“Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits” (l Corinthians 15:33).
In the vast majority of cases, the person starts out on the road of addiction out of social pressure, whether from another person’s influence or of a group or mass media. Illegal drugs are usually introduced from one individual to another or in small groups; meanwhile, the ones that enjoy social approval are even promoted by the influential media. By observing other people, we can also develop other addictions such as food, shopping, television, computer, among others.
Diego is a typical example of how he started drug use because of the pressure of his «friends» from the neighborhood. I (J) have met him for the first time when he got out of jail. Before serving his sentence, he had several encounters with the police and the justice system, and finally ended up in prison for possession and sale of narcotic substances. He was condemned to three years and he served more than one year due to his excellent behavior. This good behavior was mainly due to a balanced childhood and God’s presence in his lite because he grew up in a Christian family. Unfortunately, during his teenage years, he befriended some peers who had gotten into the culture of drugs. They talked to him about the numerous marvels of such substances and ridiculed him for not trying them. Little by little, he got himself involved until he ended up in prison. His story ended well because of the support of his mother and the members of the church. During and for the weeks prior to his release, the church family visited him, and prayed with him. When he got out, they offered him their support and practical help to reintegrate into society and even looked for a job for him. The first day Diego went to church, there was a celebration in that small congregation. Nobody condemned him for his past mistakes; instead they offered him direction and support. Diego said:
«I saw the love of Jesus in the people from church and the Lord has been very good to me despite my bad decisions. What’s left for me to do is to remain by His side and to stay away from the drug environment.»
The first step on the path of drugs is the easiest; the last one is the most difficult. Let us pray to God to protect us from the adverse influences of the environment, whether they be people or media messages, and let us fix our eyes on Jesus who offers us the best possible support in this world of pain and sin.