Scotland’s Drugs Crisis: Godless Society, Despair & Drugs… Church to Blame?

Leading the news in the print and broadcasting media across the UK today…

More than 1,100 people died from drugs in Scotland last year, new figures indicate, the worst level since records began.

There were 1,187 drug-related deaths registered in 2018 – above 1,000 for the first time and up 253 (27%) on the previous year.

The National Records of Scotland statistics indicate Scotland’s drug death rate is nearly triple the UK rate and the highest in the European Union Click here to read more…

Comment: 

Causes of, and possible cures for, Scotland’s massive drugs problem – according to the media chatterati – were varied and imaginative in the news debates today, including the provision of taxpayer funded facilities to allow addicts taking illegal drugs to consume, er… legally; this, with a view to making it easier to provide health care since we’re now to regard drug addiction as a public health issue, not a criminal activity. The quaint old-fashioned idea that it may well be both, has, very conveniently, been set aside.  How this will impact on the drug dealers, of course, is never mentioned. They may be able to argue the case for their own mental health disorder, a compulsion to sell drugs – who knows…

Not a single Roman collar to be seen among all the commentators and alleged experts, not a bishop’s mitre.  The Catholic Church in Scotland has nothing to say, it seems, on the devastating news that there are record numbers of souls going to meet their Maker following an overdose of illegal drugs, not a single possible solution or even a nod in the direction of our Godless society as, perhaps (just “perhaps”, mind, nobody’s being “judgemental” of course not –  perish the thought!)  being the reason why so many people are turning to drugs. 

Without any direction in life, and without any authoritative teaching about the definitive meaning of life, the realities of Heaven and Hell, divine revelation and the importance of exercising true Faith (not demanding God to come and show himself in a science laboratory), not to mention the confusion caused by presenting upside-down morals as normal, just maybe this terrible turn in a once Christian society has led people into despair.

Lack of religious and moral leadership doesn’t  seem to have occured to anyone reporting on this scandal; and it certainly doesn’t seem to be occurring to the clergy that their negligence in preaching what God has revealed in both Faith and Morals – and that in the public square, clearly and unambiguously – might be a contributing factor in this dreadful drugs crisis.   For, the same Catholics, lay and ordained, who are perfectly happy to take soup and sandwiches to the homeless and addicted wouldn’t dream of taking them, at the same time, an exhortation (NOT a mere “invitation”) to turn to God, in His Church, as the means given to us to live fulfilling lives in this world, and to save our souls for eternal life in the next. 

Or maybe that’s all pie in the sky (literally!) – maybe the drugs crisis IS simply a health crisis?  What do you think? 

Finally, let’s all pray for all those afflicted by drug addiction to  Saint Maximillian Mary Kolbe

 

33 responses

  1. Since – in general terms – we are not in any position EVER to judge whether someone is a “good” Christian or not, your question is impossible to answer.

    Christians, however, are taught that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit and thus should be treated with respect. To the extent that we deliberately damage our bodies then, we must assess, ourselves, whether or not we are behaving in a manner that is pleasing to God. If we embark on a course of behaviour that is known to be addictive, we must know that we are risking our eternal salvation. The problem is, however, that so many, if not the majority, of churchmen are so hung up on impressing on us that God is all-merciful, that they have failed to preach personal responsibility, the proper exercise of our God-given free will, and so a certain laxity has taken root that makes us all think we can choose to live as we please and still save our souls. Not so. God gave us free will ONLY so that we will choose good, choose to live in a way that conforms to His laws.

    In any case, why do you ask? What is the point of your question?

  2. I’m very surprised that only one person, apart from editor, has anything to say on this important topic – maybe reflects the apathy from so-called Christians which has brought about the epidemic of drug deaths in the first place.

    I definitely agree that there is far too much emphasis on God’s mercy, which can mislead weak people into thinking they will be welcomed into heaven, no matter what.

    If the clergy don’t have the courage to speak straight to the addicts, maybe they will try to get through to the family who remain and mourn the loss of their loved one, through the misuse of drugs.

