The good people of San Francisco are still scratching their heads over what to do with all the drunks who hang out on the sidewalks downtown. The city did come up with a special court to handle public drunkenness cases, but it was found unconstitutional.
The drunkards’ fellow citizens are saying the drunks should be hauled off to jail and left there to dry out, which would make sense — except for one thing: As soon as they are sprung from jail, most head for the nearest bar.
San Francisco is a drinking culture. Its streets are lined with bars, from the upscale to the fallen down. As a result, it must be easy to be a drunk in San Francisco. With all those spirits at hand, getting in touch with one’s spiritual life must be tough.
Yet, that’s about the only thing that works for the hardcore boozer, young or old.
Those who work with alcoholics successfully will tell you that the misuse of alcohol is a sign of spiritual troubles. Alcoholism, they say, is a symptom — not a disease in itself.
A lot of drunks resist that knowledge, sure that they know better, that they can quit any time they want to. “It’s no problem for me to stop drinking,” they might say. “I’ve stopped drinking lots of times.”
Drunks have to get over the idea they are in charge of their lives. Their problem is that their spiritual lives are haywire, and instead of addressing that, alcoholics turn themselves over to alcohol to fix the problem.
Then, the alcohol takes over, and lies to them, telling them they can drive better with a couple of belts under their belts, or that they are funnier when they are drunk, or sexier, or whatever.
It’s a sad thing in that great city, or in any city in which there are those who believe they should turn their will and their lives over to booze instead of something else.