“We are in the worst overdose crisis we’ve ever been in the United States,” according to the director of a drug addiction resource center in Denver. “Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45.”
Two people were arrested this week in Washington, DC, on narcotics charges after “14 people overdosed on a lethal batch of drugs laced with fentanyl….9 of the people who overdosed died.”
And earlier this month, five West Point cadets overdosed after ingesting fentanyl-laced cocaine while on spring break in Florida. The Fort Lauderdale Fire Chief said, “We were able to get some of those individuals back, so their heart was beating again, with a Narcan. However, four of those individuals were still in respiratory arrest.”
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine. It is often used to treat patients who are experiencing severe pain. But when street dealers lace drugs with fentanyl, “you can barely see with the naked eye the amount of fentanyl it takes to take a person’s life.”
It is therefore wise to “assume that any pill or drug not purchased from a pharmacy could contain fentanyl. This includes illicit drugs (cocaine, heroin, meth, etc.) as well as prescription medications (Xanax, Oxycodone, etc.).
Thankfully, there are those who experience recovery from drug addiction. A clinical consultant in New Hampshire said, “I’ve been in the field for 13 years and in recovery for 26 and I want readers to know this: Anyone, anywhere, at any time can recover. I work in this field because of the miracles I see every day.”
A 29-year-old from Philadelphia said, “Recovery is not an exact science, or a recipe that can be applied to different people in different ways. But many of us do recover. I wish I knew the answer to this current crisis. All I can do is keep my hand open and available to the next person who may need help.”
God loves addicts, and Christ can help anyone who draws close to the Lord.
“I was in and out of addiction since the age of 14. I had a very rough childhood that included sexual abuse and both of my parents were in addiction. These things led me to try different drugs at an early age. I always felt unloved and like an outcast. Turning to drugs to numb my internal pain eventually led me to lose everything, including my kids. But God had bigger plans for me. I began surrendering everything to Jesus and put Him first in every area of my life. of Hope has helped me find Jesus. I walk in His presence every day. Because God has healed me and saved me, I am now able to share with others how God has freed me and broken the chains off my life.”
“I’ve struggled most of my life with addiction. I started at the age of 16 with pills (opiates and Xanax) and marijuana. I managed to maintain this addiction for the most part and still carried out my duties as a daughter, wife and mother for many years. But at the age of 30 this all changed. I discovered methamphetamine. I was hooked on the first high it gave me from the very first time. I thought I had found the miracle drug”.
“But within 2 years, I had lost nearly everything that meant anything to me. My home, my children, my freedom even. But by the grace of God, I have been given another chance at life. After another probation violation and a failed drug test, I was sent from jail to Women of Hope. I am almost 10 months into the program now and have found the me that I thought I had lost forever. Jesus Christ. I no longer allow the drugs to lead me down that same dark path I did, for now I have the light of the Lord to guide my path.”
God loves you, my friend, regardless of how entangled you may have become with your addiction. If you will trust Christ, you can begin to develop the habit of calling on Jesus 24/7. Frederick Faber said, “Every moment of resistance to temptation is a victory.”
The King of the Universe and Savior of the world told His disciples: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
You see my friend, there is hope. The fact that Christ is alive means you too can rise from the tomb of your addiction. Trust Jesus to wash away your sins, and surrender your life to the Lord today. It won’t be an easy journey going forward, but it is the only path to victory in this life, and the only path to the beauty and perfection of Paradise in the world to come.
If you find yourself battling an addiction today, are you ready for a new life? “Come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:8). Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.