Tonight I attended a big rally put on by the city to inform people about the dangers of crystal meth. I knew the basics about this highly addictive drug so I didn’t go so much for information as to show support for any action to try and deal with this huge problem. And support of all efforts to break the trap of addiction in our city. I did learn a couple of interesting facts from a dental point of view. I didn’t know that rampant dental decay was such a problem peculiar to this addiction.
So now when you come in with lots of cavities you know what I am going to think. 🙂
Actually I do recognize this as a problem now in retrospect, for a few of my patients. Not just a few cavities – rather the tooth pretty much disintegrating over a relatively short time. I wonder if it is the drug or the neglect of hygiene?
The other striking part of the event, and perhaps it was because the first nations organizations helped put on the consultations over the past few days, was the prayer to start off the evening. The elder was very traditional in his beliefs. There was no syncretism with Christianity in his prayer as he called on the “grandfathers” for help with this problem. It was pretty pure aboriginal spirituality.
It made me wonder – have we as Christians lost our credibility as caring people when it comes to caring for and about the drug addicted? We seemed to have no identity here tonight. And yet many people I know working in the area of addictions are followers of Christ – really. Weird, since the God we know and worship; the God that has power to bring about change at the very foundations of a person’s life as no ancestor can, was not invoked. I suspect political correctness had much to do with this, but it seemed to me a sad revelation – of how Christ is an offense to many. And maybe of how we “Christians” have caused part of this offence by no wanting to sully our reputation by hanging around addicts.
So, now what? A youth detox centre is desperately needed and I suspect will eventually be created.
For myself? Well, the whole huge problem of addictions in Prince Albert has been sitting heavily on my mind the last few months. I don’t know what my role in this whole big problem is or should be. Maybe I am called to just show love to some of the high needs kids I see in the school dental program. Maybe there is more. I’ve been trying to listen to God on this but have no real clue so far. Prayer is not a futile act either and maybe that is all I can do for now.