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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Suicide and Pot

Some folks are rolling this out as a 'positive' side of marijuana use:


At first, it sounds like marijuana is the cure for depression and the new miracle drug of the century.  The fact of the matter is that one would expect that, with an increase in drug or alcohol use, there would be a decrease in the suicide rate... at least, the fast kind of suicide.

Addicts certainly do kill themselves the quick way.  But, addiction itself is a slow-motion death.  Drug use is all about escaping the pain or reality, just like suicide.  And, like suicide, it never deals with the real problem.

Drug use and suicide both offer 'numb'... the latter supposedly as a permanent numb.  Most Christians would take issue with that, but that's a story for a different day.

Addiction is a type of death in that it is a move towards desensitization.  Even though addiction offers incredible highs, the highs have their appeal largely in being able to turn off all other inputs.  The high is an escape from the annoyances and suffering of the present.  It is a type of death, a death to the world that is unpleasant and uncomfortable.

When someone turns to marijuana, they are turning to the lesser of two evils.  As I have written before, people do not smoke pot because they enjoy the taste.  They smoke it strictly to get high.  They smoke it to escape.  In essence they are smoking it to die just a little.

Being high is a 'lesser' form of life, because in the high we are tuned out from our real world and lost in the haze of our stoned minds.

Eve was tempted by the serpent, and she ate the 'forbidden fruit' which man had been warned by God not to eat lest he die.  When they ate the fruit, they did not appear to die.  Eve remained alive and gave the fruit to Adam.  Then their eyes were opened, but they seemed very much alive.  Instead, they began to die. 

This gradual death is what drug abuse and other addictions are all about.

So, the moral of this story is that the lowering of suicide rates is deceptive.  We are merely exchanging one kind for another.

1 comment:

  1. It seems to me that modern first world societies most offer more options for escape to a greater number of people than ever before. Aldous Huxley wrote about this with alarm in "Brave New World" in the early twentieth century. In the late twentieth century, Neil Postman observed that the rise of media culture made Huxley something of a prophet.

    I wonder if part of the explanation for declining moral revulsion to drug use is that many of us our legally semi-stoned through a constant infusion of tv, movies, music, twitter, celebrity gossip, social networks, etc.

    In my own recovery in SA, one of the big breakthroughs through me came in talking with somebody who had years of recovery in NA before coming to SA. He related that the high he used to get from a needle was very similar to the high he gave himself with lustful fantasies, to say nothing of the impact of acting out on those fantasies. That hit me over the head like a lead weight. I'd been walking through my own life semi-stoned, and lust was my drug of choice (though some of the above factors had/have their claws in me as well).

    An odd thing has happened since I entered the rooms. Time as actually slowed down. The days seem like weeks and the weeks seem like months. What happened? I now think that it's a result of approaching real sobriety for the first time in my life. We all know that time flies by when you're stoned. And I was always semi-stoned, I just never really knew it.

    Of course, I can only speak for myself, and I don't want to over generalize. I also have very little time in recovery, so caveat lector. But this perspective really makes me wonder. Is the guy who spends all day on espn and the girl who is always on facebook likewise in a semi-stoned state?

    Regardless, this isn't for me to sort out. I'm not God, and besides, I can't help anyone or anything until I get my own act together. But I hope that better men than I are grappling with this issue, it seems important.

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