Let’s say that there is a loud banging noise that is happening constantly in your house. The noise is happening every day, all day, never getting quieter, always banging. You can yell at the noise, cover your ears, go outside, and try to ignore it but the noise is constant and ever present. But then you find that others can hear the noise as well and they have tried to yell at it, cover their ears, go outside, and tried to ignore it with the same exact results. The noise still bangs on.
Finally everyone is sick of the noise and wants it to stop so everyone comes up with their idea of a way to make the noise go away. Some make new places to live, some create open areas to flee to, some bring in lawmen, some hold meetings, some hold parties, and others just decide to live with it. And yet, the banging continues.
During all of these actions and plans the voices of the children and the elders are drowned out by the pride of the youth. The wisdom and the inventiveness that could come up with the best solutions are put on shelves to be ignored. As well as the thoughts and discussions of friends so only the people that think they matter the most are coming up with solutions to end the banging noise.
The banging continues, grows louder, some learn to live with it, some move so far away that they are never heard from again, and others kill themselves because they can no longer find a way out. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. BANG. BANG. BANG.
This is what I see with people resorting to drugs and alcohol. They are the banging noise. They are what is so completely obvious and yet so helplessly left out of the equation. They tear down societies because they are so ominous in their presence and yet people feel helpless in coming up with some way to cover up, stop, hide, anything to make the issue go away but never really looking at what is right in front of them.
People come up with some great ideas on how to treat the issue or punish the people that have the issue interfering with other people’s live but there are very few that go after the source. You can take away the drugs, the alcohol, the dealers, but until you find out why people are using, there isn’t much hope that you are going to stop anything from continuing. An afflicted person that has a problem they are trying to solve by using drugs or drinking alcohol is going to find any way they can to continue what they are doing because the source of their pain is not going away. They will find new dealers, stronger drugs, drink even more alcohol, and they will defy your plans until they eventually die. No amount of education on the harm the drugs are doing to them is going to turn them until someone removes the source of the pain.
Easy? Not likely. This isn’t something you can sweep under a rug and hope it stays quiet. There is no simple solution but trying to cover it up with some quick fix will never make it just go away. People will have to make some powerful and painful decisions. Families will have to come together, friends will have to confront each other, words will cut like knives but if you want the banging to stop, you need to go to the source and quiet it there. So get out of your chair, get together and find out how best to find solutions and not band aids.