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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Whitney’s story can strengthen America!

Whitney Houston was blessed with an amazing, inspirational voice. Yet, she abused drugs to escape her fears and pain. Whitney couldn’t save herself but her story can help strengthen others.

During the past 40 years, politicians spent billions trying to stop the drug epidemic. Abusing Illegal and prescription drugs takes a huge toll as domestic violence, child abuse and divorce increase. Disconnected youth drop out and follow self-destructive role models.

Whitney Houston had power, money and adoration but her ego kept her locked into drugs. It takes humility, seeking a higher power and time to become self-aware. The Bible, Proverbs 16-18 states, “How much better to get wisdom than gold, and good judgment than silver! Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall.”

As an inner city crime and violence prevention consultant
, I see addiction as a “crisis of the spirit. “ Users don’t know how to handle life’s problems.

I met AJ after he turned his life around. He had been a drug dealer, got hooked on drugs and became homeless. He was hungry and went to the Rescue Mission. He was told he had to listen to a sermon before eating. On the third visit, he fell on his knees and asked for help. Over time, he grew as a community leader and mentors 30 kids on his block. He also sponsors an annual Christmas party.

I worked with many homeless people and inner city pastors. I saw men turn their lives around.

Four reasons the national discourse limits discussion about God.
1. Americans are confused; don’t see the need for religion or lost faith in religious leaders. Some think religion is a cult or see religious people as hypocrites.
2. A spiritual solution doesn’t need money or experts. It requires faith, forgiveness and self-awareness.
3. We have to take full responsibility, which we don’t want to hear.
4. Separation of church and state negates what has worked for centuries.

Drug abuse is lack of understand one’s own spirit! Americans need the religious community to work together to help young people discover their inner power BEFORE they make bad choices.

We lost Whitney Houston and many other talented “stars” due to drug abuse. Time to spread the word… it is “better to get wisdom than gold.”

Stephanie L. Mann, Author, Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant
Host: MORE Public Radio International, Oakland, CA.


  1. Whitney's story causes us all to weep for what might have been, what could have been and for the waste of a beautiful voice, the grand children she'll never see and the dreams lost to an adiction. Whitney's life crys out to us to remember, to grow and to overcome our fear of living to our full potential. This is her message to every adult and to every child.