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FIRST-PERSON: ‘Don’t do drugs, take your medicine’

DURHAM, N.C. (BP)–Speaking in a medium-sized rural church recently, we included as part of our message a warning to parents of the potential dangers of some pharmaceutical agents meant to reduce hyperactivity in children. Our position soon came into focus and our audience realized that we stand unapologetically opposed to the use of such control medications.

Midway through the morning message, a middle-aged man quietly dismissed himself from the auditorium. This is a sight that we have grown accustomed to seeing from the pulpit. Occasionally parents will usher their children anxiously through the back door of the church in the middle of the service, wishing to avoid the discomfort of being confronted with a matter so delicate and so close to home.

We certainly do not wish to make anyone feel uncomfortable in the pews of their own church. But neither do we take lightly our call from God to dispense liberal portions of truth to those whom He has called us to serve. We often tell our listeners that God has not called us to be politicians, and neither has He called us to be entertainers. He has called us to be shepherds. What good would a shepherd be if he were too timid to address the wolves?

We realize that many parents wish only the best for their children. It is not difficult for us to understand how a concerned parent could be convinced that treating their child with stimulant medications to reduce hyperactivity might be in the best interest of the child. With the endorsements of the medical community and the pressure from many school systems to place children on these drugs, it is no wonder that the numbers of those taking these drugs continues to rise.

When we speak out about this dangerous method of managing our children’s behavior we are not launching out from a platform of assumed superiority. Rather, we are sharing from a position of empathy. When one part of the body suffers, we all suffer.

Our hope and our plea would be that each parent who reads our articles or hears our messages would strongly consider seeking alternative, drug-free methods of managing their children’s behavior. We must realize that we send a very confusing and dangerous message to our young people when we tell them, “Don’t do drugs, take your medicine.”

We must realize that all of the answers to life’s woes do not originate in the laboratories of the pharmaceutical industry. The answers are found in God’s Holy Word. The world does not need drugs. The world needs Jesus.
Ted G. Stone and Philip Barber are coauthors of two books on alcohol and drug abuse, “The Drug Tragedy — Hope for the One Who Hurts” and “The Drug Tragedy — Hope for the One Who Cares,” both available from LifeWay Christian Stores.

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  • Ted Stone & Philip Barber