Until this past week, it had been 13 years since the last Surgeon General warning. That one had to do with pregnancy and drinking alcohol. The advisory this week encourages those taking opioid prescriptions and friends/family of those who take those prescriptions to carry naloxone, an overdose-reversing drug.
But will this advisory help? I guess it does raise awareness of how to reverse an overdose. That’s good. But what is really needed is effective messaging that addresses the heart issues behind substance abuse. While Naloxone will pull someone out of a drug overdose, it won’t change the heart desire that drove the behavior in the first place. That’s what’s missing.
In the article cited above, they champion the use of methadone and buprenorphine as the “gold standard” drugs that decrease opioid overdoses and while that might be true in a physical sense, again it falls short in terms of treatment messaging. How can we give hope to an addict? What message must be sent to the addict to change his or her heart’s desire? That’s the goal of treatment: change the thinking and desires beneath the addictive choices. Then rehabilitation strives to change the behavior in more tangible ways after treatment has occurred. It’s a good system: change thinking so it changes behavior, but without the right message — even with methadone or buprenorphine, it will fail. The message is vital and the body of Christ has that message which is called the Gospel. There is hope.
Pray about the mission at hand for TIL and The Addiction Connection (www.theaddictionconnection.org). We want to train folks in local churches to be a help to those families and addicts struggling with addictive issues.
-Mark (seizing an incredible opportunity to provide hope to a seemingly hopeless problem called addiction)