Spiritual voids filled with deadly drugs

Statistically speaking, eight people die every day in New York from drug overdoses.

While prescription opioids and heroin usually grab the headlines, there’s another drug that seems to have slipped into the mainstream despite a more than 600% increase in deaths since 2015 – fentanyl.

The most recent record seizures by law enforcement show that there is growing demand that has the city and the country on the brink of a new outbreak. Or maybe we are already there.

The fentanyl plague sweeping New York City has claimed overdose deaths at a rate double that of heroin and prescription drugs combined.

The most frightening statistic attributed to fentanyl abuse is that a New Yorker overdoses every three hours, with fentanyl accounting for more than 80% of those deaths.

Recently, New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed legislation to reduce fatal overdoses by providing free naloxone kits to night establishments to administer in the event of an opioid overdose.

This summer, New York University Silver School of Social Work professors Jennifer Manuel and Lance Keene won a New York City grant to help educate residents who use drugs about the risks of fentanyl, which is about 50 times stronger than heroin.

Because fentanyl is sold interchangeably with heroin, mixed with other drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, and squeezed into counterfeit pills, the two professors are working with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene of New York to distribute free fentanyl test strips, which detect the presence of the strong opioid in a drug after the drug is diluted. The latest figures compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic shutdown have dramatically accelerated drug overdoses, including fentanyl.

“The recent increase in drug overdose mortality began in 2019 and continues into 2020,” the report said. “The increase in drug overdose deaths appears to have accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The agency said fentanyl overdoses increased 21.1% from March 2020 to May 2020.

Many people in society who feel lost and try to fill some void turn to drugs. Fentanyl is yet another avenue that seems to have people finding a new high to fill that void.

Falling away from faith and from God has a significant impact.

The National Institutes of Health website cites a seminal two-year study by Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse that found that “nearly three teens who did not consider religious beliefs important times more likely to smoke, five times more likely to binge drink, and nearly eight times more likely to use marijuana than teens who strongly valued the importance of religion in their daily lives.

The study also found that, compared to teens who attended religious services at least once a week, teens who never attended were twice as likely to drink, more than twice as likely to smoke, more than three times more likely to use marijuana or binge on alcohol. , and four times more likely to use illicit drugs.

Pray for those suffering from the drug epidemic and that they may instead find God as a way to fill the void they feel.

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