Churches across the U.S. are working toward combating the fentanyl crisis happening across the United States.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, “fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.”
“Fentanyl can be put into anything,” said Troy Young, a church outreach coordinator for a Harrodsburg, Kentucky-based evangelical drug addiction treatment facility called Isaiah House.
“It can be pressed into pills or put into cocaine. First-time drug users could be introduced to fentanyl and not even know it. That is why we’re seeing so many overdoses,” he added, according to The Roys Report.
Young went on to note that there has been an increase in fentanyl usage in the past five years due to the introduction of different versions of the drug.
“We serviced more than 3,400 people in our facilities last year, and we’d love to actually see the number of people that we’re serving go down, but with the rise of fentanyl in our communities, it continues to go up,” Young said.
Citing research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Young noted that in 2021, over 80,000 people died from an opioid overdose. This was a 10,000-person increase from 2020 when just over 70,000 people died from an opioid overdose.
“We have churches that want to help, but just don’t know how,” Young continued.
Ideally, the church is where spiritual change takes place, he said.
“What we want to do is equip the churches to be able to help because it’s in every church and every county,” Young said.
“We believe recovery starts with a relationship with Jesus Christ, and our clients who want to find a church, we will help plug them into a somewhere they will call home. This way, the spiritual habits created during treatment can be carried with patients after treatment. We try to find ‘recovery-friendly’ churches where we know they will be loved and cared for,” he said.
“The time they will be outside of Isaiah House is a lot longer than the time they will have in it. That’s why the local church is so important as a place that they will be discipled and mentored. We view the church as a very vital partner in this journey of recovery.”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.