The Opioid Epidemic

As you know, the opioid epidemic is ever increasing. A few years ago, so many of us thought of drug addiction as a problem that impacted “other people.” For decades, people struggling with addiction have been called every name in the book, as the average person was able to think of this issue as something removed and distant. We could go along our merry way believing that it was not hard to avoid this strange phenomenon that some called a choice and others called a disease. “Just don’t do drugs,” we would pretty sensibly think.

And then our neighbor’s son was caught with heroin in his locker. A nice kid. Football player, straight A student. And then a coworker was mysteriously absent for a few weeks and came back to painfully explain that they had been abusing prescription drugs and had gone to rehab. A close friend’s wife slowly deteriorated as she went from using prescription drugs, becoming dependent, and eventually turning to illegal opioids. A cousin dies from an overdose. A nephew’s marriage ends due to addiction. A young family from church is killed by a driver under the influence of heroin.

This use of opioids is being called an epidemic, a crisis. There is no ignoring it. Drug addiction is ruining lives and ending them. In Allegheny County alone, last year there were over 600 overdose deaths. There would have been much more if not for the life-saving opioid reversing drug, Narcan, administered by hospitals and EMS personnel. We can no longer act as though drug use does not affect us. It is true that we can choose to avoid drugs. We are always responsible for our own choices. But we must have mercy and compassion on people who have made some poor choices and are now completely trapped in addiction.

At Light of Life, we offer hope to those who are turning away from addiction through our long term residential recovery programs for men and women. We are developing new ways to serve our beloved community, to support those affected by addiction. We invite you to attend our upcoming gala, where in addition to celebrating the hope in recovery and lives changed, we will be taking a closer look at homelessness and addiction. Join us to be one of the first to experience a new art installation, The Eye of the Needle. Click here to learn more about attending this event.

You can partner with Light of Life by praying for us and those we serve, volunteering or providing financial support. We serve men, women, and children struggling with addiction, homelessness, and poverty. Please consider being a part of this important work as we offer the love of Christ, one person at a time.

Jessi Marsh

Jessi Marsh is the Director of Advancement for Light of Life. She has worked at nonprofit organizations in rural Ohio, Seattle, WA, and her hometown of Pittsburgh, primarily serving vulnerable populations. Jessi graduated from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and holds a master's degree in Nonprofit Management from Carlow University. She has been blogging for 15 years.

Make a Donation

Your donation will give the men, women and children served at Light of Life a chance at a brand-new life.

DONATE NOW

Your donation makes a difference in the lives of families in Pittsburgh.

Donate

Stay Informed

Subscribe to the latest news from the Mission.