According to the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry, COVID-19 related social isolation and stress can increase susceptibility to substance misuse, addiction, and relapse. Substance abuse use can lead to immune system, respiratory, and pulmonary changes and may increase susceptibility to COVID-19 as well as complications.
While the COVID-19 pandemic plagues this nation, so, too, do transnational criminal organizations and violent street gangs, adjusting to pandemic restrictions to flood our communities with dangerous drugs.
According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths now total more than 100,000 annually in the United States. The number of overdose deaths accelerated significantly during the pandemic.
While synthetic opioids, such as illicit fentanyl, continue to be the primary cause of these deaths, there has also been an alarming increase in the number of deaths involving illicit stimulants, particularly methamphetamine. Overdose deaths connected to meth increased almost 35 percent in 2020, exceeding the number of cocaine-related deaths.
Another great concern is that a new synthetic opioid was found in the Tampa Bay area of Florida in January of this year. Commonly known as ISO, the synthetic opioid is 20 times more potent than fentanyl.
Addiction in America is an ever-increasing national crisis!
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” –James 5:16
Not only is substance abuse America’s number one health problem, the devastation of alcoholism and other drug addiction has impacted families and communities worldwide. Substance abuse has been directly linked to violence and sexual immorality and is a major source of income for organized crime and terrorist activities.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” –Ephesians 6:12
Please put on the full armor of God and fervently pray in spirit and in truth for those held captive by addiction to be set free!!!
Thank you! Steven L. Sherman, Founder “Just Pray NO!” Ltd.
Millions of Americans have addictions. This is a national crisis. 115 people die every day from overdoses. This rate has tripled in the past 20 years.
20 million Americans over the age of 12 have an addiction, excluding tobacco. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 115 Americans die daily from opioid-involved deaths alone. Opioids, including prescriptions and heroin, killed 42,000 people in the U.S. in 2016 – the highest on record at that time and the number is growing!
The 10 Most Common Addictions*
*Source: The Addiction Center. Use the link below to learn more:
Tobacco (nicotine) – Over 40 Million
Nicotine addiction may not appear as harmful as many other addictions. This is likely because tobacco products are legal and easy to get, and the worst side effects of abusing them take time to develop. Tobacco use claims more lives than any that of any other addictive substance. Many smokers cannot quit despite knowing smoking’s impact on their health. Wanting to quit but being unable to is a telltale sign of addiction.
Alcohol – 18 Million
The social acceptance of drinking can make alcohol addiction hard to spot. Despite its legal status, alcohol’s potential for abuse opens users up to many health risks and possible addiction.
Alcohol abuse has numerous negative consequences. In addition to deaths from liver disease and alcohol overdose, drunk driving claims thousands of lives every year.
Marijuana – 4.2 Million
The legalization of marijuana in some states has made the drug’s use more socially acceptable. This trend can distract people from marijuana’s addictive potential. Rates of marijuana addiction might also be growing due to increasing potency (over 60 percent) over the past decade.
Painkillers – 1.8 Million
Drugs like codeine, Vicodin and Oxycontin are commonly prescribed to treat pain. Painkillers’ prescription status does not mean they aren’t addictive. Addiction to painkillers can develop from seemingly harmless levels of use. Most patients who become addicted to prescription painkillers don’t notice they have a problem until they try to stop use. Painkillers are also abused without a prescription, which can also lead to an addiction.
Cocaine – 821,000
Rates of cocaine addiction in the United States are dropping. The decline is slow, however, with an estimated 821,000 Americans still addicted as of 2011. Crack cocaine, which is cheaper and more intense than regular cocaine, is responsible for many crippling addictions and ruined lives.
Heroin – 426,000
Heroin’s severe withdrawal symptoms make beating a heroin addiction a difficult task. Treating heroin addiction typically requires a combination of therapy and medications to help manage symptoms of withdrawal and cravings.
Heroin abuse has been growing in the United States, particularly among young women. There is growing concern over heroin users contracting and spreading diseases like HIV and AIDS by sharing needles for injection.
Benzodiazepines – 400,000
“Benzos” — such as Valium, Xanax, Diazepam and Klonopin — are prescribed as mood-regulating drugs to manage conditions like anxiety and stress. Those developing an addiction to these drugs oftentimes aren’t aware until they can’t function normally without the substance.
Benzodiazepines are especially dangerous because of their powerful impact on the brain’s chemical makeup. Withdrawals can be deadly without medical assistance during detox.
Stimulants – 329,000
Stimulants range from prescription drugs, such as Adderall or Ritalin, to illicit substances like meth. These drugs are highly addictive, and intense withdrawal symptoms make quitting difficult. Stimulant users can quickly build a tolerance to the drug’s euphoric “high,” leading to increased use and risk of overdose.
Inhalants – 140,000
Inhalant addiction is particularly dangerous because inhalants are volatile toxic substances. The effects of these substances — gasoline, household cleaning products, aerosols — are intense and can have immediate consequences including hospitalization or death. Chemicals prevalent in inhalants can linger in the body and brain long after stopping use, making complete recovery more difficult.
Sedatives (barbiturates) – 78,000
Millions of Americans are prescribed barbiturate sedatives, commonly known as sleeping pills, to treat tension and sleep disorders. Every year, thousands of prescription users build a tolerance — and ensuing addiction — to drugs like Lunesta and Ambien. Sleeping pills can produce mind-altering effects that lead to continued abuse.
We are very aware of the growing problem, but what is the solution?
First of all, we must recognize who or what we are fighting:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
Drug abuse is not just a physical addiction or a biological or chemical problem – it is a spiritual stronghold. Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds.
Secondly, we must know how the battle is fought:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4
To break the bondage and tear down the strongholds of addiction, we need to pray and fast for the addicted so that they will come to the end of themselves and seek God.
If you are abusing alcohol or other drugs and want to lead a victorious life and be set free from addiction you need to have a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. To find forgiveness and freedom, pray the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words –
“Lord Jesus Christ,
I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.
Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN
If you sincerely prayed this prayer, then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins. You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
- In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:
- Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
- Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).
- Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)
- Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.
- Share with someone what God has done for you.