Society's struggle with drug abuse extends into many channels. We welcome law enforcement and other needed efforts, but it's obvious that permanent solutions to this societal plague will come only as individualsm find their freedom from the devastating lure and enslavement of drugs.
Deep-seated mental and physical bondage needs to be met with deep-rooted healing. And one source of such healing is the Bible. A spiritual understanding of the Bible's message shows the real nature of God and man. Paul speaks of putting off ''the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,'' and of putting on ''the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.'' n1
n1 Ephesians 4:22, 24.
This ''new man'' is the real man, the likeness of Spirit; it's our God-given being. The image of Spirit is far different from the flesh and bones and chemical substances we identify as man. Our true substance can be seen in such qualities as moral courage, unselfish affection, intuitive wisdom. These qualities don't reside in a brain, which is really nonintelligent. They derive from God.
Spiritual qualities obviously can't be addicted to drugs - such a notion would be absurd. Yet the same is equally true of man, whose nature is spiritual, whose substance is Spirit, not matter. The spiritual intelligence, love, strength, dominion, and dignity that God has given each of us are expressions of His own nature. Therefore they are maintained in us by Him, just as the sun maintains the brilliance of its own rays. And since spiritual qualities constitute our actual identity, our entire individuality is governed and maintained by God, not matter.
This perception of man brings freedom, because the opposite conception is what underlies all bondage, including physical addiction. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:m ''Citizens of the world, accept the 'glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free! This is your divine right. The illusion of material sense, not divine law, has bound you, entangled your free limbs, crippled your capacities, enfeebled your body, and defaced the tablet of your being.'' n2
n2 Science and Health, p.227.
One man found his God-given freedom after eleven years of drug addiction. An acquaintance introduced him to Science and Health, and he began to read it. ''Little by little,'' he writes, ''I caught some glimpses of the true meaning of God and man . . . .'' During this time he got in touch with a Christian Science practitioner, who prayed for him, often encouraging him when he felt he just couldn't break away from the drugs.
''At first I didn't have any confidence in my ability to do anything constructive about my life,'' the man writes. ''But as I gradually saw myself, in my real being, as the perfect son of God, the way of dominion began to open and I made the effort to leave off some of the drugs. Each day my moral courage improved some, and faith in myself began to become a reality. . . . Finally the day of victory came and I no longer felt the craving for narcotics. The desire just left me.'' n3
n3 See A Century of Christian Science Healing (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1966), pp. 180-182.
The result of this man's prayer and efforts was spiritual regeneration. He had begun to put on the new man and find his God-endowed freedom. Not only did he discover something of man's real nature; he found this nature being expressed in him.m Instead of self-distrust, he found confidence and ability. Instead of physical, mental, and moral weakness, he found strength. Instead of the impure nature of a sinner, he found the purity of his real selfhood.
Prayer and regeneration make us receptive to the healing, saving Christ, the same ever-present Truth that Christ Jesus demonstrated. Truth destroys the mistaken, materially-based convictions that would enslave us, and reveals our genuine manhood and womanhood, forever free.
Spirituality can't be chained by materiality. The real man is forever spiritual and free, subject only to God's loving control. And this is who we actually are even now. Herein lies the ultimate solution to society's drug problem, because herein lies the healing of individuals. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13