The late actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, fearing for his life due to alcohol and drug abuse, admitted himself into rehab at the young age of 22. Several years later, at the age of 46, he was found dead on Super Bowl Sunday, February 2, 2014 in a Manhattan apartment with a syringe still stuck in his arm.
Hoffman, who won an Oscar for portraying the author Truman Capote in the 2005 film "Capote," was described on the front page of the New York Times obituary as "perhaps the greatest actor of his generation."
Law enforcement officials disclosed that they discovered 72 heroin bags, with 49 of the bags still full of heroin, in Hoffman’s apartment. They also revealed that they found four bags of white powder believed to be cocaine. According to sources, the private diaries of Hoffman that were found in his apartment reveal that he was seriously battling demons that he believed were threatening his life. The voices of these demons could not be quelled through hardcore drugs or Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
Heartbreaking stories like the destruction of Philip Hoffman happen multiple times everyday in our neighborhoods throughout the United States and much of the world. Many are searching for victory as Hoffman did at the age of 22, only to find that users of certain drugs like Heroin and Methamphetamines have huge recidivism rates.
True genuine victory over the world system, the sinful flesh and the devil himself only comes through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, who "was manifested to destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8).
Owing to the fact that millions of people’s lives are being destroyed by drugs like heroin, and that young people are dropping like flies due to the heroin epidemic, I have written a tract from a biblical perspective to combat Satan’s seduction through heroin. I hope and pray that this tract, “The Horrors of Heroin,” will find its way into the hands of many people and, that through it, they might find the truth that will set them free through a personal relationship with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord open our eyes to the reality of Satan’s lies and our need for a relationship with God though Jesus Christ…
THE HORRORS OF HEROIN
Heroin is back with a vengeance and has risen to epidemic proportions among young people in Southern California as well as other places in the United States. Heroin claimed the lives of 14 people in the relatively small community of Simi Valley, CA in 2011, where its usage has skyrocketed by an incredible 140% in the last three years alone.
Many young users start with gateway drugs like Oxycontin, Xanax or Marijuana and then turn to heroin because the "high" is more intense for only a fraction of the cost. However, heroin is a pied piper that promises bliss, but leads those it deceives down the road of death and destruction. Heroin not only poisons the mind, body and soul, but also kills precious relationships with family and friends.
Many people who use drugs like heroin falsely believe they will be one of the "lucky ones" who will escape sudden death, only to find out (too late) that such drugs are merciless and impartial with regard to whose lives they claim.
Consider the fact that an alarming number of famous rock stars have overdosed on heroin and other drugs. One of rock’s most popular female artists ever, Janis Joplin, was found dead in a hotel in Los Angeles at the young age of 27 due to a heroin overdose. Just three years later The Doors front man, Jim Morrison, was found dead in Paris from an alleged heroin overdose. Subsequently, Morrison’s girlfriend, Pamela Courson, would suffer mental illness and also die of a heroin overdose. Bradley Nowell, from the band Sublime, also died from a heroin overdose. Amy Winehouse overdosed on heroin in 2007, only to die of alcohol intoxication in 2011. So horrific are the affects of heroin that after promising happiness it eventually leaves its victims preferring death to life.
Kurt Cobain’s heroin addiction led him into deep, dark depression, culminating in blowing his brains out with a horrific shotgun blast to the head. One 23 year-old heroin addict wrote that she wished her dope dealer had taken a "gun and blown my brains out" rather than turn her on to the horrors of heroin.
Just before committing suicide in her car by exhaust inhalation, she wrote the following twisted version of the 23rd Psalm, underscoring the horrors of her heroin addiction.
King Heroin is my shepherd, I shall always want
He maketh me to lie down in the gutters
He leadeth me beside the troubled waters
He destroyeth my soul
He leadeth me in the paths of wickedness
Yea, I shall walk through the valley of poverty
and will fear no evil for thou, Heroin, art with me
Thy needle and thy capsule comfort me
Thou strippest the table of groceries
in the presence of my family
Thou robbest my head of reason
My cup of sorrow runneth over
Surely heroin addiction shall stalk me
all the days of my life
and I will dwell in the House of the Damned forever
Of course, this young lady did not experience such horrors after her initial experiences on heroin, but rather a deceptive sense of ecstasy. The irony is that the same heroin which promises happiness ultimately becomes one of the most depressing and enslaving drugs on earth. Some of the horrific maladies associated with heroin addiction include sexual dysfunction, chronic vomiting, infertility, skin abscesses, constipation, tetanus, pneumonia, tuberculosis, hallucinations, soft tissue infections, liver and kidney disease, lowered immune system, seizures, hepatitis or HIV (as a result of injecting), twitching, gurgling, blue tips of fingers and toes, and finally death.
