Pope's Anti-Drug Call: Say No, Simply, to All Its Forms

Also Reminds Law Enforcement That as Christians, We Are Called to Help Those Struggling With Addiction

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Pope Francis says drugs are a serious and complex “evil” plaguing our society, which must be combatted, without fail or compromise.

The Holy Father said this when he addressed today participants in the 31st International Conference on combatting drugs, which was held in Rome this Tuesday through Thursday.

The Pope reminded them that as Christians, we are called to help those in need, including those who have fallen into “the spiral of drugs.»

“The scourge of drugs continues to rage in impressive shapes and sizes, powered by an ugly market that crosses national and continental boundaries. In this way, there is a growing danger for young people and teenagers,» he said.

In the face of this phenomenon, Francis said that as Christians we are to help those struggling.

“The Church, faithful to the command of Jesus to go wherever there is a human being suffering, thirsty, hungry, in prison, has not abandoned those who have fallen into the spiral of drugs, but with its creative love goes out to meet them … Takes them by the hand, through the work of many workers and volunteers so they could rediscover their dignity, helping to resurrect those resources, those talents that the drug had buried, but that could not be deleted, since every man is created in the image and likeness of God,” he said.

When one is addicted to drugs, it is a grave problem, in which the user always «loses,» he said. “Let me say very clearly: Drugs, no one wins with drugs! Drugs are an evil, and with evils, there can be no failure or compromise.” 

He acknowledge that users often are those trying to cope with problems and hopelessness, noting the example that with some 75 million currently unemployed in Europe, many today are without hope.

Regardless of difficulties, the Pope said, «you still must say no to all drugs.» However, in doing so, he said, «you can say yes to life, yes to love, yes to others, yes to education, yes to sports, yes at work, yes to more job opportunities.»

Although we have a responsibility to help those who have fallen into the “spiral,”  the priority should be prevention. “Job opportunities, education, sports, healthy life: this is the way of drug prevention. If you say ‘yes’ to these, then there is no place for drugs, there is no place for alcohol abuse and other addictions,” he said.

Francis shared his hope that goals set out at the meeting can be achieved, especially those “to coordinate anti-drug policies, to share relevant information and develop an operational strategy aimed at combating drug trafficking.” He urged them to continue their work to help those “eager to escape the dependency on drugs, commit themselves to rebuild their lives is an incentive to look ahead with confidence.” (D.C.L.)

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