SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks. Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down. For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper. You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things. You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast. And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even know it when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can look for another drink?” —Proverbs 23:29-35

· 35% of NH 12-20 year olds report drinking alcohol in the past 30 days by comparison, nationally the number is closer to 25% and 29% in the Northeast

· The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that the Northeast is ranked highest in Alcohol abuse with 57.7% of teens 12 or older

· 11.3% of NH 18-20 year olds have admitted driving with someone under the influence of alcohol which is slightly higher than the national average of 11.2% http://www.checkthestatsnh.org/new-hampshires-stats/

In a recent conversation with a local law enforcement official I was told that there have been 50 arrests this year at the local beach in a town of only about 4,000 people. Alcohol, drugs and sexual immorality were the three main causes for those arrests. Do people really think our culture is getting better? If so, what is their measurement? What used to be done in the dark is now being openly practiced in the daytime. No wonder when leaders in government are making and have made practices that were done in the dark now legal to practice in the daylight. Abortion, out of marriage pregnancies, homosexuality and drug use are practices the government is openly supporting through its law-making. No wonder the 12-20 year olds are looking for some solution to escape the culture crisis.

Alcohol abuse will only bring sorrow. How many pregnancies occur with those under the influence of alcohol? How many rapes take place? How many robberies? How many domestic disturbances? How many health issues? How many deaths? All these do occur when people are under the abusive influence of alcohol.

People under the influence do things and say things that they would not normally do. Alcohol abuse is a controlling substance. It controls a person. There is nothing so pathetic as to be around a person who is drunk. Just this past week Elaine and I had dinner on a patio at a local golf course just up the road from us. It was a beautiful evening and we were enjoying the location until some young guys sat near us. They just got off the golf course and they were not looking to have dinner. No, they ordered beers and shots of liquor. It was not long before the decibels rose and the language changed. I was wondering if they had a designated driver…

Now it is argued that marijuana is no worse than alcohol. Now think about that argument to get this drug passed off as being legal. Anyone who has used pot in the past knows the negative influence it has and that it is just a gateway drug to hard drugs. We are a culture that is killing itself. We are rotting from the inside out. Only Jesus is the answer. Only Jesus gives life and purpose. Only Jesus can save us from ourselves.

Dear Father, please help me to encourage those around me to call on the Name of Jesus. Oh that they would come to an understand of who He is and what He has done for them. May it be so!

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