Just two years ago, nearly 50,000 people in the United States died from opioid-involved overdoses. Nationally, more than 85,000 lives have been lost to opioid overdose. The Opioid Crisis affects public health and social and economic welfare. It can be easy to distance yourself from this crisis. Still, it affects our church community and the greater Knoxville community.
While overdose deaths were already on the rise before the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic, the latest numbers suggest this pandemic has accelerated overdose deaths across the nation.
Why should we, as a church, pay attention to this opioid crisis?
- Our church body has been directly impacted by opioid addiction and overdose. It will continue to impact families in our church and community.
- Christ calls upon us to care for each other:
“I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other.” John 13:34
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” Galatians 6:2
- Our health and well-being are gifts from God and need to be protected.
“Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19
- Even seemingly small steps, like informing ourselves about the crisis or disposing of our household opioids, can make a difference.
Our Remove the Risk campaign will feature several provocative guests both on Sundays and Wednesdays during this campaign. Our events kick off Sunday, April 18, and conclude Wednesday, May 5. Programs will be integrated into our regular Sunday worship and supplemented with Wednesday evening seminars and training. All programs will be in-person and live-streamed. View the complete schedule here.
What will we be happening during these programs?
- We will learn about the disposal of unused opioids – many of us don’t realize we have them in our homes!
- We will learn about the overdose life-saving nasal spray, NARCAN. NARCAN will be available to take home for anyone interested in having a kit on hand!
- We will learn about recovery programs from local Metro Drug Coalition representatives and people in recovery. We will also learn how to access these programs in our community.