Addiction: The incomprehensible cost

By: Robert Lee - Contributing Columnist

The cost of drug addiction comes to all of us as being incomprehensible. This cost eats at the very fabric of our nation and our society. The cost is not only paid by the addict, but also transferred to the taxpayer who, at times, will have to pick up the tab for the treatment of the addict. But not in all cases. At times, the parents pay these costs until there is nothing left in the parents’ accounts to pay anymore. I know of one family that paid for their son to go into rehab three times. In the end, they lost their home and had to move in with other family members. I can understand the love of parents for their children, but I can not understand destroying one’s self with a lost cause.

I would have had no problem whatsoever trying to help a family member one time and I might have been foolish enough to try and help a second time — but a third time would never have taken place. I also would have never given up my home because of another time-after-time mistake of the addicted child. I also know that I will be called out for not having a heart by some, by not trying to help at all costs. But where does it end? OK, fools are born every day and I am not one of those people, even though just like all of us I have made my share of mistakes and I have paid for those mistakes. But I refuse to pay for another’s mistakes when that person keeps on making the same mistakes.

For the addict, it is a life in hell that they have chosen to go back to even after getting away from it. It is also a draw on the life of their family. Those who have never had to deal with these problems of addiction in their own personal life will have no true understanding of the power of addiction to street drugs.

But these are the same people who will, in some cases, have their own addiction to legally prescribed drugs. In their minds, it’s all different — but that’s a lie that they are telling themselves. Addiction to all types of drugs, legal or otherwise, is an addiction. It’s that simple, we don’t have to candy-coat it. It matters not if you are on the street with a needle in your arm shooting heroin or the stay-at-homehouse wife popping Valium along with vodka and orange juice. Mother’s little helper, helps her get through the day.

In some cases, mother’s little helper is the start of a cycle that her children see and, in time, the children see that if mom can do it, then “Why can’t I?” This is the start of a vicious circle of no return. It does come down to one thing: that being taking responsibility for one’s own actions. I know that is easy for me to say and, in some cases, I am wrong for saying it. I understand that we are not all the same. Some people have a strong will where as others do not. I have written it before: What might tear some out of their framework would be nothing for others to have to deal with — and this goes both ways. Those who need help should receive help, but with that said, you can not help those who truly do not want your help.

Everyone who reads these next words, know these words are the truth. Is it not funny that when some get arrested and busted for drugs, the first people that they call upon are the church and God because they want forgiveness and help. That’s fine with me but I have a problem with it. Why did they not call on God for help before they were arrested for their drug problem? It’s not that they are sorry for the destruction of their life along with their family’s. It’s the fact that they are sorry that they got caught.

The church and the people of the church want to help and in some cases they do help. But a lot of times all they do is to facilitate the addict’s addiction. Don’t get me wrong, some people do turn around when God comes into their lives and the addict is healed. While in the case of some, it’s all about a time to dry out for a bit before they go to court to present themselves before the judge, with the backing of the Church.

Only to, in time, go back to the streets and their life of choice. These are the con artists whom we all have seen at times in our lives. They exist and they will never change because this is their way of life and always will be. I do not write these words to just be harsh and hurtful. I write them as being the truth of addiction that some people can not and will not except. I have talked to many people about their family members who can not get this monkey of addiction off their back. Part of the problem is in the family members who keep on making excuses for the little darlings. When will these people grow up? And I am talking about both sides — the addict and the people who want to keep on helping. It has to stop, and if it does not stop then we are doomed as a society. One of the biggest problems are the doctors who prescribe these killer drugs. Pill popping is not going to fix the problem. We must go to the root of the problem and that is part of the problem, also — The pharmaceutical companies. As you know, I have no love for Corporate America, and Corporate America is part of our country’s addiction to the drug problem — for the pharmaceutical companies are part of Corporate America.

It’s nothing but greed and the quest for the dollar. These men and women have sold their own souls to the devil for nothing more than advancement within the companies. The hurt and heartbreak that come to the people in the form of a prescription is absolutely devastating. Kickbacks to those who prescribe this poison is commonplace. Of course, it comes from the producers of these drugs. Push it on the people and push it hard and fast — and they did. Don’t get me wrong, I know that, in some cases, without these drugs that a lot of people would suffer unbelievable pain. I know this for a fact. But I also know that these pharmaceutical companies knew from the very beginning of the production of these pain killers that they would be very addictive. The producers were told this by their own scientists. It was a known fact that it would happen. They did not care and their profits would show this in short order.

Where will it end? Will we ever see an end to this pain and suffering? That day will never take place as long as the heartless of this country have a say in it. What will have to take place is for our government to step in with stiff regulations for the production of this poison on our people to stop or be greatly curtailed.

At this point, Pandora’s Box has been opened. Some will tell you that it will never be closed. It can and it must be closed for the good of the people. The profits that these companies make should be taken from them. At all costs. It can be taken in the form of lawsuits. Then this money should be spent in the form of rehabilitation centers. The pharmaceutical companies must be forced to give back what they have taken from the people. The cost in lives is not sustainable.

Robert Lee is a concerned citizen and U.S. Marine veteran who owns and operates Rockingham Guns and Ammo. His column appears here each Saturday.

Robert Lee

Contributing Columnist