22 April 2018

When Drug Addiction Steals a Loved One


My intelligent, funny, sweet, musically talented, loving nephew would have been 43 years old today. I was there when he was born in 1975 in South Carolina. Never would I have thought that he wouldn't be celebrating his 42nd birthday. He died shortly before his birthday last year. That's him pictured above between my parents, in Newberry, Michigan.

We have a national epidemic of drug abuse. It's so prevalent that even Guideposts Magazine has begun carrying a feature article in each issue. One year ago I lost my beloved nephew to this scourge. It still doesn't seem quite real, but I'm beginning to accept his loss. We'd already had him stolen many years earlier by the drugs. Who he was was slowly, inexorably, eaten away. The sweet boy he'd been (I had custody of him for two years and also spent a lot of his childhood spending time with him) had been taken over by a foul-mouthed self-absorbed drug addict who cared more for his "mistress" of drugs than in taking care of his wife and children.

What can we do about it? Praying for our loved ones who are drug or alcohol dependent is sometimes all we can do. And both they and we will need all those prayers to get us through. The first call about a loved one having overdosed (whether accidental or deliberately) is that first horrific wake up call that we might be facing a devastating loss.

If you have friends who have gone through this, don't judge or hand out platitudes -- they aren't helpful. Instead, lend a shoulder to cry on and listen. Sadly, there are many many people who have gone down this road before you. They understand.

Don't blame yourself or other people. That's also not only unhelpful but harmful. The addict, herself or himself, has made these decisions. Sometimes there is someone involved, such as in criminal cases where someone has done something to bring on the overdose -- I'm not talking about those times. I mean when someone has gone into rehab, gotten treatment, over and over again, etc., and hasn't followed through on the bottom line thing they need to do. We make choices. I believe that the devil is all over our nation's addiction crisis. Satan lies, deceives, and cheats.

As a nation we need to rise up and fight back and help those with addictions. Jail isn't the answer (although that was where my nephew could stay clean). But neither is a rehabilitation setting where the individual can leave voluntary. And keep loving those with an addiction. Love can conquer many things. But don't be a co-dependent, either. Get help for yourself if you're living in a co-dependent situation or have a loved one whose dependency is impacting your life.

Prayer: God, lift our nation up and deliver us from deadly addictions. Bind the enemy. Breathe your peace into homes affected by loss from drug and alcohol dependency. In Jesus' precious name, Amen.

Giveaway: A devotional book to one of my commenters.

10 comments:

  1. Addiction is a real thief of all the potential that a person can be. I pray recovery and peace through relationship with Jesus Christ for those with this disease. I also agree with Carrie's heartfelt and wise comments. Blessings to those affected by the choices of loved ones.

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    1. That is so true, Freda! It's a thief. I pray in agreement with you! God bless!

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  2. My heart hurts for you and the loss of your nephew a year ago. A precious life lost to an ugly, vicious demon. As we travel down this road of life, we face challenges, joys, good and bad, but with every step we must remember that we are never alone and we are loved.

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    1. Amen, Melanie! We are never alone and God loves us! I know God wouldn't have allowed this to happen unless He had reasons unknown to us. And I trust Him.

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  3. I am sorry for the loss of your nephew. My family has been touched by such a loss.
    Never stop praying for those miracles. I have witnessed the miracle of my cousin overcoming many years of addiction. He gives all the credit to God.

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    1. Thanks, Andrea! I love some of the stories of healing I've read in Guideposts Magazine. We kept getting so close to seeing Shane make a good recovery and then this thief would sneak in again. Hugs!

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  4. I’m so sorry for the loss of your nephew. I had a loved one try to commit suicide recently because of drugs . He is doing well now but struggling with bi-polar. Support with prayers and love without enabling is important.

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    1. Hi Leila! I'm so glad your loved one is doing well, now. God can bring healing and miracles that is for sure!

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  5. Carrie, I'm so sorry for the loss of your nephew. May the Lord bring great comfort and peace as you grieve.

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