The debacle playing out with Charlie Sheen on the internet, television and radio might be pure entertainment for some, but for many of us with drug addicted family and friends it's difficult to stomach. We've seen the gaunt face, the wild eyes, those buckets of sweat pouring off of someone for no apparent reason. We've uttered those words we heard his father, Martin Sheen say, "He's doing well" and hoped against hope that were true.
Charlie Sheen's troubling antics mirror the way we've seen our loved ones behave; the paranoia, the delusions of greatness, the claims of invincibility, blaming everyone around for their problems, and worst of all the belief that no one knows that they are still in the grip of the drugs. Martin Sheen was right when he said "If he had cancer how would you treat him? This disease of addiction is a form of cancer." The difference is that this cancer is something the leaders of this country could address but instead are ignoring and allowing.
It's not entertaining to watch a man suffering from the disease of drug addiction, and Mr. Sheen is not even remotely unique. He is exactly like every other opiate addict, destroying his body, his career, his loved ones while people that care about him look on helplessly. It is surreal to watch because it is a terror so many of us are living with personally and privately, but it's playing out as a public scene. One hope is that he is garnering enough attention that our leaders in Congress may begin to grasp the reality of his problem. Maybe they will begin to realize that drug addiction is pestilence with more power to destroy this great country than any terrorist or war because it destroys not just our our bodies, but our minds and our will. No act of terrorism can cause that level of destruction.
A family member made an interesting comment about the US troops in Afghanistan and the poppy seeds that US based drug companies need to create these drugs that are destroying our country. "The troops are deployed there, but it's here on the streets of our country that people are dying." It's a connection I cannot quite grasp, but there is something there that is truly sickening just beyond my reach. Even worse than the possibility that we are fighting to protect our oil source; what if we are fighting to ensure continued access to a key ingredient in the drugs that are responsible for the destruction of so many of our own citizens?
It is not possible that these drug manufacturers are unaware of the reality of where most of their drugs are being used. They have marketing departments. They have data. They have statistics and trends and more information than you or I can imagine. Their best clients aren't going to the doctor for a prescription; they are people like my loved one and Charlie Sheen. How can our leaders not know of the pharmaceutical drug problem that effects so many people in our country? Yet they allow it to persist nearly unchecked.
The proliferation of legally manufactured pharmaceutical drugs in our country since 9/11 is surely making a great number of people very wealthy but ultimately if we continue on this path they will destroy us all. If you want to see exactly what I mean, just keep watching Charlie Sheen.