    It’s not only the clergy, though, it’s all of us – we all have a duty to do something (as we keep being told on this blog!) Maybe someone with a gift for being able to communicate with people in such situations will think about an apostolate to drug addicts? Just taking them a small prayer card to one of the saints for addicts – Matt Talbot is a famous patron for addicts, so I’ll give the link about him to add to the one about Maximillian Kolbe already given in the intro. https://venerablematttalbotresourcecenter.blogspot.com/search/label/%22Matt%20Talbot%20Hope%20Book%22

    I was stunned when I read the stats for Scotland – it’s really a matter of huge shame that we have so many people living a drugs lifestyle.

  3. More questions than answers here.

    As we know, for a long time now more than 90% of school leavers have also given up on whatever faith they once had. So, even if sermons against drugs were preached at every Sunday and Holy Day Mass, very few would ever hear them.

    What about high school, then? I vividly remember getting it drummed into me never to try so-called ‘gateway drugs’. ….’Start off smoking joints and before you know it, you’ll be injecting yourself with cocaine, heroin etc. and you’ll end up in a life of crime, misery and God knows what else’…

    Alas, one of my class-mates didn’t heed the message. He got into bad company, lost his faith and became a right self-adoring little wretch. When we were sitting our O-Grades (I’m talking early 70s here) he was conspicuous by his absence at every exam, the only one missing when the register was taken. Some years afterwards, lo and behold there was his mug-shot on the Sunday Mail front page, together with his tale of woe about the company he’d taken up with. He was ‘baring his soul’ and confessing all as a warning to others, he didn’t want anyone else to suffer as he had, etc.

    I shudder to think what classroom discipline is like at the present day, it was bad enough then!

    • Pat, Michaela, et al,

      It’s important to note that schools ARE very conscious of pushing the “no drugs” message. Have been for years now. It’s one of the many contradictions in the RSE programmes. They have no problem insisting that drugs, including alcohol and smoking are bad, but it’s “your choice” whether to engage in sexual behaviour outside marriage and/or kill your “unwanted” unborn baby.

      The issue isn’t whether schools and even clergy are pushing the “no drugs” message. It’s whether they restrict their warnings to physical health. Which they do.

      There won’t be many, if any, students leaving Catholic schools who believe they might end up in Hell for abusing their bodies through drink, drugs and the rest. Nope. The “all-merciful God” of the Fake Gospel will come to the rescue whether or not you repent – that’s the fiction being promoted in schools and churches all over the place.

      We must, of course, hope and pray that those who have fallen prey to the drugs industry do, in their heart of hearts, repent and that they will, in fact, be saved.

      No priest or teacher, however, should take that for granted when preaching and teaching about the dangers associated with drug-taking. That crucial extra danger ought to be embedded in Catholic school programmes and church sermons.

  4. The silence of the lambs (that is, Catholic clergy who are supposed to be performing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass daily) is not surprising. Perhaps if there were, God forbid, a wave of deaths attributed to the accidental consumption of plastic straws, then they might speak up – in echo of their corrupt boss – about the need for “ecological conversion.”

    I think we are living in an era of love of self, which equals hatred of God. But what seems not to have occurred to self-loving people is that love of self leads directly to hatred of self and destruction of self. The prime example of this might be Judas, who, overdosing on the “invisible wine” of pride, betrayed Our Lord and then killed himself in despair.

    As Editor suggests, we are living in a nihilistic vacuum created by an apostate Catholic clergy, which leaves life without meaning, and which leads to the need to escape from it. And the escape mechanisms are like sin: once you open the door to sin, others rush in and down the slippery slope you go. Likewise, once you enter the world of drug-escape (including alcoholism), you automatically desire ever more extreme means of escape, to the point where death might seem to be an actual relief.

    I’m reminded of a group of university music students I used to teach back in the 1980s, who, I was told, would get “stoned” several nights a week and then sit around and wonder what it was like to be dead….

    In short, I’d say the drug crisis is one of many material manifestations of a spiritual crisis. I think the story of Ven. Matt Talbot is instructive regarding this topic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Talbot

    • RCA Victor,

      Re: Matt Talbot – I beat you to it! I posted about him on my comment above and so I’m feeling wounded that you don’t read my comments, LOL!

      His story if really remarkable and if I were addicted (to anything except this blog, LOL!) I would pray to him!

