On October 26, the White House stated that since 2000, over 300,000 Americans have died from overdoses involving opioids. In 2015 alone there were 52,404 drug overdose deaths, almost two-thirds involved the use of opioids. In 2016 there were 175 deaths occurring every single day to overdose.
In addition to this, babies being born drug dependent have increased by 500% since 2000, and children are being placed in foster care due in part to parental drug abuse going up.
What is our nation do do? Addiction in general is at epidemic proportions. Can we throw enough money at this to solve the problem? Does secular society have a solution? How about the Church or the Word of God itself?
Joining Jim to discuss this issue was Benjamin Burks. Benjamin is the international director for RU (Reformers Unanimous), a 22 year old, biblically based, Christ-centered recovery program designed to rescue, recover and restore those in addictive behaviors with the power of a hidden life found only in Jesus Christ.
Benjamin began by adding to the statistics that Jim led the program with and what he said really helps frame the problem. Ohio alone has spent 17 billion dollars in two years on this one problem alone and they’re worse off than they’ve ever been.
So how does Benjamin define the term, ‘addiction’? It’s any kind of disorder that’s caused by sin and the person continues to do it even though they know it’s bad for them. Its ‘face’ is not specific to an ethnicity, age group or gender, nor is it just rural or urban. It runs through all these categories and more.
How does addiction impact the individual and the family? Benjamin cited the example of one woman who was addicted to opioids and heroin. She was living on the street, had ruined every relationship with her family and had tried to kill herself multiple times. This is why addiction has to be addressed from a spiritual standpoint. The more that’s neglected, the more hurt that takes place to not only the addict, but the family as well.
What if someone says that this is none of your business? A half trillion dollars is spent each year in America because of addictions. That makes this issue our business due to things like loss of time on the job and emergency services that are utilized.
Benjamin went on to detail the RU program dynamics that include family, accountability and biblical meditation, the part these play in the faith-based recovery process, as well as his work with legislators on an initiative called, ‘Faith-Based Recovery for America’.