Been there, didn’t do that


I am responsible for me – period. For 28 years, since I was 19, I have lived with pain from an auto accident that crushed many parts of my body. I could count the number of “pain pills” I have taken in 28 years on my fingers and toes. My parents had always said “no pills,” just suffer with reality. You can’t escape pain with drugs and alcohol. I am responsible for me.

The recent story about a local man who was stuck in drug and alcohol addiction seems to follow the popular idea today of not being able to control yourself. It makes society, community, doctors and pharmaceutical companies the cause of the out of control drug epidemic. I thank God for the pain-killing drugs that the doctors and hospital pumped into me during the weeks I was hospitalized. Every bit was needed; but when I resumed real life and went back to work, it was up to me and my values to decide how to handle pain. I lost my pre-accident job, could not now join the Navy, so just got on with it in another job.

I think it is unfair to blame doctors, hospitals and pharmacies as the “pushers” in the drug epidemic. Besides me, my friends and family knew nothing about pain pills being sold to young people to “help” them. I knew some boys and girls who chose to step on the “slippery slope” of bad lifestyles like alcohol and drugs. I cared for and supported my future children who were taught that they are responsible for their choices.

We have a culture that promotes “do your own thing.” The Bible tells us where that ends up. We hear a lot about victims of diseases involving drugs and alcohol. Do you want people to see you as a victim of disease? I don’t.

A true self-help organization, like Habitat for Humanity, promotes self-help to obtain a new home, so yes, addicts first need self-help, then the help of others. Cody finally got help, that’s good. His story is unusual! Wasting money on lawsuits and rehab won’t solve the epidemic. Every day we see stories of people coming out of rehab and being back on “the street” a day later. Something is wrong with the basic ideas of rehab; maybe we should be looking at emphasis on finding God and friends of God.

Let’s all pray for Cody that he can see the light through his Bible studies and faith, and turn his life around. He owes it to himself to repent, for all the people he has hurt and all the mistakes he has made and all the harm he’s done so far in his life. He ought to realize the wrong road is paved with good intentions. I still have pain and problems, but the right road requires hard work and cheerfulness, a new path, a new future with the help of God’s love.

Kevin McLaughlin

Washington C.H. resident