During the month of October, as we celebrated the “Right to Life”, I took the opportunity to share with you several articles that dealt with different aspects of the “Right to Life” movement. While abortion is a terrible sin that has plagued our nation and more recently our African American Community, as a people of faith we cannot afford to ignore the other issues that are also a part of the “Right to Life” discussion.
There is another issue that has become a major crisis within our community; that is the Opioid epidemic. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, every day more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. This misuse of and addiction to opioids including prescription pain relievers, heroin and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, has become a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE OPIOID CRISIS?
- Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.6
- Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.7–9
- An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.7–9
- About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.7
- Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states.10
- The Midwestern region saw opioid overdoses increase 70 percent from July 2016 through September 2017.10
- Opioid overdoses in large cities increase by 54 percent in 16 states.10
What can we do?
If we know someone who is struggling with an opioid addiction attempt to talk with them and encourage them to seek help. There are agencies within the City of New Orleans that help those who suffer from this addiction to become clean of their dependency. We can also pray to God for guidance and strength in our efforts as we face this crisis,which affects all of our lives.
Fr. Peter Weiss, S.S.J.
PRAYER FOR FAMILIES
We bless your name, O Lord,
For sending your own incarnate Son,
To become part of a family,
So that, as he lived its life,
He would experience its worries and its joys.
We ask you Lord,
To protect and watch over this family,
So that in the strength of your grace
It members may enjoy prosperity,
Possess the priceless gift of your peace,
And, as the Church alive in the home,
Bear witness in this world to your glory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.