrorists in Latin America, the Mideast, and other areas of the globe. I encourage readers to consult the State Department’s annual International Narcotics Control Strategy reports to see the widespread and disastrous global impact of illicit drug use.
As a taxpayer and concerned citizen, I don’t want to see my hard earned tax dollars subsidize and encourage the destructive and consciously chosen lifestyles of morally bankrupt dimwits. Instead of adopting more permissive and tolerant attitudes toward illicit drug use, we should follow Singapore’s example and wage a real war on drugs. This island state once confronted a serious problem with high opium usage and has responded by requiring those arrested for drug possession to go into immediate and rigorous therapy and EXECUTING drug dealers. We should view drug abuse as a national security as well as a public health threat. We also need to view it as a sign of the disastrous consequences of secularist moral relativism and recognize our need to submit to the inescapable reality that God created us, expects us to honor our bodies as His temple by not ingesting them with destructive substances, and recognize that He will judge us for our behavior and misbehavior once our physical lives are concluded.
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan was spot on when she announced that the beginning of the solution to the drug problem is “just saying no.” Global cultures must quit romanticizing and glorifying illicit drug use. Instead, they must aggressively tackle the moral rot at the source of individual and societal drug use.