Sometime back, we ran a report in our print edition called “Delivery of Death”. The article was about how dangerous, addictive drugs could be ordered online and sent to you via the mail. It wasn’t a call for action, or for abridgement of your mail. It was a report about something that happened that most folks never knew of.
The subject of that article, who will remain nameless, passed away this past weekend. It is believed that her drug use played a factor in her death.
While, as a libertarian, people generally know my stance on the drug war, what they don’t know is that I have never and will never condone drug use. What I feel people should or should not be able to do is not always in line with what I believe the actually should do. This is one of those times.
The subject of the article was someone I had known for years. She was a very good person who simply had a flaw. We all do. Hers, unfortunately, was an addiction to Ambien and alcohol. If you removed that from her life, you would be left with the very definition of a “pillar of the community”.
Unfortunately, for many people, it’s impossible to see that. We have an image of some lowlife robbing and stealing to feed their habit as the prototypical “drug addict”, but that’s not true. If it were, it would be easy to just let them rot. That’s not what happens all the time. There are addicts from all walks of life. It may be the prim and proper lady you see at the bank every week. It may be the plumber who has fixed your pipes for years.
We in the media need to show what thereal faces of drug addiction are. Oh, meth addicts are the media’s idea of a “sexy” drug addict (and I’m using that term from a relative standpoint…we don’t find them any more attractive than you do as a general rule), but there are a whole lot of people who we would think as “normal” who battle this demon every day.
Most won’t shed any tears for this wonderful human being with a tragic flaw. For most, it’s simply because they didn’t know her, and that’s easy to accepts. For still others, it’ll be because they refuse to have any sympathy for a drug addict. To those people, I say this:
How dare you. How dare you, on your high horse, refuse to share sympathy with a human being who suffered more than you will ever know. You, who are unaware of what her last days of life were like, are free to pass judgement, but are you so flawless? None of us are perfect. Not a soul. I’m not, she wasn’t, and I have no doubt at all that you’re not.
If you dare call yourself a Christian, then remember that Christ forgave all he came in contact with. As Christians, it is our charge to strive to be Christlike in all things we do. Of course we’ll fall short, but it is our effort that matters. In that, the least one can do is share our sympathy with one of God’s children who went through hell, put her family and loved ones through hell, because of a disease. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, addiction is a disease.
Let go of your self righteousness and realize that it could easily have been you afflicted with this, and be sympathetic. Remember to “Judge not, lest ye be judged”.
To this wonderful woman who is no longer with us, I simply say goodbye and that I hope her pain is at an end. I pray for her forgiveness for any sins outstanding and hope she is reunited with her loved ones in Heaven.