    • RCA Victor,

      Your first paragraph really says it all.

      Your second paragraph says even more.

      Your third paragraph mentions my unworthy self, so you can’t go wrong there 😀

      Seriously, a great post and your penultimate paragraph covers a topic which I find myself discussing often – the idea that it is “cool” for students to get “stoned”. Try buying a birthday card for an 18 year old and you will struggle to find one which doesn’t feature wine bottles, glasses of alcohol or bottles of beer on the front with a message to the effect that the birthday boy/girl should go out to celebrate by getting precisely that – “stoned”. Incredible, then to see the wide-eyed newsreaders and chatterati “experts” discuss, in all seriousness, how to sort out the binge drinking among the young.

      Indeed, I remember – not that long ago – seeing Victoria Derbyshire (BBC) interviewing someone whose name escapes me, and who said that, no, she hadn’t indulged in partying and drinking at university, that she was there to study… As the interview progressed, it became clear that Victoria Derbyshire was distracted and she apologised saying that she was still getting over the fact that the interviewee hadn’t spent her university years partying. Unbelievable. Idiot.

      Thank you to both Michaela and your good self for posting information about Matt Talbot – his story of overcoming addiction is inspirational. I might even send the links to Mzzzz Derbyshire (who is, I believe, the mother of a young boy – some example she is setting him, if she still believes that university years are for getting drunk and partying! Whatever he Degree, it clearly wasn’t/isn’t in Common Sense…)

  5. I went to secondary school in the mid-2000s and during one social education class we discussed the topic of drugs which was a mandatory part of the curriculum. I was 14 at the time and I didn’t know anything about drugs. Some of the less naïve of my class mates were invited to share their experiences of drug use and it sounded quite fun. At the beginning of the class I had no interest in drugs at all, but at the end of the class I was more curious than ever. I hope this wasn’t the school’s intention!

    • Miles Immaculatae,

      What you describe is very typical of the methodology in use in contemporary schools. At all costs, teachers are warned against “preaching” – mustn’t TELL the pupils that anything is “wrong” although it’s OK to bring them to talk about their own “feelings” – crazy.

      • Talking schools again, I think there’s always the peer pressure issue. At an impressionable young age, there’s the fear of being shunned and ridiculed for not ‘going along with the crowd’.

        The anti-drugs message we’ve all heard is …’just say no’… Character formation must surely come chiefly from the home, as well as the high school RE class. Young people need to be taught to think and act as invividuals and have the courage of their convictions – ‘stand for something or you’ll fall for anything’ is the advice that springs to mind.

        I’m sure we were all taught this as youngsters…’if so-and-so jumps in the canal, would you just jump in after them?’… But with so many dysfunctional families around, perhaps there’s a lack of control and stabilizing influence from ‘mum’s boyfriend’ or ‘dad’s girlfriend’.

  6. I’ve been mulling over what bloggers have said about the reluctance of clergy to really preach the Gospel and it reminded me of when I was a volunteer for several years at a large men’s prison in the chaplaincy team. It gradually became clear to me that the last thing any of us should do was actually to encourage the men to pray or talk to God. Now quite a large number of the prisoners were inside for drug abuse or drug related crimes but any attempt to help them turn away from drugs focussed on their physical or mental health, never the great empty space where a spiritual life might have been. There was one member of the team who was a very fervent Evangelical, ex Salvation Army, who made it clear that his main focus would always be on encouraging the inmates to turn to God and he spent many hours working with young men in an attempt to introduce them to the idea of a loving Saviour. The Catholic chaplain was almost totally ineffective and in a prison of over a 1000 inmates only a very small handful attended Mass. needless to say the really Christian member of the team was encouraged to leave by the coordinating chaplain, an Anglican woman, who said that it was not the job of the chaplaincy to push religion. Our evangelical countered that it was precisely his job as taught in the Scriptures but it didn’t get him very far. He had to resign.
    Is this relevant? Well I think so because there is a great reluctance among priests to tackle the big issues even among their own congregations. It is mostly feel good spirituality which would probably offer nothing to anyone turning to drugs in an attempt to blot out the existential nothingness of their lives or at least as they perceive them. Drugs offer an escape from the reality of their emptiness and so it will be unless somehow they can come to see that there is another way. And often there is no one to show them.

