I look at the way Philip Seymour Hoffman is portrayed in the media and I say to myself: “that is how I would live my life if I was famous; down to earth, dedicated to my kids, and involved in my community”.
I really don’t care that he was a great actor; what I care about is that he was able to maintain his humbleness despite his fame.
It is frightening to see how such a man could end up destroying himself with heroin isn’t it? It goes to show that no one is immune to the problem of substance abuse. And once again when I say this I don’t say it because he is a celebrity because there are many celebrities who have died of an overdose; but they were the kind of celebrities that you would expect to die tragically given their lifestyles.
we all look at the problems in our society and think it’s someone else’s problem
So why are good people dying of drug overdoses? The same reason why a teenager would commit suicide because of being bullied on Facebook or why a mum would kill her own child to save her relationship with her lover. It’s called moral decay and it has come about because we all look at the problems in our society and think it’s someone else’s problem.
Substance Abuse is NOT Someone Else’s Problem
For many years people looked down at crack and heroin addicts as though they were the scum of the earth. It was easy to marginalize them because your typical addict belonged to a minority group living in poorest part of the city. However today more and more suburb dwellers make the trip into the ghetto to buy illicit drugs.
drug dealers now move to the suburbs to set up shop
Lawyers, doctors, politicians, and other respectable members of society with too much to lose by going to the ghettos hire “runners” who buy them their heroin or cocaine. The demand in suburbia has become so high that drug dealers now move to the suburbs to set up shop.
Substance Abuse at School
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse illicit drug use among teenagers remains high. The following statistics are based on a survey by MTF (Monitoring the Future) which measured drug, alcohol, and tobacco use and related attitudes among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders.
Marijuana Use in 2013:
- 7.0 %of 8th graders,
- 18.0 %of 10th graders
- 22.7 %of 12th graders
The debate continues on whether Marijuana is a gateway drug. Regardless of whether it leads to the use of harder drugs or not, it has no place in our schools where kids are learning to socialize and become adults.
poison control centers are receiving escalating numbers of calls about the drug
More noticeably the use of synthetic marijuana is on the rise among school children. Alice G. Walton of Forbes explains: “The use of synthetic marijuana is on the rise for kids in the US. The “benefits” of the synthetic form are that fewer drugs can produce a stronger high, and it doesn’t show up in most routine lab tests, which makes it doubly attractive to kids. But with increased potency comes increased risk of serious effects. And they may be long-term, based on what we know about the developing brain. Hospitals are seeing more and more cases of synthetic pot intoxication, and poison control centers are receiving escalating numbers of calls about the drug.”
I have not even touched on the hundreds of new design drugs such as bath salts that keep popping up in schools. If drugs are a part of school experience how do we expect these future leaders of our communities to socialize and act once they are out there in the real world without such stimulus?
Substance Abuse and Slavery
Meet Karen a 17 year old girl from Narberth, a suburb that was ranked as one of the safest place to raise kids in Philadelphia. She got started on China White heroin at age 15. China White is easier to use than black tar heroin which has dominated the streets over the years. China White can be snorted as well as injected and is becoming increasingly accepted and popular among young people.
When Karen broke up with her much older boyfriend who was also her supplier she was stranded and found herself on a daring and desperate trip to Kensington and Somerset streets.
After a few visits to Kensington, Karen never came back. She was offered free drugs and a life of partying only later to be told that the drugs were not free and that she had to work as a prostitute to pay off her debt.
Such stories have become so common that we do not lose sleep at night thinking about them.
So maybe Sideeq’s story might do the trick?
enslave them in the fields during the day and rape them with impunity during the night
Sideeq lives with his paralysed mom and two younger sisters in a small village in Afghanistan. He is 13 years old and is a drug addict. His father was killed by the Taliban when he was 10 and since then he has been working in the opium fields to support his family and his drug habit.
He did not choose to take heroin but it was injected into his system by force by the men who own the opium fields. This is done to vulnerable kids in Afghanistan in order to keep them dependent on the men who enslave them in the fields during the day and rape them with impunity during the night.
Unlike Philip Seymour Hoffman, Karen and Sideeq have no voices and no one will ever hear of their plight. But you have and you can make a difference.
My Humble Plea
Some may say it is hypocritical of us to be acting sad because a famous person died of his drug habit because many people die of the same every day and no one even notices. Their lives are worth something too.
I say it is a good thing that people get shocked and saddened by such news. Perhaps it may entice them to contribute in the way of fighting against addiction in their communities.
Organisations that fight against drug abuse such as drugfree.org, Above the Influence, Drug Free World, and Prevent Drug Use are fighting an uphill battle to keep youngsters away from drugs despite booking some good results consistently.
- Let us not forget Philip Seymour Hoffman and the thousands who die of substance abuse every day.
- Let us not wait for another celebrity to die so that we can post sweet messages on social media.
- Let us find out which entities in your city or town are helping victims of substance abuse and sign up.
- Let us reblog and share this post to raise awareness.
- Let us act now dear reader before the problem comes knocking on our doorstep.