By: Brad Woodbury | Director of Development for RU Recovery Ministries
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2017 WASHINGTON, DC – The Trump administration declares the opioid crisis that is plaguing our nation as a National Public Health Emergency under Federal Law. This is a step back from the National Emergency declared by President Trump in August. According to officials at the White House, declaring this epidemic as a public health crisis is more appropriate than a national emergency. President Trump directed agency and department heads to use all appropriate emergency authorities to reduce the number of deaths caused by the opioid crisis.
“It’s time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction…we can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic.”
– President Donald Trump
Additionally, the FDA is taking immediate steps of action to have Percocet, a very addictive opioid, to be immediately taken off the market. The Department of Justice and Homeland Security are indicting opioid importers and bringing lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies. In his speech, President Trump recognized the importance of multiple approaches to a multi-faceted problem and went as far as to recognize the importance of private programs.
“We will overcome addiction in America.” – President Donald Trump
The Director of the Food and Drug Administration stated that the agency would begin working towards the promotion of medication-assisted treatment using methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone. According to Bloomberg Politics, this action, however, will stop short of opening up any additional funding. Congress currently spends $500,000,000 each year in addiction treatment programs. Currently, it’s estimated that 27 million Americans are abusing opioids, bringing the price tag for this epidemic to an astounding $6,000,000,000.
Recently, a rally for Faith-Based Recovery for America™ was held in Columbus, Ohio. Stacey Westbrook shared a compelling story of her personal struggles and overdose from opioids. Stacey’s story is one example of many that raise this question; “Do the treatments being offered work?” It is our opinion that a simple increase of funds and assisted-treatment medications will not provide a solution. Truthfully, this may create an even greater problem.
According to the “New York Times,” , Google recently reported an immense increase in advertisements for addiction treatment since President Trump’s declaration in August of this year. Both prosecutors and advocates have warned that many online searches are leading addicts to organizations ill-equipped to offer assistance, even endangering lives in some cases. As a result of this, Google has placed a limit on advertisements for opioid treatment.
Speaking for both the RU Ministry’s 21 years of experience and my own personal struggles with addiction, the programs typically offered do not address the true issue of dependency. These programs do not focus on the problem as it affects the “whole person.” RU Recovery Ministry has formed the initiative – Faith-Based Recovery for America™ – in response to this epidemic. Our mission is to unite the faith-based community with local, state, and federal governments, and devise a solution for this crisis plaguing our nation.
THE ADVANTAGES OF FAITH-BASED RECOVERY PROGRAMS ARE:
Faith-based programs have networks of experienced staff, curriculum, and resources ready to meet the need. They have an established record of being effective in helping the addict find lasting recovery and restoring them as contributing members of society. These programs reduce the economic burden of the state and federal government by providing services to the community using a vast network of volunteers and community leaders. Many of these programs are established pillars of our nation’s communities ready to provide support not only to the individual addict, but to their families as well
Faith-Based Recovery For America™ is a grassroots effort to bring awareness to the hope and recovery offered by the faith community.
OUR GOALS ARE TO:
1) Host Grassroots Rallies in local communities in support of Faith-Based Recovery;
2) Meet with government and community officials on solutions to the addiction crisis, either with legislation and or public action;
3) Create awareness in every community in America through the medium of the mass media; and,
Developing out of the recent Ohio Rally, Ohio State Legislators began talks with community leaders on how best to bring Faith-Based Programs into the formula for solving the Opioid Addiction Epidemic for their state. Our future plans involve hosting and partaking in events here in Rockford, IL similar to the Ohio Rally. We are excited to see many of our local chapter directors in communities around the country also begin to get involved in raising awareness of Faith-based Recovery through town hall, and community events as well as reports in their local media. Together in partnership with similar faith-based recovery programs we can see America, made free from addiction… Finally!