    • Elizabeth,

      You ask “Is this relevant?” – Answer (albeit ungrammatically so): with bells on!

      Your story goes right to the heart of the problem, the reluctance of clergy to do what they were ordained to do… Preach Christ, in season and out of season.

      That they appear to lack the elementary skills required to do so in a suitable manner, attracting people to Christ and His Church, not repulsing them, driving them away, speaks volumes about their own lack of talent and grace.

      As for that zealous Evangelical – let’s hope and pray that, somehow, he found his way into the Church. No thanks, obviously, to the decidedly apathetic priests whom he encountered.

    • Elizabeth,

      I read some years ago that Western prisons were a breeding ground for Muslim converts, including some perversions (?) of Islam, like “Nation of Islam.” Are there Muslim “chaplains” in these prisons? If so, I’m guessing they are typically quite zealous in their conversion efforts, unlike their Catholic counterparts.

      • Indeed there are and very hardworking too in my experience. The ones I knew were very keen to round up their people for Friday prayers and to make arrangements for Ramadan too.

  7. Terrible figures but it`s still only 10% of the number of innocent children callously slaughtered in Scotland every year. There is no talk of `safe areas` for these poor unfortunates.

    Anyway, I thought everyone had a choice. Isn`t that the reason why they all support abortion? So why the hue and cry for people who have chosen to ignore the advice which has been given to them even from their primary school days and when the police have chosen to turn a blind eye to the actions of the dealers. Or is pro-choice only when it suits?

    Having said that, I do feel sorry not only or them but for their suffering families.

    Maybe time to introduce National Service again. It certainly didn`t do me or any of my brothers or friends any harm. It got you past two very important years in your young life when, I feel, your future can be determined and when you move from being a boy to a man.

    • Frankier,

      The issue is whether the cowardice of the clergy is to blame at all for the current drugs epidemic. We do have a permanent thread devoted to the prolife cause, but this one has a different angle.

      If you read through the blog introduction, you’ll see what I mean – and, who knows, maybe you will be the first blogger here to have heard your priest warning of the dangers of Hell for all those who abuse their bodies by taking deadly drugs.

      • Ed.

        With all due respect, I really don’t think the cowardice of the clergy is to blame for the current drugs epidemic. What about apportioning the blame on Nicola Sturgeon and her Police Scotland battalion, as well as the so-called experts we keep listening to in the media?

        To try and frighten them with Hell would be a total waste of time. You might as well try and frighten them with Santa Claus.

        If any of the Catholic clergy opened their mouths about the problem they would only get dog’s abuse about child molestation and paedophilia and, if you don’t mind, I’m sick to the teeth hearing about that without starting to prod a sleeping dog with a big stick.

        My point was about all this pretending to be concerned about the drug related deaths in Scotland when all they are worried about is their own imaginary image.

  8. I just read the linked article. Was anyone besides me amused (in a cynical sort of way) about the Public Health Minister’s statement? Does he really expect people to believe that he didn’t know about this crisis until this new report was made public? In other words, Scotland’s Public Health Department, or whatever you call it, was just sitting around reading newspapers, tweeting on social networks and chatting in the staff break room, utterly unaware of this “public health crisis” until it hit the airwaves?

    Well, Scottish taxpayers?

    As for Glasgow Central’s MP and her idea of having a monitored drug use space, all I can say is, I need a drink….

    • RCA Victor,

      You see it all so clearly – I do wish you’d push up the stats for the Scottish population by one…

      And here’s that drink – well deserved…

      • Editor,

        To your health! (he said grimly)

        Granted I’ve only seen a small sampling of Scottish politicians, i.e. the ones we’ve discussed on this blog, but this small sampling invites me to point out that your public servants are by and large a group of sniveling idiots.

        Perhaps they’ve come from the same gene pool as your Scottish bishops. Or perhaps, unknown to us, a large group of Americans who were registered Democrats emigrated to Scotland during the 20th century, and their offspring are now on the public stage….disgracing it….

        Well, things are really no better in America, except that there is more resistance to leftist schemes. And speaking of a drug crisis (just to keep on topic…), back in my conspiracy theory days, I came across information that the so-called “shadow government” (now known as the Deep State) was importing drugs en masse into America for two reasons: one, to score large amounts of cash, and two, to destabilize the country.

