The Word on the Week

Dying for Drugs

Drugs have been in the news for all the wrong reasons this last week. We had almost 2 tonnes of cocaine removed from the yacht “Dancing with Waves” when the customs seized her in the Atlantic. Then came the death of Shane Geoghegan, a tragic case of mistaken identity, at the hand of a hit-man hired by a Limerick gang involved in a drug related feud. The week ended with a similar incident in Finglas which left a man in hospital fighting for his life. The street value of the yacht’s cargo of €500 million did not make the headlines but it does provide a clue to the size of the rewards accruing to the dealers. The craving of the addict provides an increasing market which has penetrated every strata of society. The admission by the Minister for Justice that we cannot police our coastline is stating the obvious whilst reliance on increased surveillance, phone tapping and information from disaffected gang members is like putting a band aid on a cut jugular vein. But there is always an underlying reason why people behave in a certain way. Drug-taking is not a career choice! The majority of the dealers were recruited through fear or addiction. However change is possible. This was portrayed last Thursday in the film “16 Blocks” were Bruce Willis plays the part of a corrupt, alcoholic NY cop who has the task of taking a witness, played by Mos Def, 16 blocks across Manhattan to the court where he is to give evidence which will incriminate a number of NY police who, needless to say, are out to get him! The central thought of the film is Mos’s unshakable belief that people can change. Given the right circumstances, in this case Mos’s disregard for his own life to protect Willis, who has also become a target because he first protected Mos from the corrupt cops. And Willis does change! It was a message of hope triumphing over impossible odds. The Bible also says we can be changed. In fact the only mention of drugs occurs when Jesus is on the cross and is offered some vinegar to dull his senses. The gesture was to lessen his physical agony but that was nothing compared to the intense pain of bearing the sins of the world in order that repentant sinners like you and me could turn from our sin and trust Jesus. Jesus makes permanent change possible for dealer and user and reader of this blog!