Substance abuse in whichever form – is a growing epidemic here in South Africa.
South Africa’s Medical Research Council shows that back in 2017 data broken down by age indicated that 50% of teens were using dagga‚ while 23% were consuming alcohol.
Drugs are a part of all our lives. We’ve seen them through either being the abuser or knowing the abuser.
These words: addiction; anxiety; depression; DRUGS – they all have become so stigmatized to scare us; threaten us – whilst losing the message in translation.
The message that drugs are not the problem – we are.
So what are drugs? Drugs are an escape. A feel-good addiction.
Alcohol, marijuana (dagga), cocaine, tik and heroin – you see them everywhere – on TV, radio, books and on the streets. You see the pain they cause, the frustration, the anger, the desire, the temptation.
It’s estimated that up to 60% of crimes committed involve the use of substances – so therefore – we ban drugs. We avoid talking and learning about them. Learning dosage control, learning chemical development, truly understanding drugs rather than being instructed that it is bad.
People will always use drugs, they always have – it would be naïve to think otherwise. The drug itself is not the problem, the addiction, the cause, the stigma – that is the problem.
Poverty, unemployment, selective drug law enforcement, peer pressure, ignorance, and the dismissal of education – these are the problems.
Drugs fall into every sector of society. In surgery – high levels of anaesthetics are administered to patients, in certain religions – hallucinogens inhibit trance-like prayers even in hunting – we use tranquilizers. Drugs are everywhere. So what makes it taboo?
By vilifying the drug, preaching the evil behind it – we tempt our youth. Lure them to try and experience drugs – then reprimand or throw them into jail afterwards.
We are all still children, still innocent. Eager to take on the world. But first, we need to educate ourselves – understand the world we live in.
The enemy is a liar, and he has this system that he uses all the time. He doesn't have anything new.
It's the same thing he's used for years on believers. And that is, he's continually just tempting you.
He doesn't have the power to come in and do stuff to you. He has to turn your beliefs against yourself. So, he is gonna tempt you to quit believing.
He's gonna tempt you to try drugs. He's gonna tempt you to be fearful. He's gonna tempt you to be arrogant.
He's gonna tempt you to move you away from winning, to move you away from succeeding. because within you is everything that you need, within you is the spirit of God.
Some of you think we'd be a lot better off if there were no temptations. And there are many days when we'd like to all vote on that, but you know what, if that were true –
You would be kept from the ability to show your loyalty to Almighty God. You would be given the chance to fall in love with devotion and worship.
However, because we are creatures of freewill – we face these temptations every passing day – and so, we are growing in our ability to be stronger every time.
If we never had any temptations, we wouldn't need any faith. We wouldn't need the fruit of self-control. If there was no temptation, there would be no spark to set you apart from the rest.
Temptation tests us. Temptation shows what the quality of a believer we are.
Listen to what the Word of God says.
One of the things I've been learning as I get older is that temptation is not so much a
matter of what we don't do – it is really a matter of who and what we do love.
And when we come cultivate a relationship with God. Cultivate within our hearts a relationship with him of intimacy and worship and adoration, that in itself will keep us from many faults and many sins. That in itself is an addiction.
Don't even expect temptation not to come. Don’t get lost in resisting temptation either, just make sure you're not a temptation to anybody else and learn how to stay one step ahead of the crowd. So when you are tempted you're full enough of God and the wisdom of God to know how to resist those things right away.
Does that mean it'll never break through? No, but it means if you build into your life
the Word of God, if the Word of God is a vital part of your thinking, a vital part of your decision-making, a vital part of your lifestyle,
It is a pattern for your life.
I urge you, plead with you – make God your drug, make worshiping your feel-good addiction. And together – let’s make the world a better place.