Heroin is so addictive because it tweaks the natural flow of dopamine, which regulates our moods, allowing too much dopamine to flood into our system. This creates a temporal euphoric sensation, which is the diabolical bait on the deadly hook. Since the brain was not designed to have dopamine flood into it at such an accelerated rate, the "high" proves evanescent and the promise of happiness insidiously backfires.
Since the body quickly develops a defensive tolerance to heroin the user needs more and more of the drug to get the same "high." Eventually the heroin addict ends up processing far less dopamine than the average non-addict and needs more of the deadly drug to feed the addiction. This leaves the heroin addict hopelessly “chasing the dragon” while trying to recapture the initial "high" which becomes illusory. The more one seeks to chase or maintain their initial "high," the more illusive it becomes. Tragically, the addict’s body is eventually unable to handle the same doses it once processed, leading to an overdose and death through respiratory arrest.
If heroin does not suddenly claim the addict’s life, it slowly destroys the addict’s brain. Our brains are the most complex and organized information-processing systems in all of known creation. Your brain contains billions of neurons and up to 500 trillion synapses. In fact, there are more synapses in your brain than there are stars in the known universe! Your brain is so incredible that it allows you to have consciousness of reality, solve problems, create or appreciate the wonders of music, make important judgments, enjoy and navigate relationships, control your body, enjoy your five senses, speak and comprehend languages, experience a myriad of emotions, experience countless other wonders and appreciate creation (i.e, forests, beaches, waterfalls, sunsets, rainbows, etc.). The human brain and body is irrefutable evidence that there is a powerful Creator that loves us and wants us to enjoy life.
Think about it: you have about 10 trillion cells containing DNA in your body. DNA is made up of informational molecules encoded with a vast amount of genetic instruction, directing everything about what you will become physically, from the color of your hair to the color of your eyes. DNA is such a sophisticated digitally written language that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, acknowledged, "DNA is like a software program, only much more complex than anything we’ve ever devised." So extensive is the DNA digital language code in your body that if you stretched out your entire DNA, it would contain an instructional sentence over 744 million miles long. That means just the DNA in your body alone would stretch to the moon and back about 1500 times. Since no written language is without an author, and DNA is far more complex than anything Bill Gates and the world’s greatest software engineers could possibly write, we must logically conclude that only God could have created us and we owe our lives to Him!
Since heroin, like other illicit drugs, is a seductive toxin that poisons and destroys the brain, it is critical that we make lasting decisions to choose life rather than suicide through illicit drugs. The biblical Psalmist wrote of the gratitude and respect that each of us should have for the wonderful brains and bodies that God has given to us:
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psalm 139:14).
In fact, so amazing are our bodies that God designed them to be temples that His Holy Spirit lives in. He reveals in His Word:
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
If God created us to know and enjoy Him and His creation, why then is there so much chaos, including the evil of heroin use and illicit drug use? God reveals to us that evil is real and that it did not begin with humans, but angelic beings. We are in a spiritual war and millions of human beings can testify that they have experienced evil on a spiritual level. The first rebel in the universe was an angel called Lucifer, who revolted against God because he wanted to usurp God’s position and steal His glory. God’s Word reveals that Satan led many of the angels astray. Satan and his angels are very active on planet earth, seeking to blind humanity of their need for God and salvation that comes through Jesus Christ.
Illicit drugs are Satan’s version of chemical warfare against the human body and soul. We are in a spiritual war and what better way for dark forces to gain mastery over our minds and souls than to get us to poison them with drugs and alcohol? This is why God warns us in His Word to be alert and sober minded:
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…” (1 Peter 5:8-9a).
One of the ways that God reveals His existence is through fulfilled bible prophecy. One set of prophecies, found in the book of Revelation, is that there would be widespread drug use in the last days before Christ comes back to judge the earth (Revelation 9:21; 18:23; 21:8 and 22:15).
The book of Revelation uses a family of Greek words like "pharmakeus" and "pharmakeia" to describe the connection between drugs and the occult revival prophesied in the last days. These words have been translated throughout the book of Revelation into English words like doping, drugging, sorcery, witchcraft, magic arts, etc. While we derive our English word pharmacy from the Greek word pharmakeia, the word has a special connotation in its New Testament usage.
