There are plenty of horror stories in the news:
The 'Causeway Cannibal' case, as it turns out, is not all that unusual. The new craze with 'Bath Salts' has blossomed forth with numerous incidents of psychosis.
Our brains, through which our sensory information and thoughts pass through, are very delicate. Even small events, like a headache from a cold virus, can radically alter our thoughts and perceptions.
Pouring chemicals into our brains is something that should be avoided, addicting or not.
While I'm sure to hear about how 'non-addictive' marijuana is, the 'Spice' market shows us the unsafe lengths people will go to to get high. Wanting a buzz is one thing, using dangerous chemicals is another.
Even prescription drugs are unreliable. Last night, while driving through town, I heard a doctor on the radio telling of the chilling discoveries that have been made of late with approved medications. While I have not read all of his material and he may well be off on a few things, his credentials are impeccable and he seemed to have quite a bit of research in his favor. Here's the doctor's website:
Here's an article on marijuana triggering psychosis, a more common problem than it was a few years ago:
The big problem there has to do with THC dosages. Marijuana plants have been hybridized to the point where THC levels are in some cases 10x higher than in plants from standard strains grown 100 years ago for rope.
Yet, the problem remains with drug usage: how do we predict its effect? This is not even reliably done with alcohol. We all know people who are 'happy drunks' while others become angry and aggressive. Even the most common glass of wine can have remarkably different effects.
But, the 'New' drugs are even scarier, because they are more complex than their ancestors and much more powerful. What young people often miss is that repeated usage predictably causes permanent damage if not long-lasting after-effects:
Yes, you can get there with alcohol, too. The difference is that many young people are tricked into the old tales about these drugs being 'safe' and 'fun' in a way that their grandparents' beer and whiskey isn't. Well, a can of Coors isn't going to shut your kidneys down the way a hit of 'spice' can and does in enough individuals to have lawmakers reevaluating laws on 'spice.'
What we are seeing right now in the news are more and more psychiatric problems links to drug usage. Almost daily, new reports are coming out about random acts of violence as people are losing impulse control due to drugs, either prescribed or illegally-obtained. Mexico has become a new Cambodia, with thousands dying in recent months, even innocent people not tied to the cartels. Individual killings have been subjected to 'grade inflation' and are now unheard of as massacres become the norm.
It is into this maddening storm that we are called to bear silent witness to the peaceful joys of God. Both Christianity and the 12 Steps are based on repentance, and so there is hope for a broken world. What we must do is live out our own lives as good examples and practice what we preach. God will do the rest.