This is Chaplain Bill’s space where he is able to articulate his views on theological, biblical, and philosophical matters. Chaplain Bill has also recently published his own book, Blue-Collar Believer, available in hard copy or for eBook purchase. Also visit his blogsite. The views expressed by Chaplain Bill, and other co-writers, are not necessarily the views of website owner, James Bishop.
In life, whether we are Believers or not, we deal with many hardships. Sometimes the more grueling of them is to witness a family member or friend who has a serious drug addiction. The real difficulty is when they do not think that they have a problem. They may have even “hit rock bottom.” The common misconception is that when we think for them that there is nowhere else to go but “up,” the severity of the dependence with the habit is sinking lower into despair, and then death finally has the final say affecting all those who love the person.
Divorce, losing custody of children, loss of employment, losing a house or an apartment, and selling personal items for constant drug use are all signs of serious addictions. But for the one who has the addiction, more than likely their “blinders” are on, because what comes with the situation when someone steps in to help, it is regarded as unwelcomed, not needed to be dealt with, and there is no need or want to overcome a problem they do not think they have.
They feel that the world is out to get them, go into defensive mode, and they seriously think that they do not have an issue, even though their apparent life is falling apart both on the inside and out, while the drug takes its toll mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Whether we have had the problem ourselves or know someone who has, we know that we can sometimes feel helpless. I am currently trying to help an acquaintance who has a crystal meth addiction. Crystal meth is short for crystal methamphetamine. People commonly use it by snorting it, smoking it, or injecting it.
It creates a strong desire to continue using it because it creates a false sense of happiness. It is an instant “rush” of confidence and energy, which leaves the person using it without an appetite. The “high” can generally last from six to eight hours, but can last up to twenty-four hours.
It is a dangerous and potent poison that destroys the body. Though the “high” is an instant feeling of euphoria, with each and every time it is used, the user is quickly committing suicide. Consequently, it is one of the hardest drug addictions to treat and many die in its grip.
Though I am a Christian, an author, and a pastoral-apologist now, I lived a life far from God for a very long time. Before I had my conversion, I had my fair share of narcotics and alcohol abuse in the party world. If you have purchased and read my book Blue Collar Believer then you understand what my background is. If you have not, then understand that I can truly empathize with what a lot of people who go through with their addictions.
Now crystal meth is a drug that I have never messed around with, but I have seen firsthand what this drug can do to a person. This is my open letter to the person who is struggling with the addiction. I will leave their name out to protect their identity.
Here is the beginning to my letter: “You have really been on my mind lately. I, as well as many countless people deeply care for you. I am not here to judge or condemn you. What you need now more than anything is support and love.
Because I sent you a few messages, and you have not responded, this only makes me deeply worry about you more. I have been praying for your safety and only want the best for you. Knowing you for many years, I feel I understand what is really important to you and that is – your children.
I know you love your children deeply. There is nothing more important to you in the world then them. If you love your children, which I know you do, you want the best for them, and they NEED a parent.
They need a parent that was who you used to be. The parent that I know that would do anything for them. The last thing in the world that you would want to do is hurt them. Unfortunately, without you thinking that you are not hurting them, you are.
I went to your Facebook page and watched your “Live videos.” There were many of them and some were very long. There was one that brought me to tears. It was the only one that you showed yourself talking. Now although I could not hear what you were saying, because you did not turn up the volume, I knew what you were feeling. Tell me if I am wrong?
Just by looking at you I could tell that you are possibly abusing meth. Now you may not agree, but all the signs are there.
People who abuse meth often develop small, weeping sores on their faces and their hands. At times, these sores are self-inflicted.
Do you sometimes develop persistent hallucinations that you have insects crawling beneath your skin, and pick at your skin as a result, tearing small holes in the surface?
Do you now have dry skin? This makes your skin more likely to tear when it is scratched.
Are you now experiencing extreme weight loss and are not hungry, but feel energized?
Because of not having a good diet and poor nutrition, meth is now likely the cause of the loss of hair.
Have you begun to hear and see things that aren’t there?
Are you continually looking behind furniture, peering behind curtains, out windows, and just know there is someone there, but can never find them?
I am only reaching out to you because I care. These are only certain symptoms that I see, but there is a long list of more. You and only you can come to the conclusion that you need help. I am here to support you in any way I can. We love you and your kids need you. If you continue in the state you are in, it is only going to get worse and then your children will have to grow up without a parent in their life. What is more heartbreaking than children who have to grow up without a parent?
A parent who COULD have done something about it.
Think about it…
I have not been down the “meth road” but I have been down other “drug roads” personally and know other people who have.
In my experience I had my own issues with alcohol and drugs. I have to 2 DUI’s (Driving under the Influence) under my belt and my drugs of choice were magic mushrooms, acid, pain pills, and I loved cocaine.
Using acid kept me up for several long days and nights of pretty intense parting. I remember when I ran out of cocaine I really felt like a hardcore addict because I would actually crawl along the carpet looking for a rock that had either fallen when I cut it, or more disgustingly, dropped out of someone’s nose. Occasionally I found a rock or two, more often merely a piece of fuzz; no matter what, it still went up my nose.
This is a sign of an addict, and it gets worse, because not only did I drink, it was very common for my crew and I to be in a dirty, dingy bar, walk into a foul restroom, and then use the top of a dirty toilet to do lines. What did I care? The last thing I was concerned with was good hygiene.
But the point is I know I needed help, and I thank God that I found the help that I needed so I can now enjoy the beautiful aspect of life, raising a family in good conscience.
If you want my help, please reach out to me, or anyone. You have very loving and supporting friends that only want the best for you and want to see you succeed. You do not have to be scared anymore, there is no physical side effects for kicking this addiction. Combined with the lack of ability to feel emotion, the cravings may be your worst hurdle to overcome. Don’t just do it for you, do it for your children. Please reach out if we can help you. Once you do, you will finally be on the road to recovery.
Your children need you. I am praying for you. Please respond. You only need to say two words, “Help me.” We then will be there, wherever you may be.” [end]
Whether this person is a believer or not, I do not know. I do know this, my heart has been deeply troubled and I want to offer help in any way that I can. Whether they reach out for my life line or not, I know that I will continue to pray for them. If they do reach out to me for help, I will be convinced it was because maybe they could relate to my experience. It may not be because I can empathize in the exact way, but they will know that I was able to overcome. If asked how I did this, I will then be able to share with them the Gospel and how it can and did transform my life. I was able to overcome temptations because the One Whom I place my trust, hope, and faith in did so Himself.
I can then share Scriptures that have certainly helped me in my walk and countless other Christians that have been transformed by the grace of God.
1 Corinthians 10:13 [KJV] – “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Hebrews 2:18 [KJV] – “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”
James 1:14 [KJV] – “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”
Hebrews 4:15 [KJV] – “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
If you or somebody you know has an addiction, and need help preparing a way to bring it up, please feel free to use what I have shared in its entirety or in part.
I do hope that this person reaches out for help before it is too late. In the meantime, I will be praying constantly. One can also contact the American Addiction Centers or call them (888 986 6112)
If you are living not in the states, contact the number and I am sure that they can direct you to someone who can help internationally.
Until next time,
William H Schnakenberg IV