June 26, 2013

Message of the Archbishop of Greece on Drug Abuse

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime launches campaigns to raise awareness of drugs and crime problems. On 26 June every year, UNODC marks the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Below is the message of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece for this day.

Today it is worth turning our attention and our prayers to all those who are being tested, to all those who sought a life with emotions, but in the wrong way. The antidote to the disease of addiction can only be love and life with meaning and authenticity. No one who lived every day with gratitude and simplicity needed any substance to use as an escape from their everyday life.

What interests us most is not to declare how much we are against drugs, but how pro-life we are. The Church exists to invite people into the mystery of true life and this is our proposal against the death of dependency. Christ promised people life and abundance of life, and all the young people who went through the ordeal of drugs and are now clean show us that this is not just a promise but a reality because, as they themselves admit, they accomplished this with the help of God.

We are close to all the families suffering from the scourge of narcotic substances and declare our love and support to all those who instead of complacency and indifference choose to fight against addictions. The Orthodox Church struggles beside them, ministering through the vibrant parishes, evoking in this way the healing power of community and the society of persons.

The Archbishop

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos