There is a battle going on in DuPage County, a battle against drug abuse. Since the heroin-related deaths of seven young people in 2011, the mobilization of community and private efforts to combat this problem has been significant. School programs, counseling centers, hospitals and even church groups have increased their efforts to help individuals caught in the web of drug use.
But according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of drug-related deaths in suburban Chicago is increasing. And whether the abuse involves marijuana, heroin, cocaine or prescription drugs, it is never too early to face this problem and seek treatment. According to AddictionRecovery411, “If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, the time to act is now.”
More and more individuals are finding being connected to a faith community and having a spiritual practice can be an important part in the fight against drug abuse. There, new friendships can replace the old dangerous ones. Also, many say that the finding of an unconditional love of God is important in replacing the guilt, sadness and isolation that accompanies drug abuse.
Tad Blake-Weber found that spirituality was a vital part in overcoming his marijuana addiction. He felt guilty, sad and lost, but stated, “I could see that God’s love includes the joy, bliss and spiritual understanding we all yearn for.” That was his “Aha” moment. Tad now spends his days helping others find God’s healing power.
So does Tom McElroy. McElroy has spent much of his time as a volunteer prison chaplain where he worked with inmates in men’s, women’s and youth facilities. He has shared with many about the divine power that frees from addiction. These days, he shares his expertise in interactive discussions world-wide. “Limitations relating to our bodies, personality, or past history cannot define who we are,” McElroy told me.
McElroy helps his listeners find their “spiritual DNA,” the divine qualities in man, such as goodness, honesty and love. He told me, “Even substance abuse cannot redefine our spiritual DNA, so to speak, and the good that we are designed for, and always capable of.”