Opioid Crisis Is Bigger than We Think

Opioid Crisis Is Bigger than We Think

What I am about to share may upset some people, shock some people, and may set some people free!

We are going to be seeing addiction in a completely different light very soon.

There are many people who have not considered themselves or their family members as addicts because they have been taking prescription drugs for a long time under the care of their doctor. But, as time goes on and the use of these drugs continues, it is going to become unavoidable to see things for what they are.

These drugs destroy lives. They destroy families. They destroy identities and careers and dreams.

I am mainly talking about all of the opiate and synthetic opioid drugs. But, I am also talking about anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications and even those drugs which are prescribed as stimulants – that are given to kids diagnosed with ADD & ADHD – because I know so many people who were prescribed opioids and as part of their pain treatment were also prescribed all of these other drugs, as well.

I am also talking about calling out the drug companies and the doctors who prescribe these drugs. I am talking about the law-makers and the overseers who did not do their jobs and allowed this epidemic to fester and cause so much harm to so many! I am also talking about we the people who have trusted our doctors and our government to the point that we have allowed millions to become enslaved and destroyed while we have turned judgmental and blind eyes to the damage.

When I say that very soon we are going to see just how far this problem goes, you can mark my words. Families have been hurting in silence. Shame has kept many from speaking out. Shame has kept mothers and fathers from exposing the needs of their children. Shame has kept many who knew they needed help from asking for it. Lots of people have kept on going in their addiction for shame of being found out and seeming weak or abnormal or outright bad. Denial has become a powerful tool to many people who don’t want to face the pain of the truth. Shame and denial have become powerful tools for death and destruction because they keep people from getting help!

I say no more!!! Tell your stories! Tell the truth!

Let me start. I have family members who were injured in some way at a young age. In their 20’s and early 30’s they were each pronounced with a need for pain management. They were told that they would experience long-term pain for injuries sustained and for genetic issues, as well – such as spinal deterioration… So, they were prescribed Lortab and/or Percocet in the beginning. As time went on their prescriptions grew to include Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, Adderall, Prozac, Vicodin, Suboxone, and much more… (forgive sp?) Now, 15 or so years later, here we are and they have lost everything! Their homes, cars, jobs, children, marriages…. everything!

Why? Because you cannot take these drugs long-term like that and not need higher and higher doses to sustain the same effect. Also, they affect the way you think and carry out your life. They change the chemistry of your brain. They enslave you before you know it and when someone decides to cut off your supply – you do anything to keep getting it. That is the truth. There may be a few who have just walked away from these drugs without help – but I dare say it would be very few. I have been in the hospital on the psychiatric floor and met patients in there to detox from these drugs because they need the professional help to do it. These patients are male and female, they are white and black and all races, they are professionals and blue-collar workers, they are stay at home moms and doctors! These drugs do not care what degree you have, how long you have gone to church, where you work, what color you are, or if you are rich. They destroy. Period.

With my own struggles with depression and bipolar disorder, I took many prescription drugs at one point in my life. Thankfully, I never got prescribed opioids more than 7 days at a time. Because I love how they make me feel. I can see how easily it would be to take these drugs and use them to do more and be more active. They did give me a euphoric feeling that made me more talkative and energetic and I felt like I could clean the whole house in an hour or talk to anyone on the planet about anything. And I could tell when I stopped taking them that I was missing them not only for the physical withdrawal symptoms that quickly set in, but also for how good they made me feel.

This specific class of drugs has not been my addiction and I am thankful for it. But I have had addictions and do know what that is like. I also have family members that I dearly love that this has happened to and I miss them. I love them and pray for the day that they recover and heal and are set free. I pray for the day they have their families back and they see total restoration in every area of their lives.

That is why I am going to shout the truth in love as loudly as I can. Let he who has an ear, hear….

I came across this article in my newsfeed on Facebook and I am going to share a link to it for you. It is by Ashley Welch on CBS News online: “Drug overdoses killed more Americans last year than the Vietnam War.” Can you wrap your head around the fact that so many have already DIED from OVERDOSES in one year? Can you understand that is just the tip of the iceberg if we do not share the truth in love with others? Because I promise you there are thousands more people out there who have not admitted they are addicted or are in denial of the fact. There are many more who are headed to homelessness, joblessness, loss of family, jail, institutions, and death! All because they have believed the lies of our doctors and pharmaceutical companies and are too ashamed to come out and say they need help.

This is not meant to be exhaustive of what I know and have to say about this issue at all. Stay tuned for more and feel free to share, comment, and add!!!

 

 

Addiction (from May 4, 2015 Angela)

Addiction (from May 4, 2015 Angela)

Addiction

for so many people this becomes a matter of literal life or death

for others, life is ended not by physical death

but by death

death of their personality

death of their conscience

death of their intellect

death of their heart

causing death to

death to relationships

death to friendships

death to marriages

death to careers

death to hobbies

and the list goes on…

But I know a Savior

who is the Resurrection and the Life

and the Giver

Giver of new life

Giver of healing

Giver of restoration

His name is Jesus

and He is more

more than enough

more than willing

more than able

to make all who call on His name whole and to keep those whom He loves.

He is more than able

to keep us.

It doesn’t depend on human desire

God grants repentance

Pray therefore for God to forgive, be merciful and grant us a willing heart and spirit to sustain us.

We think if we’ll/they’ll just get in church, read the Bible and start trying harder to do better and think of everyone else’s feelings then we’ll/they’ll get better and do better.

