Hooked . . . . - by Orlando Fitzhugh

At sixteen I almost died a drug addict. Like many young people, I was looking for thrills in life, and I found them, but they were the wrong kind.

My introduction to marijuana came at the age of twelve. All my friends smoked “pot” and I wanted to be part of the crowd. The more I smoked marijuana the more I needed it, until this no longer satisfied and I graduated to heroin. Gang fights, hanging around the streets, and marijuana parties were all part of my life.

The little money I had was not enough to support the habit that now possessed me. To get money for drugs I stole anything that could be sold, including the family belongings. This deadly habit robbed me of both moral and physical health.

One day, during a gang war, I was shot just below the heart. For three weeks, I lay at the point of death. In this condition I promised God that I would make a change if He would restore my health. But, instead, as soon as I was released from the hospital I returned to the old life and was quickly arrested again. I spent a year in a reformatory with no improvement. Even when I was under confinement, outside contacts managed to sneak me drugs.

Upon my release, I found myself in the old environment, sometimes spending days away from home, sleeping on rooftops, in parks and hallways. One night, after an overdose of heroin on a neighbourhood rooftop, I nearly fell six floors to the street. Only the quick grab by one of the gang saved me from plunging to my death. For some reason, God spared my life. As a result of that experience and the whole tragic mess, I suffered a complete breakdown and developed a heart condition. The outcome was that, at sixteen, I was an emotional and physical wreck. Even with psychiatric treatment, there was no relief. I realized then that I was living only in a dream world. There was no happiness or peace for me. An endless restlessness and inner conflict possessed me. Completely hooked, I knew my days were numbered. Friends of mine were dying one by one, victims of the narcotics habit. There seemed to be no way out of my predicament.

One night I was invited to attend a church youth meeting by my relatives. I felt I had nothing to lose, so I attended. That night I saw young people who were clean and decent, and who loved and served God. I wanted to be like them; I wanted desperately to change. A sermon was given on the love of God and His power to deliver from sin. At once I knew this was for me. I heard that God loved me so much that He gave His Son to die for me. At that moment I believed God could do something for me. Without hesitating, I repented of my sins and by faith accepted Christ into my life as my own personal Saviour.

Instantly a change began to take place within me. With faith in Christ, I knew that my habit was licked. Christ had made the difference.

In a few days, the craving for the “stuff” had completely disappeared. I experienced a sweeping change in my mental, physical, and emotional life. Ever since that night, peace and happiness have been mine.

My wife, children, and I now have a wonderful Christian home. All this and more are found in Jesus Christ, who died for us. There is no comparison to Him. Christ is concerned with the hard cases in life. I recommend to you the same Gospel that changed my life. The Bible says, “I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27).

Whatever it is that may have your life hooked today, Jesus Christ can make you free. The Bible teaches, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36).

Why not repent now and receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord?