Raising awareness about the opioid epidemic

March 22, 2019

The Christian Life & Public Affairs (CLPA) Special Committee is focusing on the opioid epidemic this year.

I was shocked to discover that the greatest rise in death in recent years is with a synthetic opioid analgesic called fentanyl. According the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is “similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.” Fentanyl is both a prescription medication as well as a black market drug produced in clandestine labs.

This drug can have the following street names: Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT and Tango & Cash. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that it is sold illegally “as a powder; spiked on blotter paper; mixed with or substituted for heroin; or as tablets that mimic other less potent opioids.”

In an article titled, “Why fentanyl is deadlier than heroin, in a single photo,” author Allison Bond notes, “Drug users generally don’t know when their heroin is laced fentanyl, so when they inject their usual quantity of heroin, they inadvertently take a deadly dose of the substance. In addition, while dealers try to include fentanyl to improve potency, their measuring equipment usually isn’t fine-tuned enough to ensure they stay below the levels that could cause users to overdose. Plus, the fentanyl sold on the street is almost always made in a clandestine lab; it is less pure than the pharmaceutical version and thus its effect on the body can be more unpredictable.”

The same article quoted Tim Pifer, the director of the New Hampshire State Police Forensic Laboratory, as saying because heroin and fentanyl look identical, and with drugs purchased on the street, “you don’t know what your taking. You’re injecting yourself with a loaded gun.”

Even an extremely small dose of fentanyl can be fatal.

Citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data on overdose death rates from 1999 to 2017 in the United States, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that “among the more than 70,200 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2017, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (other synthetic narcotics) with more than 28,400 overdose deaths.”

North Carolina has experienced a similar dramatic rise in death from synthetic opioid drugs (mainly fentanyl).

Moreover, even an extremely small dose of fentanyl can be fatal. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), a lethal dose of fentanyl for most people is about 2 milligrams. That’s the size of just a few grains of salt.

The most compelling reason for the rise of fentanyl is cost. It is much cheaper than illegally gained prescription opioids as well as naturally produced opioids. There are numerous national and international clandestine labs producing this synthetic drug.

Again, remember that awareness brings knowledge, and knowledge brings solutions.


by Robert E. Jordan
/  Chairman  /  BSCNC Christian Life & Public Affairs Committee

What makes Good Friday good?

Have you ever stopped to consider why Good Friday is described as “good” if that’s the day Jesus was crucified? On the surface, “sorrowful” may appear to be a more appropriate description of the day that the sinless God-man Jesus the Christ was crucified in our place on a cruel...

People of the Book resource now available

We, Baptists, are known as people of the Book. What book is it? It is the Word of God, the Bible. What a wonderful nickname we have! By God’s grace, we have lived, and will continue to live, up to our nickname. Southern Baptists have been proactive in preaching the gospel and...

Robersons receive 2019 Heritage Award from BSCNC

Richard and Doris Roberson, longtime managers of Truett Camp and Conference Center in Hayesville, N.C., have received the 2019 Heritage Award from the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC). The award is one of the highest forms of recognition among North Carolina...

Is neglect stealing your joy?

“Pay Attention!” These are the words that stop us in our tracks — children, athletes, students and employees alike heed these infamous words. In the letter to the Hebrews, the author calls the recipients to “pay much closer attention to what [they had] heard” because they were in...

Planning for college

How do we stop losing young adults in church? It seems part of the answer lies in our focus during high school, as well as the transition from high school to college. In a survey released by Lifeway Research, new data shows that the number one reason for not attending church for...

Cultivating meaningful conversations with your kids

The Guardian, a New York newspaper, ran an article entitled, “How new words are born.” It was reported that “around 5,400 new words are created every year; it’s only the 1,000 or so deemed to be in sufficiently widespread use that make it into print.” Seeing these large numbers...

Intentional prayers for your family

One of the greatest things we can do as parents, spouses and Christ followers is to pray for our families. Psalms 127:1a says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Below are some specific prayer points with accompanying Bible verses that you can pray...

5 ways to serve guests this Easter

You probably have heard the fact that more guests attend church on Easter than any other Sunday of the year. There is a related fact that you may not have heard: More churches miss the opportunity to connect intentionally with guests on Easter than any other Sunday of the year....

1 Comment

  1. Michael Dixon

    I am a Southern Baptist Pastor serving Oakdale Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, NC. I am also a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist and a biblical counselor. Over 2 years ago I started an addiction recovery ministry out of our church called LIFE. Voice of America did a documentary on our program:

    https://youtu.be/3Q1HO2jNLdA

    I’m thankful for the current emphasis within the SBC on this issue.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news and event information by signing up for the N.C. Baptist newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!