Friday, February 18, 2011

Drug addicted newborns

Headline from Monday’s Miami Herald: “Cases of drug-addicted newborns skyrocketing in Florida Hospitals.” My lesson for today from the Workbook of the Course in Miracles: “The light has come.” “Beyond the clouds of illusion – the complexity of our anger, judgments, suffering and anxiety – there is a light.” The subheading in the Herald story: “The number of babies born with drug withdrawl symptoms has spiked and healthcare workers are saying prescription pills are to blame.” And from the Workbook: “It is the light of the real world, the truth that shines outside the ego’s darkened dreams of separation and madness.” It’s not so much that the light comes for it has always been there within us, but that we have come to the light. Our experience is that the light has come to us, but in truth it never left, for it is always present in our minds. Since we are the ones who left the light, we are the ones who must return.

“Florida’s prescription drugs epidemic, already responsible for nearly seven deaths a day, is taking its toll on the youngest and most vulnerable in the state: newborns. In 2009, nearly 1,000 babies born in Florida hospitals were treated for drug withdrawal syndrome. They’re irritable. They don’t eat well. They can spend days, even weeks, detoxing. And the number is skyrocketing” “Since, we are the ones who left the light, we are the ones who must return.”

“Janet Colbert, a registered nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit at a Broward County hospital, witnesses with alarming frequency the physical trauma these newborns endure. ‘I kept seeing the torture these babies are going through,’ said Colbert, 59. ‘This one baby, he couldn’t even feed. He was screaming, his face was just quivering so badly he couldn’t even get his face around the nipple to feed.’” We are the ones who left the light by clinging to the ego’s illusion; we are the ones who must realize our wrong choice, that the darkness of our ego illusions does not make us happy. If we were to realize we did not sin but simply made a mistake, took the wrong turn because we listened to the wrong guide, that there must be another, better, way we could remember the guide who could truly help us.

“From 2006-2009, there was a 173% increase in newborns treated at Florida hospitals for drug withdrawal syndrome. The most recent data show no signs of a slowdown. During the first half of 2010, 635 cases were reported.” We can be saved from the prison of our own mistaken choice, the pain and suffering. Wherever we go, whatever we do – our right minds are filled with the light that is always there. There is another thought system in our minds that is totally separate from the ego. All we have to do is access it.

“Perscription drug abuse has become the number one public safety threat to Florida,” said former state Senator attorney Dave Aronberg, now leading the Attorney General’s anti-pill mill initiative. The newborn drug addiction statistics are ‘horrifying,’ and to Colbert, the numbers seem low.” This is a complex problem with the drug addicted newborn at the end of a long chain of terrible, ego-centered decisions. “Ego” means more than self-centered, selfishness, although that is included. Here ego means something much larger like original sin, the small self, the self cut-off from Source because it has sinned, the guilty, defensive, lonely self.

What made the parents abuse the drugs in the first place? How responsible is society for helping them overcome that addiction and to prevent it in the first place? What can be done to deal with the physicians that allow this abuse and the pharmacies and the enforcement officials who look the other way? But whatever we do, we must do it from that centered, non-ego place of connection with the light, without blame, fear and horror (horrible as this is), knowing that the light is within everyone of us, perps, enablers and active ‘evil’ doers as well, and go from there.

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