CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Nearly all professionals working in the field of addiction consider it a medical problem and not a legal one. Many of their programs rely on "replacement drugs" (e.g. methadone or Suboxone for opiate users) but the 12-step programs which probably have the best track record in treating addicts and alcoholics are unabashedly theistic.
Of course, we don't tell a hard-core junkie that "Jesus Saves" or that submission to Mohammed is the way to recovery but that is basically "how it works."
This is something akin to the Hindu concept in the Bhagavad-Gita that the Lord Krishna created Buddhism to trick the atheists into worshiping something. "Better paying homage to a pot-bellied carving than self."
Dr. Abraham Twerski, founder of the Gateway Clinic in Pittsburgh and an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi, tells how he once sponsored an atheist.
"I can't pray," the man said. "I don't believe in God."
"By praying" Twerski told him, "you are admitting you are not God." This is the second stage in AA."
By a general consensus the "War on Drugs" has failed. Drugs have won one of the indicators is that heroin -- the scourge of the African-American for the past 50 years -- has become the drug of choice for Caucasian youth. New Martinsville, a bucolic town of 5,000 or so at the base of West Virginia's northern panhandle has become a virtual "needle-park." My 21-year-old son has become one of the casualties, and seven or eight of his friends have died over the past few years. My son has been one of the "fortunate" ones. He's gone from being a college student working part-time at Best-Buy to the Salvation Army in Pittsburgh. He gets "three hots and a cot" for working in the store there while he awaits the outcome of the four felony charges he picked up in May.
A state trooper assigned to the Federal State Drug Task Force told the Wetzel County prosecutor, "It's like trying to sweep sunshine off the street."
To get and keep federal and state money coming in, these task forces have to produce statistics and a little fish in a small puddle looks just like Pablo Escobar to the number crunchers. The way the numbers are enhanced is by "turning" arrestees into unpaid confidential informants. These "C.I.s" then set up their friends, associates, lovers, et al. This generates more money for the "good guys" if there are any in this business.