by Dr. Mark E. Shaw (with TAC Team)

The issue of fentanyl is getting significantly worse over time – it killed 40,000 people in 2021. This DEA report is information from the graphs and statistics that the CDC collects (read more).

Why is fentanyl on the rise? It is usually added to pills or a batch of heroin to make them a lot more potent but the risk is dangerously high. 

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and is in the same family as heroin. Most people who are using these drugs don’t have a desire to die. They are not suicidal, usually, but they are seeking to get high, not knowing how powerful fentanyl truly is.

Mixed In With Other Drugs

Some people have no idea that they are taking fentanyl. When you are abusing prescription pills, you may think you know exactly how much of the drug you are getting… that is, if it hasn’t been adulterated while in the wrong hands. The street versions that people are getting have been altered to make more money. Disguising it as a normal pill, drug traffickers are pressing pills with fentanyl and making more and more profit. The scary and sad fact is that people seeking their same high don’t realize what they purchased has been pressed with who knows how much fentanyl. So they may take three or four pills like they normally take, then they overdose, and a lot of times die because fentanyl was mixed in and added to the pills. Heroin batches sometimes have fentanyl added to them as well. The danger is that only 2 mg of fentanyl can produce an overdose situation. That’s not a large amount and thousands of pounds of fentanyl enters the United States each month.

Can the Local Church Help?

Does your local church care enough to bring attention to this trend and get involved in reaching those caught in addictive lifestyles? Many churches do care and they do want to help people but lack the strategies or resources or wisdom of how and where to start. The majority of churches have erroneously been convinced that this issue is a medical problem—one that they cannot get involved in.

Reaching the Youth

Youth groups in churches must tell kids about the dangers of drug usage, especially fentanyl. These talks need to be frequent reminders that using any illicit drug is like playing Russian Roulette. You could die at any moment. That’s on the prevention front which hopefully will be all that a young person needs to hear.

Start an Outreach Program

But if a person gets enslaved to any substance, there is help that a church can provide to address addiction issues from a biblical perspective. Start a small group. There are curricula and programs out there like TAC’s Next Steps: Be TRANSFORMED program that you could begin in your church family. Let us encourage you to get involved in launching an outreach to just a few people – maybe 9 or 10 to start with. Armed with the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Word, you will have people show up because many people, even the most prominent Substance Use Disorder experts, consider the root to have a spiritual component. Even in so-called “non-religious” programs like 12 step meetings addiction is called a spiritual problem. Rise up O Church, and proclaim the message. Offer the only spiritual remedy that matters eternally to those enslaved to the idolatry of addiction.

Share the Message

The Addiction Connection (TAC) proclaims that the Church has the answer—Jesus Christ saves and forgives anyone from anywhere, and He redeems and transforms from any sin even if it is one that has become so habitual that it looks compulsive and irrational. Don’t hesitate to get involved in the battle for souls. People are dying. Fanny Crosby wrote Rescue the Perishing in 1869 as she had compassion on those she met in mission houses. Today, many more thousands are still perishing without having heard the message of the hope of the Gospel for the heart of the addiction problem. Let’s pray that God’s children would seize the opportunities to share the hope of the Gospel with those struggling with addiction and their family members in the days to come. 


Need Help?

The Addiction Connection offers hope and healing to those struggling with addiction. Start your search for biblical programs here.
Consider contacting one of our Commissioned Addictions Biblical Counselors who are available to help you. Explore Residential Programs and Non-Residential Programs we recommend.