        Here is an interesting article about such destabilization: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/07/_the_left_is_following_communisms_playbook_for_revolution_.html

        The globalist left certainly has many destabilization tools at their disposal, from the visible ones, like drugs, open borders, drag queen shows at libraries, gay “marriage” and LGBS depravity, to invisible, occult ones, like “mindfulness” – a Buddhist-type meditation process that is now being promoted (i.e. enforced) in a growing number of public schools over here, in which students are advised to empty their minds and then freely consider whatever thoughts pop up. Without judging them, that is. In other words, the standard creed of Satan: there is no right or wrong, no good or evil, and evil does not exist.

        (BTW, the alleged purpose of this process is benignly labeled as achieving “social and emotional health.”)

        • RCA Victor,

          Your latest post is bang on cue – I’ve just posted a fresh thread which reveals the abuse of an SNP MP for her pro-life vote to protect unborn babies in Northern Ireland – see that thread, top of the sidebar now.

          However, lo and behold, the Scottish Bishops have spoken out, or, to be more accurate, have written to the First Minister seeking reassurance on freedom of conscience, so that’s a tiny little glimmer of something good today, perhaps tellingly coming on the Feast of St Camillus de Lellis, Patron of the Sick 😀

          Well, one has to have a smile, sometimes!

          • RCA Victor,

            Interesting comment re the ‘importation of drugs en masse into America’.

            In my short and indistinguished seafaring career (late 70s), I had occasion to visit a number of ports on the Great Lakes. Going ashore and ‘meeting the natives’ was all good. What sticks in my mind is how many folks were raving about a paperback they’d read titled ‘Dope Inc.’ which alleged that the British monarchy ‘were behind the flooding of dope into the U.S.!’

            Nodody seemed too concerned however, I was hearing comments like…’hey you guys, keep sending us more of that good English dope’…

            • Pat McKay,

              That book is by Lyndon LaRouche, if you google it you can find a download, and also a lot of information about him. You will also find a slew of articles attempting to debunk it while, of course, smearing him into the bargain. A sure sign that he was on to something.

              I don’t recall ever having read that book; the information I remember was from a couple of videos years ago.

              (Apparently he died earlier this year: RIP).

  9. As Catholics are a minority (16 – 17%) in Scotland, there must be a lot more to the problem than the performance of Catholic clergy on the matter.

    (That said, I wonder if there are figures showing how drug addiction is distributed over the variosu sections of society).

    I do think how Godless the country is – thanks mainly to the satanic rebellion against God and His Church, sorry… “the reformation” – must play a large role.

    People have no concept of their bodies as “temples of the Holy Ghost”, as Editor has mentioned and so do not treat their bodies with any great respect. Drug taking is but one manifestation of that, as are, perhaps, the popular return of tattoos and the extreme kinds of piercing / “body modification” you see nowadays.

    (Right enough, I am aware my own temple could stand to lose a few lbs around its waist!)

    I also think that not knowing God must mean many people live rather bleak lives and so perhaps drug taking is seen as something exciting, a bit of escapism. No doubt naivety plays a role in some cases, when people get mixed up with drugs.

    Equally, faith and grace can undoubtedly be of great assistance to people struggling with addition or substance abuse. Sadly many people do not have this support in life.

    The “gateway drug” theory has been mentioned, but I do not buy that personally. It is usually held up that the “gateway drugs” are the more benign illegal drugs – like Cannabis – which will cause people to graduate onto harder drugs eventually.

    However, if the theory were sound, surely alcohol and tobacco (both legal – yet both addictive and both harmful to health) would be the true gateway drugs? Many people are regular users of these by their mid-teens, if not younger – though I believe today’s youths are less enamoured with alcohol and tobacco than was my generation, or Scots traditionally.

    I think our Government policy and policing of drugs is also very muddled. For example, alcohol must surely be the drug which causes most harm (of various kinds) in Scotland, yet it is legal while more benign substances are highly controlled.

