Sunday, February 1, 2009

Drug Addiction: Our Invisible Invader

Drugs are a serious problem amongst young people. In the next 10 years, Americans will become the mobile drug depots. A group of students were absent, so I called one of their homes, and they told me that he actually came to school. I said ,well he was skipping. The parents called his cell phone and told him that his teacher called the house that he was skipping. He came to tell me that "please, don’t tell my parents that I was skipping, please because they will beat me up." I said; I will but if you tell me why you skipped and what you did, then I will tell them not to do anything to you. So he told me they skipped and went to a house to dance, drink and that during that time, some people were doing drugs and smoking. He named all those who were there, but that he did not do any of that because he left immediately as his mother called him. Well, I took care of the problem, and his parents spared his butt on that day.
Last two weeks, we left from one meeting, and we were going to a baby-shower at 2:00 A.M. Immediately as we stepped out of the car, two young people came closer to us and asked us if we had marijuana. I told them that we do not do that craziness. In 2004, I attended a church. In my Sunday school class, I usually heard almost weekly,  "this one is gone for rehab; this one is leaving the center tomorrow." My question was why are they doing drugs? Why the emptiness? Last semester a colleague I knew well failed the drug test and lost his job.
I was watching CSPAN: one of my best TV channels and a senator was lamenting how we have a silent killer: drugs. He said America has the largest drug appetite in the whole world, and no matter the number of border patrol on the Mexican border to curb drugs infiltration into the US, we will not win the war against drugs. The secret lies in Americans curbing their appetite for drugs. I met a counselor from a school and suggested I would like to go volunteer myself for “Teachers Against Drugs,” so young people can know that one can be happy without doing drugs. He asked with such amazement, “Why would you want to do that? That is risky! Do you mean that you gonna always be clean?” I looked at him and said: "Yes, at all times!" I am sure you know one or two people who do drugs, or you do drugs yourself.
Another time, we had a party at a hotel. The place was hot, so I stepped out to catch some fresh-air. A young white girl approached and greeted me. My friends said, “Rev., this one is God sent.” She wore a black dress with tiny little straps that ended far above her knees like she was there for a party too in one of the rooms. She had those beautiful eyes and charming look, so I was curious as the rest of the people waited to hear what she would say. I guess seeing black guys around, she stereotypical thought we should be in position of drugs. She asked me if I had anything. As na├»ve as I was, I asked her what? She said you got nothing? I was like, “Hey I don’t know what you are talking about,” but as she ran through the different names I could hear crack or pot or weed in the list. Then I began talking to her that I do not do drugs and none of those guys standing over there does drugs. In fact, the other guys were total strangers whom my sister in law invited to the party. I gave her a lecture for about 30 minutes, she gave me a hug, a thank you and left. She was a slave to an Invisible Invader: Drugs. It was one of those occasions where a white girl approaches a bunch of black guys late at night without fearing "the monsters" were going to kill her. When you are under the influence, death is the last thing on your mind. 
Years ago, I had a student that I suspected was on drugs. She had her companion in crime with whom they came to class just to make my life miserable. She will walk in front of the class, come and touch my stomach and “tell me you are hot. I can take two like you.” Where I was born, on that day she would be expelled from school. I tried to be nice and caring but to no avail. I tried to be a pastor to her, but it seemed to revolt her the more. I have put her on timeout several times and written her up but none of them worked. I am not used to writing kids up, except in extreme occasions. This one seems to wear my patience out, so now I decided to pray for her daily.
Little did I know those things I said to her daily meant a lot to her. One day, she came to class high. Maria was sitting on one buttock. I asked her to sit properly because sitting in front of the class on one buttock was a free melodramatic distraction. So I took her to the head of department who was not teaching a class at that time. She went there, and my Head discovered Maria was on drugs. She followed the policy and since she was on probation, she was kicked out of school.
One day, a knock was on my classroom door, and the students said someone is knocking. I went and opened the door, and it was Maria. She told me: "I just came to tell you thank you for all that you did for me. I came to tell you that I am now clean, and I no longer do drugs. More so, I am married".
If anyone ever told me that she will be able to keep a boyfriend, talk less of a husband I will put my hands into the fire. When she brought a guy as the boyfriend; I soliloquized: “Oh poor boy; he will die before his time”. She laughed and told me that Mr. Ayuk come on, give me a chance." I said, “Ok, I will wait and see.” Until today that I am talking to you, Maria is still married and out of drugs. She is preparing to take her GED. Maria had explained to me that it was the Empty home Syndrome (lack of parents) that affected her.
I believe people should create true friendship where you can share your inner worries with them. Whenever someone tells me that they are on drugs, I always say listen, “it is good you told me. Let us pray and see what we will do. Do not tell a second person, so if you hear it outside you can blame me.” One of the reasons why people keep their addiction secret and miss out on recovery is because they fear people will use it against them. Show them the evil but protect their integrity and person. If they have not told you go closer to those you call your friends and you may find out they are chained by an invisible invader. Drugs is all over the place and we must do all to safeguard our friends and young ones.

Until then, please stay away from drugs.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

“Go for the person who loves you most and not the one you love most for the one you love most may not give you the love you need most because though love is blind marriage is an eye-opener” (Hamilton Ayuk).

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