Every time someone publicly dies of a drug overdose now, two things happen for me. First, my heart tears in two and I feel sick to my stomach. Next, comes the flood of relief and the selfish thought, "Thank God it wasn't anyone I know this time."
A very dear friend of mine is a brilliant, creative musician. In line with the terrible stereotype, he also has a very serious drug problem. Today my friend sold his guitar, the center of his musical life and heart, to a stranger on Craigslist. Were he not an addict and had this not happened before, I would've believed him when he told me that he just wanted to buy a new one. I asked him once, in a moment of clarity, how much money he'd squandered on drugs in all his many years of using. He told me that it was probably somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000.
I wonder how much time and money and health and brilliance has to be wasted before he returns to the land of the living.
I wonder how many times he has to almost overdose before he'll find his rock bottom.
I pray strong and sad and fearful and angry prayers every night for intercession, for healing, for peace.
I wake up wondering if today is the day we will find him dead.
Because there is no long term life expectancy for addicts who have such a deep disdain for themselves. The disease of addiction is a controlling, abusive, codependent relationship which he has chosen to engage with fully, forsaking what he loves the most. There is no way out until he is ready to sever those ties, to choose life.
How much more? What will it take?