A few weeks ago our local anti-drug coalition held a meeting at our high school to educate people on the dangers of drugs. Considering how many people's lives have been devastated by drugs and alcohol you would think there would be a packed house; there wasn't. I suppose for a Monday night there was a fairly good crowd, but the audience was mostly adults. Very few parents brought their pre-teens and teens to this event.
In this day and age it's not enough to tell our children, "just say no." We have to show them why they should say "no" and then teach them how to say it. We need to have long conversations with them about what can happen if they are even in a car or in the room where someone has illegal substances. With younger children we can role play different scenarios so that when the time comes and they are offered drugs or alcohol (and you can bet they will be) they will feel comfortable saying "no."
About one month ago I attended a meeting at the county extension office and listened as our county attorney, our local jailer and a police officer expressed their frustration over catching criminals and then having the courts turn them loose to recommit the same crimes again and again. The lady sitting next to me leaned over and whispered to me that her brother was in jail for making methamphetamine and that he was scheduled to go to rehab in a few weeks. She said that a few months ago he'd been involved in a meth lab explosion but he had received a slap on the wrist and been released. Since this was the second time he'd been caught it was recommended he go to rehab, but she worried that her brother would never make it through rehab because he had the right to check himself out at any time. "He doesn't even look like himself anymore," she whispered through her tears. "He doesn't care about his family or anything but drugs and if the courts don't make him stay, he'll be out of there and back to his old ways in no time."
Perhaps there are people who don't attend drug coalition meetings because they think that drugs are someone else's problem. If so, they are sadly mistaken. In one way or another drug abuse affects everyone and some of those who suffer the most are the ones least likely to speak up for themselves.
At Glasgow's Drug forum the guest speaker told of a child who was boiled alive by his meth addicted father. A little girl in Indiana was shot by a gang when she witnessed a drug deal taking place. In Bullitt County a mother and father were arrested after their 6-year-old daughter was found with meth in her school lunch box. The little girl and her brother are now in foster care and their parents are in jail.
Why do bad things happen in a good community like ours? Edmund Burke said it best when he said, "All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing."
Doing nothing lets evil continue. Doing something, even a small thing, can make a big difference.
What Christians can do?
Get involved in anti-drug coalitions. By attending meetings and speaking out against evil not only are you taking a stand for what is right, you are setting an example for your children and your neighbors.
Support elected officials or candidates who do the right thing and make the tough choices.
Be a child protector. There are children in this country who live in homes with drug addicted parents. If you suspect neglect or abuse, report it.
Become a court advocate for children. There are ads in the newspaper every week asking for child advocates. Make a phone call, get the required training, and make a difference in the life of a child.
Become a mentor. Volunteer to mentor a child at the school nearest you. A Christian mentor might just change life and save a soul!
Report anyone you suspect to be on drugs, even if it's someone with whom you are close. You might be saving their life!
Write letters to the editor, your legislators and other elected officials voicing your concerns and opinions.
Talk to your children, your children's friends, and your Sunday School classes frequently about the dangers of drugs and what to do if they know someone who is a user. If they don't know where and how to get help, they may choose to keep silent.
Drugs are evil and ruin lives. Read what the Bible has to say about evil:
1 Peter 2:11
Dear brothers and sisters, you are foreigners and aliens here. So I warn you to keep away from evil desires because they fight against your very souls.
1 Peter 3:12
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.
All Scriptures from the NLT.