My name is DRUGS.
I destroy homes, tear families apart,
Take your children, and that’s just the start.
I’m more costly than diamonds, more costly than gold,
The sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.
And if you need me, remember I’m easily found,
I live all around you, in schools and in town.
I live with the rich, I live with the poor,
I live down the street, and maybe next door.
My power is awesome; try me and you’ll see,
But if you do, you may NEVER break free.
Just try me once and I might let you go,
But try me twice, and I’ll own your soul.
When I possess you, you’ll steal and you’ll lie,
You’ll do what you have to just to get high.
The crimes you’ll commit for my narcotic charms
Will be worth the pleasure you’ll feel in your arms.
You’ll lie to your mother; you’ll steal from your dad
When you see their tears, you should feel sad.
But you’ll forget your morals and how you were raised,
I’ll be your conscience, I’ll teach you my ways.
I take kids from parents, and parents from kids,
I turn people from God, and separate friends.
I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride;
I’ll be with you always, right by your side.
You’ll give up everything—your family, your home,
Your friends, your money, then you’ll be alone.
I’ll take and take, till you have nothing more to give,
When I’m finished with you, you’ll be lucky to live.
If you try me, be warned. This is no game.
If given the chance, I’ll drive you insane.
I’ll ravish your body; I’ll control your mind.
I’ll own you completely; your soul will be mine.
The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed,
The voices you’ll hear from inside your head,
The sweats, the shakes, the visions you’ll see;
I want you to know, these are all gifts from me,
But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in your heart,
That you are mine, and we shall not part.
You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do,
But you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen. Many times you were told,
But you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.
You could have said no, and just walked away,
If you could live that day over, now what would you say?
I’ll be your Master, you will be my slave,
I’ll even go with you when you go to your grave.
Now that you have met me, what will you do?
Will you try me or not? It’s all up to you.
I can bring you more misery than words can tell.
Come take my hand, I’ll take you to hell!
THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL OF DRUG ADDICTION
Philippines, like many other countries, is now in the midst of a major crisis—the outbreak of illegal drugs and substances. These drugs have become so rampant that, oftentimes, they are being peddled openly and daringly in malls, parks, schools, bars and street corners. They pervade and bring ruin to the most basic unit of our society, the families. Nobody is immune. Regardless of one’s age, sexual preference, spiritual affiliation, and social and economic status, we can all fall prey to the insistent and deafening call of this temptation.
A nine-month-old baby raped by her own father
A pregnant woman stabbed to death by her husband
An old woman butchered by her grandson
A pedestrian ran over by a jeepney driver
A college girl raped with her body chopped into pieces afterwards
A teen jumping off a high-rise condominium building
A little boy beaten black and blue by his physically abusive father
A private school-educated girl resorting to prostitution
A man setting his house on fire with his family inside
These, among a slew of other drug-related crimes, are just some of the most gruesome and heinous acts that people under the influence of drugs (They are known by many names: addicts, users, potheads, junkies, druggies, stoners, dopeheads, etc.) can be capable of.
RECOVERY FROM DRUG ADDICTION
But, at the other end of the spectrum, we hear inspiring stories of people who were able to get out from under the grip of addiction, of addicts who managed to recover and turn their lives around, and of men and women who returned to sanity and got their lives back on track.
Oprah Winfrey, Benjamin Franklin, Pope Leo XIII, Robert Downey Jr., Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Drew Barrymore, Michael Ray Richardson, Allen Iverson, David Thompson, Shawn Kemp, Andre Agassi, Lawrence Taylor, Samuel L. Jackson, Elton John, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, George Washington, John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
What do they all have in common?
These Hollywood celebrities, music icons, church leaders, athletes, brilliant minds, business tycoons and world leaders have once succumbed to their demons. But they sought help, regained control of their lives, and came back better and stronger than ever. They have also made great contributions in their respective fields and, in the process, have managed to inspire and empower other people.
A PROFESSIONAL LOOK AT DRUG ADDICTION
According to experts, drug addiction is a “chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the drug addict and those around them. Many do not understand why people become addicted to drugs or how drugs change the brain to foster compulsive drug abuse. They mistakenly view drug abuse and addiction as strictly a social problem and may characterize those who take drugs as morally weak. One very common belief is that drug abusers should be able to just stop taking drugs if they are only willing to change their behavior. What people often underestimate is the complexity of drug addiction — that it is a disease that impacts the brain, and because of that, stopping drug abuse is not simply a matter of willpower.”
MY PERSONAL OPINION ON DRUG ADDICTION
True, drug lords, drug pushers, drug coddlers and narco-traffickers must be meted out with the most stringent penalty under the law, as they destroy the lives and future of their victims especially the youth and the most vulnerable. But, the drug users? Unless they commit crimes punishable by law, they should be considered as victims or, at the very least, as seriously ill members of society who need immediate treatment.
They are not criminals. They should not be incarcerated.
Neither should they be killed.
Who knows? When the clouds part and the haze clear for these people, one of them might even be the future president of this country.