    When you look into it, it often seems as though Government policy is highly influenced by who is making the money which inevitably accompanies drugs. For example, the Government is the biggest drug dealer of them all, with its huge alcohol and tobacco revenues. Equally, Cannabis remains illegal, but Pharmaceutical companies and others make a packet by manufacturing and selling synthetic cannabis, or extracted non-pyschoactive constituents.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      Given that there were only twelve apostles in the beginning of the Church’s life and yet they managed to spread the Faith far and wide, I don’t think it’s beyond reasonable to assume that, were Catholic clergy and schools living up to their high calling, there would be, at the very least, a tad less Godlessness than the apostasy around us today. And thus, so the logic goes, less need for escapism, less temptation to take to drugs.

      I could be wrong – bound to happen one day! But that’s my gut feeling. If we had a thriving parochial and school system, God would be using that, surely, to bestow His graces on us all, including would-be drug addicts… I know, I know, I DO state the obvious sometimes… 😀

      • Editor,

        If we had a thriving parish and school system, then even still the vast majority of Scots would have no meaningful contact with Catholicism and so would be unable to be influenced by it.

        Even if our evangelisation was going extremely well, our numbers would likely climb only slowly.

        If the Church is culpable for anything it is surely for taking longer to reconvert Scotland than should be necessary, rather than for causing the situation of Godlessness in the first place (we can thank the protestants for that!).

        • Gabriel Syme,

          I’ve been away from my computer all day so I am somewhat surprised that nobody else has risen to the challenge of answering your comment posted just before noon.

          I say that because, according to your logic – that “the vast majority of Scots have no meaningful contact with Catholicism” [and therefore Catholicism cannot influence society] I should return my wee blue school catechism to the bookshelf and forget all about that nonsense – you know, the “Soldiers of Christ” stuff…

          I did, in fact, say in my post to which you are responding, NOT that the Church – if thriving – would be winning huge numbers of converts (as was, in fact, the case prior to Vatican II) or turning the masses away from drink and drugs, but that – quote – “were Catholic clergy and schools living up to their high calling, there would be, at the very least, a tad less Godlessness than the apostasy around us today.”

          Not exactly a screaming exhortation to actually seek to influence thinking and behaviour in the public square, but simply a reminder that it’s really not about numbers. It’s about God’s grace. It’s there for the asking but nobody’s asking. If the Bishops had been doing their duty by refusing Communion to politicians who embrace and vote for immoral policies, instead of turning a blind eye, or – worse – making excuses for such politicians, then those supposedly Catholic politicians might well have been able to identify the Godless environment which is breeding the serious mental health/depression problems which have contributed to the current drugs emergency.

          There has been a succession of commentators on TV news and discussion programmes worrying themselves to death about the causes and the consequences of the drugs crisis, with, as I said in my intro, not a single priest or bishop among them. Not even a lowly spin doctor…

          Maybe it’s just me, moi, who thinks there’s something wrong with that, but think there’s something wrong, I definitely do. I know that if I were in a position where I was making my living out of Christ’s Church, I’d be doing my level best to keep my finger on the pulse of the key issues in the Church and society, and contributing my thoughts about the causes and solutions, and that for the greater glory of God. Quaint, I suppose…

          That we have allowed society to descend into a state of apostasy – loss of elementary belief in God – and nihilism; loss of the sense of right and wrong, suggests to me that churchmen, ordained and lay, bear some responsibility for the fact that so many people find life so meaningless that they take to drugs to escape from having to think about the things that matter in life – such as death and judgment.

          So, forgive me if I repeat my sincerely held belief that if Catholic priests, bishops, schools were doing their duty, the situation just might not be quite so dire.

          Otherwise, what’s the point? If the Church has nothing to say about this, of all things – the desire to escape, through dangerous drugs, from the reality of a life without God – what, seriously, IS the point?

          • The bishops are quick enough to issue statements about migrants and refugees so I don’t see why they can’t speak out about the drugs crisis and admit that the godlessness in modern Britain is a major factor. The do, after all, use Christian duty as a reason to welcome the refugees! So, they use God when it suits them!

            Government policies like the austerity years, are also undoubtedly playing a part in the despair that people feel, but there again, the people who are suffering poverty and social deprivation but who have God in their lives, are not likely to take to drugs, IMHO.

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