New research from a team of American scientists indicates that cocaine addiction is linked with changes in brain function that may help explain an unusually high level of participation in impulsive behavior. The unique way that regions of the brain connect and communicate in people addicted to cocaine is an observation uncovered for the first time.
Maybe Peter, one of the 12 disciples, had a loved one with an addiction. After all, the question he puts to Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew is one that can plague many who, in an effort to love a friend or family member with a substance use disorder, wonder about the limits of Christian forgiveness.
The Bible tells us that “we are our brother’s keeper” and this is definitely true when dealing with a fellow Christian who is an addict. God has called the church to be a body, and therefore if one member is ailing, in some way we all suffer. Addiction and its ability to extend its destructive reach broadly is just such an example.
While more states passing drug-testing laws might appeal to the baser emotional impulses of the masses, this does not address the fact that underlying psychiatric issues in underserved populations often lead to self-medication and it continues to frame addiction as a moral failing rather than a disease. Have we decided to let children fend for themselves as we continue to ignore our country's fundamental shift toward greater poverty with fewer mental health services?