Another young man from St. Joseph died this past weekend – apparently from long term drug addiction. I knew him. I knew him when he was about seven years old. I also knew his family. He was second generation drug addict. Not his parents, as far as I know, but many of his aunts and uncles.
This particular boy was high energy, dynamic, charming beyond imagination, and ran with the “in crowd”. He was an All State high school basketball player. My feelings range from shock, and sadness to complete anger with those who condemn the addict rather than the addiction – and the social ills that promote addiction.
Anger has often been my first choice in managing the trauma around me – and it has served me well in only a few circumstances. I say that incorrectly. Flailing arms and legs and screaming are very short term fixes to most problems. But anger generates energy. The trick is in the management of that energy. Screaming and flailing is like voting for Donal Trump – it feels good for a moment but it only makes life worse.
People in America should be angry. Yes, I used the word ‘should’, and this case it should cause feelings of guilt and shame. Shame on America for allowing the conditions that stifle real hope for drug addicts.
Let’s have an honest discussion about this problem.