February 27, 2015

What to Do About the Drunks?

This post has been brewing in me for a while now (no pun intended).  It’s about the drunk young men who terrorize the area where we live known as Pos 7. 

I used to find drunks humorous, or at the least, mildly entertaining.  Otis Campbell on “The Andy Griffith Show” cracked me up, the way he’d stumble in to the Mayberry jail, let himself in, and sleep off his binge on a lacy pillow tatted by Aunt Bea.  If only the drunks I met in real life were like Otis.
Drunk dude passed out on our driveway
Instead, they’re mostly angry and unpredictable.  Sometimes they’re so drunk they can’t even stay upright as they totter across the road.  The worst is when they’re angry, clutching rocks or waving sticks and threatening to hit you or your vehicle if you don’t give them money.

My fellow Pos 7-ites and I sometimes exchange text messages with warnings, like the morning traffic or weather report: “Expect a few drunks at the T in the road, heavily intoxicated, should taper as the morning goes on and they finally pass out.”

Once, two drunken teenagers on a motorbike chased me in my car up my driveway then stood outside the car yelling at me.  I was so shaky I could hardly hold my phone to call for help.

A few days ago, in the middle of the day, a drunk young man came into our yard and attempted to steal a motorcycle helmet.  David was able to chase him off, but it’s hard for me not to think, what if David hadn’t been home?  What would I have done?

Even now, as I write this, I hear an inebriated man singing his lungs out down the hill from our house.

The reasons for the drunkenness are multi-layered.  Lack of education.  Lack of work.  A feeling of hopelessness.  Peer pressure.  

And there’s no AA.  There’s no rehab.  There are churches galore, but they don’t seem to know what to do.  There are families who cower in fear of their drunken loved one – a son, brother, husband – and wish they knew how to help.  David has had conversations with some parents, and they seem utterly hopeless.

They make me at once angry and sad and frustrated.  We try to joke about it.  But truly, no one who’s had an angry drunk man lunging at their car thinks it’s even one bit funny.  And for those who saw my “Let it go” video this summer where I sing the line “the drunks never bother me, anyway,” you need to know that was me poking fun at myself, because the drunks very much do bother me.

I don’t want to live in fear.  Nor do I want to turn a blind eye to this huge problem or adopt an “I just want to be left alone” attitude.  But I honestly don’t know what to do.  

So there it is.  What do we do? How do we become part of the solution?

Would you join me in praying for the families affected by the drunks?  For the churches?  For those of us who live here and long for this to be a safe place? And for the drunks?

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