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As promised, here is my piece on addiction for the kids.
My name is Brother G, and I am an inmate in a prison in ????. What is a Christadelphian Brother doing in prison? Well, I was not a Christadelphian when I came into prison 21 years ago. I became a Brother while here in 1997. How did I end up in prison? Addiction was the cause. I had a good job, I was an Air Traffic Controller for 10 years, my life was going pretty okay, but I drank a lot of alcohol, and I wasn’t living a godly life.
Then in 1991, while going through a miserable period in my life, after I broke up with my girlfriend, I started using cocaine. One night while drunk, I hit my mother on her head with a stool, which killed her. I was so drunk I didn’t know what I had done till I sobered up.
I was arrested, sent to prison, convicted and sentenced to hang. I spent 13 years on Death Row, and in 2008 I was given a life sentence, which I am now serving. Addictions can have very serious consequences, like what happened with me. I also smoked cigarettes, another bad addiction. When you are addicted to substances like cigarettes, alcohol or drugs, they will have a negative effect not only on you, but also on those around you. Your health will be affected – cigarettes can cause deadly cancers, alcohol can destroy your liver causing death, drugs will damage your brain. Those around you – your loved ones, friends, schoolmates, co-workers can develop cancer from second-hand smoke, and you will behave differently when under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Your loved ones may not want you to be as close to them as before.
Although you may feel good while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your judgement will be weakened, and your reflexes slowed down. It’s also dangerous in that you may do things and take risks that you wouldn’t take when not under the influence. Addiction can also cause you to neglect many important things that you should be doing. Instead of doing these important things, you just want to get “high”. Addiction can also be expensive, and because you are hooked, you must have it, and you will spend money to get high that you should be spending on important or necessary things. Some people even turn to stealing to satisfy their thirst for these substances if they cannot afford them. Prisons have lots of people serving sentences for stealing to support their drug habits. Most addicts believe that they have control over the substances they are addicted to, but in reality they don’t, they are just fooling themselves.
Many addicts don’t eat properly, and their physical and mental health deteriorate. They do crazy things, get into trouble with their relatives, friends, the Law. I hope that you can see that the negatives attached to addiction far outweigh the positives. In fact there are really no positives that make sense. Getting high for a little while is not worth the terrible consequences that will follow. Addiction is a downhill road to disaster. My advice to you is don’t get addicted to anything. Don’t even try them to see what they are like, because one taste may be enough to get you hooked. Learn from my mistake instead of making the mistake yourself. Keep God at the centre of your life, and keep trying to do what is right in His sight. God bless you all.
Love in Christ, G