I just ran across a meme that says “People aren’t addicted to drugs or alcohol. People are addicted to escaping reality.” This is certainly one of the truest and succinct memes I have ever seen.
I caught an episode of Vice News this past week. It was about the heroin addiction that is sweeping the nation. They interviewed a guy, local to me, who keeps doing heroin even though two members of his family, including his mother, DIED due to overdoses. Heroin is being cut with an animal tranquilizer now which is making taking heroin basically like playing Russian roulette. You don’t know when the chamber with the bullet will come around, but you can be pretty sure it will.
He knows he will probably die himself, but he’s willing to take the risk to escape the reality he is living in. He said he is not suicidal. He’s not trying to kill himself. Meanwhile, his wife sits right next to him. She has had to call the police to come help him when he has overdosed. She’s begging him to quit. But, he is so desperate to escape the reality he sees that he’s willing to risk the permanent escape that awaits him if he ODs for the temporary escape of the high.
When people lose hope, lose sight of who they are, look around and see a crazy, materialistic, selfish world, and they don’t see any end in sight, they have to escape. Drugs and alcohol offer them that escape. I saw statistics earlier this week that shows the death rate for people in America between the ages of 45-60 is up. More people in that age range are dying now than were in the past. Even while overall death rates are down- people are living longer, that group is dying more. And the reason is largely due to “poisonings” (overdoses) and suicides.
Last night I attended a study group at church. The group studies the book “A Course In Miracles”. A Course In Miracles is a deep, metaphysical, book that’s about as long as the Bible itself. It presents a whole new way of looking at “reality”. It actually dovetails nicely with the studying I’ve been doing in my own attempt to understand what is actually real. This for me is the only way I can deal with the “reality” of this planet. There has to be a different way of looking at it.
When faced with a vision of reality that we just can’t cope with, we have to make a choice. Do we seek a different view of that reality? Do we assume our view must be flawed and that if we can gain a different perspective, we might be able to not only deal with that reality, but to embrace it? Or, do we attempt to escape that reality through the use of drugs, alcohol, sex, the pursuit of money or domination over others destroying it and ourselves in the process?