I must say, I've been asked for my ID only a handful of times when buying cold medicine, and it always takes me off guard. I tell myself what a pitiful world we live in where we can't even allow the free sale of Sudafed without signing something and showing an ID. It's easier to buy a twelve pack of beer than Sudafed at my local Walgreen's. But then, last night, I found a show on TV that made me realize why...
The show was called Drugs Inc and was on the National Geographic channel. From what I could tell, it is a series devoting an hour long program to a specific drug, its manufacturing, its effects on society and the human body, and outlining the obstacles in fighting its manufacturing and sale. The episode I happened upon was about methamphetamine. Crank. Crystal. Back in the day when I frequented bars (I know.... GASP... I used to frequent bars in my 20's) people referred to it as Chicken. Why they referred to it as that I will never know, but it took me a while to figure out what was being discussed in some conversations. I have never personally seen meth or anyone using it, but I have no doubt that every person reading this post has probably been around someone under the effects of meth, whether they knew it at the time or not. Those odd acting people at Wal-Mart may not have mental problems, you know. They may be meth addicts.
The show followed a narcotics unit in Athens, Georgia as they tracked down people they called Smurfs. These Smurfs weren't little blue cartoon characters, but rather they were people who went around to various drug stores and bought their monthly allowed amount of the decongestant used to make meth and then pass it along to a manufacturer. Among those arrested in this particular campaign was an 18 year old girl. 18 years old. Her mouth had sores in the corners, and she looked much older than she really was.
The show narrator also revealed a shocking statistic - that only 6% of meth addicts are able to successfully kick the habit. Only 6%. That means that the other 94% of people who become addicted to meth live a life battling its firm grasp on their soul. The thought weighs heavy on my heart. I look at my two kids and pray that they will have the courage and the wisdom to make good choices. I pray that they will never put something into their body that can grab a hold of them so tight that they only have a 6% chance to break free.
My heart just aches for America. For the millions out there searching for something. Those out there who are looking for love, for warmth, to feel good only to find themselves involved in a world of false feelings of euphoria and height. But I guess that's what Satan does, right? The older I get, the more I believe in Satan. The more I realize that literally all good things come from God, and everything else is just part of Satan's ploy. Add meth to his arsenal.
I feel like I am blabbering a little today - maybe from the Sudafed and the head cold I am battling right now. But the show last night was so disturbing - so completely disturbing. And it made me realize that the little comfy bubble I've been able to keep my children in is slowly disappearing. With each day that passes, their independence from my safety becomes more evident. I've talked to David about drugs, about how they come in all forms, about how if anyone offers you anything to decline and tell me or a trusting adult. How it's all a lie - it may be fun for a while, but it can take over your life and turn you into a totally different person. Still, I wonder if I have said enough. If I have taught enough. If I have loved enough. If I have been the kind of parent I need to be to prevent my children from making those huge mistakes in their life. After all, I have seen people who were raised in seemingly fantastic families who turned out to be drug addicts.
Sometimes, the weight and worry of being a parent overwhelms me. And when I see the evils of a deadly drug displayed the way it was on this show last night - well, I don't ever want my children to make a handful of decisions that could change their life forever. I guess all I can do is pray and keep those conversations going... pray, pray, pray.