Addiction Nation

A formerly homeless friend of mine stood in my kitchen chatting about addiction in America. Shopping, eating, clothes, renovating, drugs, alcohol, sports, watching television, and…not to mention pharmaceuticals. We’ve got a drug for everything. We decided to co-author this post together. He’s an amazing writer, who has seen it all.

I met Aaron on the streets of Dallas, where he’d gone for food, and I’d gone to serve food to 400 homeless men and women. I learned he was a writer, and we became fast friends. He’s an intellect, with several books in the pipeline, and a lot of life experience.

We’ve written together, we’ve had many dinners together, and now he’s my brother. He’s a success story. He’s off the street, thriving, with property and a new truck in Arkansas. He’s still the same person I met on that parking lot, only he’s got a new perspective. He’s been surrounded by addiction, in the shelters, where homeless go to counselors to get state distributed drugs, and in his past life where he was a gambling addict who earned thousands in one poker game. We agreed that even in the wealthiest mansions, addiction exists. Aaron said it best. “We all want to feel good. But addiction is simply filling that empty space with everything but God.”

The answer? It’s not simple. My friend, the director of a drug treatment program, can tell you that. My homeless guys who enroll in and then leave, addiction programs, can testify to that. Nothings easy. But it all starts in the mind. A lot of addiction is about contentment. and maybe boundaries.
Take baby steps, reach out. Do it all over again. And I’m not just talking about drugs here. I know some people who are addicted to Facebook and blogging and it takes just as much away from their loved ones as anything else would. Might sound extreme, but three hours a night disconnected or unplugged from the people in your own house, sounds like an addiction to me. Albeit, not along the lines of heroin or meth.

What are we focused on? Whatever that is, will grow, and flourish.

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