I have a friend who's in prison now. She's a young woman with a good heart and a huge problem, and she is rightly paying the price for his enormous crimes. Her name's Laurel. She's a drug addict, and has been for six years. In that time, she's run through a lot of her parents' savings, decimated relationships with family and friends, and ostracized pretty much everybody. A year ago, she drove her car while wasted, best friend in the passenger seat, and crashed into another car loaded with innocents. They were lucky in that no one was killed but Laurel was the only one who walked away without a scratch. She told me that when the air bag deflated, all she could see was blood and glass. Her passenger is now crippled for life from a broken neck and has had multiple surgeries to repair what's left of her face. Laurel tried to kill herself two months ago and has criss cross scars on her wrists, still pink with fresh healing.
Laurel isn't the only person I know in jail because of drugs and I'm sure she won't be the last. A young man I'm very close to, with an equally horrific problem, just went in a few months ago himself. Their crimes are eerily similar. Promising youth squandered on drugs for fun and popularity, car crashes, death and dismemberment. It reminds me of my brother and how he was killed on his motorcycle by a rash youth forty years ago. His fiancee survived but is unable to walk for any length of time, even after dozens of surgeries.
I see both sides. I am not blinded by love for these criminals but neither am I sightless from hatred for their deeds. I believe they must pay for what they have done. My two friends are doing so, in ways they can't imagine. So are their blameless victims. Nobody wins when it comes to drugs.
The escape from suffering, which is the number one excuse for using drugs in the first place, is such a selfish reason. I'm not sure that most people think of it the way I do. Sure, it's selfish for the obvious reasons of just gaining a lazy pleasure or cessation of misery, but I think of everybody the ripple effect of buying illegal drugs touches in the first place. I was a victim of addicts as a young kid, a plaything to be passed around like a dirty rag to wipe somebody's ass. I literally know hundreds of people who can say the same.