The Word is used in the book of Revelation of those involved in sorcery and witchcraft who use illicit drugs to stimulate demonic hallucinations or visions, or seeking to produce a "high" or counterfeit sense of transcendence in their victims. Such sorcerers were called "poisoners," "druggists" or "giver of potions." They were basically the drug dealers of the ancient world. Shamans, sorcerers and voodoo priests have historically used illicit drugs to contact the demonic world and open others up to dark spiritual forces.
The Hebrew root "kesep" is used in the Old Testament (Micah 5:12; Malachi 3:5) for the word "witchcraft," which means "to cut" and is believed by biblical scholars to refer to witches and sorcerers who “cut” drugs and herbs into a witches brew. This witches brew would in turn be used as intoxicating potions for spells. Tragically, the use of illicit drugs, which is condemned as deceptive and destructive by God, is often glorified in modern culture. In the Harry Potter series, Professor Snape, who taught potions at the "School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," speaks of "the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses…"
Today, many of these modern witches and sorcerers who "cut" their drugs are now called "Cooks." Sadly, these modern day sorcerers, prophesied to be under Satan’s power in the last days, cook their witches brew and manufacture methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy and many other drugs that are ensnaring the world’s youth and leading them down the broad road to death and destruction.
Incredibly, God has revealed in the book of Revelation that He will not allow the wicked to prosper forever, but will pour out His fierce judgment on the drug dealers and drug cartels just before Christ returns with His mighty angels in flaming fire to judge the wicked. The book of Revelation declares:
“Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer… for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery [pharmakeia]” (Revelation 18:21, 23b).
God declares that He brings His judgments into the earth so that the nations will learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:9). Sadly, even after the horrific judgments of the book of Revelation begin to fall on the earth, many will still refuse to turn to God from their rebellion and drug use. The book of Revelation declares:
“And they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries [pharmakeia] nor of their immorality nor of their thefts” (Revelation 9:21).
Please observe in the verse quoted above that immorality, theft and murder are associated with drugs/sorcery. This is because illicit drugs, theft, sexual perversion and murder typically go hand in hand and many who are enslaved by drugs will steal from their own families to feed their monstrous addiction.
God also makes it clear in the book of Revelation that those who refuse to turn from illicit drug use and a life of rebellion against God will be excluded from the heavenly city and sentenced for eternity to the lake of fire:
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers [Pharmakeus] and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying” (Revelation 22:14-15).
“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers [Pharmakeus] and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
Friend, if you are addicted to illicit drugs or on the road to addiction, it is highly unlikely that you are reading this by accident. God, in His great love for you, is revealing the truth behind this great deception. He is giving you an opportunity to choose life rather than death; to choose freedom rather than addiction; light rather than darkness; Christ rather than Satan, and heaven rather than hell! If you are a drug addict and feel like you’re on a greased pole to hell with no way out, there is really, really great news for you! Hundreds of millions of people (like myself) have been saved from drug addictions and countless other vices through the power of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God loves you so much that He sought to reach you by becoming a man in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect life and paid for all your evil crimes against God on the cross. In His great love He willingly went to the cross, shed His blood for your sins, paying your fine and died in your place. If you don’t know Christ and are still in darkness, spiritual bondage and under Satan’s power, you need to know that Jesus came to set you free and rescue you from the bondage of addiction, darkness, sin, the power of Satan and hell.
Dear reader, God will accept you and forgive you no matter how bad you have been. The Apostle Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote over half the letters in the New Testament, even though he had been a rebel and a murderer before he came to Christ. He stated that God saved him as the "chief of sinners" so you and I could know that if God saved someone as horrible as Paul, "the chief of sinners," He will save all who would come to Him through the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 1:15-16). God reveals in His Word that He wills that all would be saved and that none would perish (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). Jesus made this amazing promise to you, “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37b).
Jesus said that He came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18). You have been taken captive by Satan to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26), but Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
Dear friend, consider the following promises that God gives to those who come to Him, before it is too late:
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free… So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:32; John 8:36).
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive” (John 7:37b-39a).
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8b).
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
“And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).
God created you to be filled with His Holy Spirit, not with illicit drugs or alcohol (Ephesians 5:18). Only God can truly satisfy you and give you lasting joy and happiness. It is our hope that you would begin a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ right now. Simply turn from your sin and embrace Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. He alone has the power to deliver you from enslavement to all sin and cleanse you from your guilt. It begins with a simple prayer, "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13).
Dear friend, simply call on Him now and ask Him for forgiveness and the power to live a godly life. He will set you free from the penalty and power of sin and fill you with His love, joy, peace and Spirit. We encourage you to find a strong, bible teaching church, where you can get grounded and grow in Christ with other believers who know and love Jesus. May God richly bless you as you seek to know Him and make Him known!
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