Church of God, New World Ministries

Giving Hope To Youth Without Hope

Hopelessness has significantly contributed to spiraling drug offenses today. Marijuana, hash, heroin and cocaine are smuggled in increasing amount into America.

Why is there this need to escape reality, to cloud the mind and dull or artificially stimulate the senses? What is missing to make life so unfulfilling?

A well-know psychotherapist put his finger on the problem. He wrote regarding drug offenses among the youth: “If we want to survive as a society, then each individual has to set himself new priorities. We must relearn the old truth that man does not live by bread alone. If we continue in our present lifestyle, we will destroy ourselves and the world we have built.”

Disillusionment and disappointment in today’s world are produced by a self-centered, profit-oriented, and materialistic “get society.” There needs to be a total change in the direction of society, a change in our overall life-style. Only then can the underlying cause of the drug-alcohol abuse problem be resolved.

The number one worry of the Swiss is the drug problem. People are concerned more about it than about violence in the streets, inflation, the environment or housing.

As in so many other countries, efforts being made to resolve the drug problem are primarily directed to cutting off the supply, prosecuting distributors, disseminating information about the dangers of drug use and other such treatments of the effects. Far too little attention is given to the causes!

Troubled family situations are an important contributing factor. But it goes deeper than that. Drugs fill a void in life; they are a substitute for a sense of purpose that is lacking when one does not understand what life is all about. The head of a drug rehabilitation program summed it up in these words: “It’s easy to obtain drugs. And then, because of a disgust for life, because of hopelessness, a process takes place which leads to suicide by an artificially imposed paradise. I insist that it is wrong to think in terms of ‘curing’ those on drugs. They are not sick. Detoxification without something at the end of the road is worthless.”

There is a goal, a purpose in life to work toward. But how many have found it? How many know why they were born?

When the cover came off the drug problem as it exists among young people in France, it was shocking! If there had previously been a reluctance to see the problem, to admit its existence, now it was on page one of the newspapers and on television. And the more public attention it got, the more widespread it was found to be.

What has been especially disturbing is that the use of drugs is not confined to social dropouts or delinquents in some run-down section of Paris. It is found throughout France, in picturesque country villages as well as in grim industrial neighborhoods, in all levels of society. Young people experimenting with drugs could no longer be described as an “American phenomenon that does not happen here.”

The alarming trend has been toward the use of drugs by increasing numbers in the younger age brackets. Most drug users are between the ages 12 and 25. Why are so many young people turning to drugs such as hallucinogen? The reasons commonly given are for pleasure, for the excitement of doing something forbidden, to do what friends do, to satisfy a habit, to forget problems at home or at school.

One youngster sniffing glue remarked, “I don’t want to destroy myself. But I have nothing to do, nothing to do, nothing to do.”

Concerned parents, educators, judges, physicians and police have compiled the major characteristics of the environment that especially fosters drug use or dependency. They have found it centers around an upset family situation, a broken or troubled marriage, conflict or lack of communication between parents and children, family members with mental illness or suicidal tendencies, drug use or alcoholism by other members in the family.

What is striking about young addicts is that they have given up on life before even living it. They see the world of adults and they “get off” like one gets off a bus. And it is not sufficient to explain that kind of total rejection in terms of secondary causes, monotonous cities, short-comings at home or at school. It’s a whole spiritual apparatus of society which must be blamed. The malaise is not merely economic and social, but psychological, in short, the problem is spiritual.

It is this very spiritual aspect that most antidrug programs do not adequately address. Yet until they do, the drug problem can’t be solved.

Numerous persons involved with drug and alcohol prevention/rehabilitation programs recognize that the root of the whole problem is spiritual in nature. At the same time many of these individuals admit that they must overlook trying to deal with the effects instead. Why?

Society as a whole has not wanted to face up to its spiritual responsibilities. It has been this way from the beginning. When God created the first human beings, he gave them his great spiritual laws. In addition, he offered them his Spirit, his inner character and strength. These gifts were guaranteed to produce happy, full, abundant lives.

A society regulated by God’s laws would be free of drug and alcohol abuse problems. There wouldn’t be broken marriages, upset family situations and alienated children. People would be taught why they are alive. They would understand what the awe-inspiring goal of life is. There would be no need to get high on stimulants. No one would have to try filling a gaping void, over the meaning of life, with psychoactive chemicals. That void would be filled instead with God’s Spirit, his vitality and inspiration.

But the first human beings had to choose whether this was what they were willing to do. No, they said in so many words, “we want to try finding happiness our own way. We don’t want God telling us what to do through his revealed laws.

So the first human family rejected God and his precepts. Ever since, mankind has been going his own bungling, ineffective, doomed-to-failure way. Do we not have a trend today of doing away with anything related to God or the Bible. Witness the forbidding of prayer, or the teaching about God in our classrooms. The more we reject God the worse the conditions of society becomes. And God is permitting it until humanity gets sick and tired of it all.

Listen to the description of society as it is today and how it came about. It is briefly summarized in Romans 1:28-32: “And since they (human beings) did not see fit to acknowledge God (they rejected him), God gave them up to a base mind (a mind void of judgment) and to improper conduct.” This improper conduct includes drug and alcohol abuse and all the other evils plaguing humanity.

Read the next three verses in the Bible and see how many of the evils listed there, including homosexuality, are part and parcel of the human condition today.

The only real and definitive solution to drug and alcohol misuse and to all the other problems of this world is to reject the way mankind has been going. And to turn to the Eternal God and his revealed laws. This is true for the individual as well as the national good.

Merely informing the public about the dangers of drugs and alcohol abuse, and seeking tougher penalties for pushers, is not the ultimate answer. There has to be a change of human nature, a change of mind that would void the craving to use stimulants and hallucinogens in the first place. There is a better way! Enroll today in our Mini-Correspondence Course and our Traditional Christian Doctrine Series to learn that way. It is God’s Way! The way to beat the drug and alcohol habit!

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