Monday, May 4, 2009

Finding Freedom in the War on Drugs

During President Richard Nixon’s administration, he coined the phrase “War on Drugs.” In the 1980s and 90s Mexican drug cartels began to rise to power becoming stronger than the Mexican military. Now, the war on drugs has reached new levels. Since 2006, over 10,000 people have been killed and the start of 2009 has shown no decline in deaths along the U.S. and Mexico boarder.

How does this drug war relate to you and me? The Justice Department reports that Mexican drug organizations have a sophisticated network of distribution points throughout the United States. Among those are obvious boarder states like Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California. However, they are moving their centers north to places like Wichita, Kansas; Billings, Montana and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There are 230 cities where the cartels have operations. From urban to rural communities, many are at risk.

What drives the risky business of illegal drugs? The user. What would happen if there were no more users? Like a regular business, if people no longer bought the product, business would shut down. What would have an immediate impact on the drug war? If people no longer used illegal drugs. Sales would stop, street values would plummet, profits would be cut and the lure of making a fortune in drug trafficking would be gone.

What is the leading cause of drug abuse that dealers depend upon? A person’s need for help in coping with physical pain or emotional trauma. All of us experience real and serious challenges every day. For some, their defense or escape mechanism is drugs. However, I believe that most users, when thinking straight, really do want to quit.

If you are hooked, you can be free. A drug dealer is not genuinely concerned about your problems. It is a business and they want their money. However, someone sincerely cares about your welfare – Jesus, God’s Son. He is not primarily interested in your money. He is interested in you, your present and your future. God says, “For I know the plans I have for you . . . plans for wholeness and not for evil to give you a future and a hope” (The Bible, Jeremiah 29:11, ESV). He loves you. He wants to be your Savior and save you from your sin of drug use or even drug dealing. Will you turn from your addiction and find freedom through the complete forgiveness of Jesus? May He be your hope for today.

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