“Ohio, the Heart of it All.” This is a phrase that is often used in the tourism industry in the state but it also rings true in the Opioid epidemic crisis. Ohio has also been described as the battleground state in politics, but month after month here in Ohio, we seem to be battling this drug disaster in catastrophic proportions. In 2015 Ohio saw over 1800 prescription opioid overdose deaths. This gave us the title of highest in the nation. Just 15 years ago that number was 152. This is still not a good number, but we can see where we are headed if something isn’t done quickly. Weekly reports from the County Coroners are detailing the struggles they are having with running out of room in the morgues. This is a real problem!
We know there is a problem, which is self-evident. Now, what are we going to do about it? What is the solution? Is there a single solution out there for this massively complex quandary in which we find ourselves? We at RU Recovery Ministries believe that we have the answer. The answer is not found in pouring millions of dollars into educating Ohioans of the dangers of addiction. It is a well-known fact that the D.A.R.E. program in the schools has had little to no effect on reducing the drug use in those schools. The answer is not expanding the number of beds allowed in the treatment facilities across the state. The revolving door and exploding recidivism rates for these facilities are staggering. The answer is not having readily available counter-acting drugs (like Narcan) as this has most recently proven to even encourage some to test the limits of the deadly narcotics.
A couple years ago I heard Gary Mohr, Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction when asked this same question regarding recidivism in the prison system, say the following “The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.” So again I ask, “What is the solution?” The solution is so simple and yet often so difficult to implement. The solution is two-fold. Number one, we have seen that the primary solution is in the heart. The solution is in changing the way we think. Scripture states that “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” This truth rings true today just as much as it did over 2000 years ago when it was authored. Once we change the way we think, it will affect the way we act. This will affect who we hang around. This will affect whose council we heed. This will affect the responsibility that we take for our own actions.
Finally, we believe in the principle of replacement. You cannot just stop doing bad behavior without replacing it with something profitable. This means replacing idle time with productive work; replace your poor choice in acquaintances with those who care for you and will support your right decisions; replace a destructive thought life with meditating on God’s word, and replace living for self with devoting myself to live for others. This solution is life-changing and implementing this solution can offer recovery without relapse.
Prescription Drugs & Teens
Victorious Life Stories: Prescription Drugs
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