Is Drug Abuse A Moral Issue?

3:33 pm addictive behavior, alcohol, drug abuse

The Columbus Dispatch began a new series several weeks ago called Guide to Life.  This series is available online at  In an article for the series, Allison Ward wrote about how to keep kids off of drugs.  The article was informative.  However, a quotation appeared in it from Dr. Steven Matson, a physician at Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Matson said, “Parents need to remember that it is a treatable disease–and No. 1, that it is a disease.”  “It’s not a mental or moral failure.”  He was speaking about drug abuse.
Is drug abuse a moral issue?  Please consider the following facts.
First, 36% of 12th graders smoked marijuana according to the NIDA (National Institute of Drug Abuse).  Marijuana is an illegal drug.  Breaking the law is a moral issue.Second, 15% used prescription drugs illegally.  Again, breaking the law is a moral issue.
Third, more than 25% had gotten drunk (alcohol is a drug) within the past month.  Drunkenness is a sin (Gal. 5:19-21).  This is a moral issue.
Fourth, 5,000 people younger than 21 die each year of injuries related to underage drinking (underage means it was illegal for them to drink).  This is a moral issue and a social issue.  Under the influence of drugs (alcohol included), individuals lose their power of restraint and control.  Temperance is a virtue (II Peter 1:6).  Is intemperance a virtue too?  This is a moral issue.
Fifth, the age of trial for use is now as early as 10 or 11.  Our young people are struggling with drug abuse and its consequences at an earlier and earlier age.  An eleven- year-old is not equipped to handle the harm to self, to society and to the spiritual aspects of his/her life.  The age of innocency is corrupted by drug abuse.  This is a moral issue.
Sixth, yielding to the lusts of the flesh is a moral issue.  “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:5-6).  The works of the flesh are named by Paul in Gal. 5:19-21.  Paul stated, “…they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
For all of the reasons given above, we must affirm that drug abuse is a moral issue.  All of the statistics given above are from the article by Allison Ward!
A strong faith in moral integrity is a deterrent to drug abuse.  The teaching of God’s Word noted above helps to inform and train the conscience against sinful conduct.  Young people need exposure to the truth in order to internalize its principles by faith and love for God.  Love for God is a deterrent to drug abuse.  Love for God manifests itself in a desire to please God and live for Him.  Self-denial is an important aspect of self-control.  Self-control is a virtue.  Godly character is a deterrent to drug abuse.  To say that drug abuse is not a moral issue is to destroy many of the effective, internal, aspects of deterrence.

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