For most of my adult life, I have been hearing about the war on drugs. We blamed the Eastern nations for the heroin and South America for cocaine. We fought it on the seas and at the border, and we lost. We felt better in our loss because we could blame someone else.
Today we are faced with an opioid epidemic of major proportions. Over 100 people are dying daily in the USA from opioid overdoses. The opioids are not sneaking across our borders hiding in bananas or shoes. They are arriving at local drug stores in cartons delivered by UPs and FedEx and many other American carriers.
They are dispensed from these drug stores to the American people in astonishing numbers. Some small drug stores sell ten or twelve times the number of bottles than people in their town. The sad thing. These drugs sales always follow a legal prescription. Yes, doctors are prescribing pain pills in such large numbers that everyone in town can have a bottle.
Alabama, the state where I live and write is the top prescription producer for opiate drugs in the United States. The physicians in this state wrote 5.8 million prescriptions for pain pills in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control. So that’s about 1.2 prescriptions per person opposed to 0.71 for the nation.
If Karl Marx were alive today, he would have to change his famous statement about opium. He said, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”.
How I wish we as a nation were addicted to something as valuable as religion. Because Marx’s statement about oppressed creatures, a heartless world, and soulless souls is so descriptive of an opioid crazed society which America has become.
Our nation needs God, pure and simple. The pain that’s being erased with all these “pain pills” is not physical. No, they aren’t being taken for bad backs and bum knees, but they work in the same way to dull the ache of mind and heart and blind the taker to the real cause of their hurt.
No doubt it’s the government’s fault. The government should crack down and stop the suppliers. Should we blame others for the tragedy taking our nation by storm or should we look closer to home? Why aren’t people turning to Jesus instead of drugs? Why aren’t we giving the gospel away instead of allowing others to sell the pills? Christians have the most powerful medicine in the world but have been slow to share it. The church may have been so busy worrying about itself that it neglected a sick and hurting people who live on the same street as the church buildings.
If that is true, then we Christian people are partly to blame for the epidemic. For some reason, the church of today is not connecting with the vast majority of our society, and unfortunately, cheap opiates are connecting. They dull the senses but do not remove the cause of the pain. Jesus can do that. We are at war with the anti-Christ but often ignore him feeling safe in our own fortress. What about the rest of the world?