But God wants our hearts. His ways are higher. He knows way more than we do. He sees more. He knows how to reach us. He knows how to please our hearts desires better than even we do, also. He longs for us to truly know Him and trust Him and He will satisfy our heart’s desires above what we ever even dared to dream or imagine.

Also – when a person is in the worst/height of addiction and they are addicted to something, they have lost control – to the point that they are not really themselves and they aren’t rational or logically thinking.

Don’t take it so personally when they lie to you, let you down, break a promise, relapse or make a mistake. Try to remember that they are hurting inside and that they are probably sick of their behavior and addiction, also, but they are scared and do not know where to go from here. Try to have the compassion of Jesus Christ and pray to have a heart of compassion from Him. Ask Him for grace and mercy and wisdom in the situation.

Give credit to those in recovery who ARE TRYING and making progress.

Addicted Marriages

Addicted Marriages

I have seen people in relationships stay together because they have both become addicted to prescription medications (or illegal drugs, or alcohol, or the money they make together, or having an appearance of success, or having perfect kids, etc…) even though they are miserable. The drugs, alcohol, pressures of earning $, trying to keep up with making your kids turn out perfectly, or pressures of maintaining a false front cause them to become so weary that they cannot keep up with the demands required of them to continue giving more of themselves to the addiction AND the relationship.
The relationships die first. Their marriage and their children suffer the most. Then extended family, friends and their jobs suffer. They also are suffering physically, mentally and spiritually from the effects of the drugs, rat-race, etc… Then they become more and more unhealthy in their physical bodies. Finances crumble and escape them. Sometimes legal issues interrupt them, sometimes it is their health that gives them a scare…
And if they wake up then they are much more likely to turn it all around. But if not, then they end up killing relationships and themselves, slowly but surely…
The addiction never dies… And SIN is what this is called. We are all guilty of it in some form or fashion. But praise be to the Lord God who gave us the answer because truly, if we come to know Jesus, then we can be made new and change this destructive cycle of living!
SIN is just a name for destructive behavior. We like to get upset if what we are doing is called sin… But God had to give a name to what He knew was behavior that would not benefit us and He calls it SIN – which means “missing the mark” or “falling short of His glory” – God’s will for us is for us to prosper and be blessed to be a blessing to others. We are not going to prosper if we continue to choose to fall short of His glory by choosing to do things that He told us and we know will kill us, steal our joy and destroy our family.
Can we be saved and keep choosing to live these lives of lies? I cannot say if you are saved or not… But let us ask this question of ourselves and ask the Lord to give us the answer: Do I trust Jesus? If we say “Yes, but…..” Then we need to work out that but… There is no sin that He won’t forgive. There is no human that He will not forgive and come into their heart to live inside of them and to help them to love and be loved.

Jesus says: “Come to Me all of you who are weary and who are heavily burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Are you weary today? Do you want true rest? Jesus will give you rest because He carried ALL of our sin to the cross and nailed it there (Colossians 2:14). He has already paid the price for your soul. He already knew you when He died on the cross. You were chosen before the foundations of the earth were laid. He wants to come into your heart and give you rest.
Many couples stay together for the wrong reasons… if you claim to love and trust Jesus and you are married then surely you can stay together and work on your relationship for the right reasons. If you truly know Jesus, then you just need to press in to Him and listen to the Holy Spirit for guidance.

If you are one of these couples that has just run out of all hope because you are both addicted to something, especially alcohol or drugs, PLEASE ADMIT THAT YOU NEED SOME ASSISTANCE AND GET SOME HELP FROM A FAITH BASED DRUG & ALCOHOL ADDICTION PROGRAM, CELEBRATE RECOVERY GROUP, AA, NA, A DOCTOR, TELL SOMEONE THAT YOU TRUST, FIND HELP FROM SOME FACILITY OR PERSON THAT YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE GOING TO FOR HELP….. You cannot do it all on your own and Jesus never intended for any person to go it alone, even though He is with you. Jesus gave us one another to lean on and bear each other up. So do not think that you have to do this alone!! That is part of what is keeping this phenomenon going!! Shame and guilt! But if you want out of this destructive cycle then all you have to do is admit it and seek help. Only Jesus will get you set completely free of all of the chains that bind. And He came to save, not condemn (John 3:17).

AND IF YOU KNOW A COUPLE LIKE THIS AND IT IS NOT YOU: SHAME on YOU if all you do is discuss them with others and criticize their weaknesses!! Jesus weeps for us when we are lost like this. Do not make them feel like they have no where to go for help. A LOT of people in this situation stay there because they just do not know how to get out of it. The Bible tells us that the lost are stumbling around in the darkness because they are blinded. Who is going to share light with them? Are you? Or are you going to sit back and watch them and criticize them for their blindness or laugh at them for not being able to see like you? Pray for them. Pray for the sorrow that comes from God granting them mercy that leads to repentance. Pray for grace to abound in their life so that they come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Just as we have been forgiven may they be forgiven as well. (Again, I am not saying that everyone in this situation is “lost” and doesn’t know Jesus at all… some are learning and just need help growing up in Jesus and maturing as believers. Are we really discipling others?)
**disclaimer** This post is NOT about any one couple or anyone in particular. I do know a lot of people that this could apply to where they have either been there, are there, or are headed there…. or were there, were coming out of it and now are struggling with it again… Take your pick but don’t even bother with trying to figure out “who is she talking about?” If the shoe fits, then wear it if you need to until you can get past this. And yes, we have been there so I am speaking from personal experience as well.**

Forgiveness for the Offender

Forgiveness for the Offender

Forgiveness for the Offender

My good friend called me this morning on February 4, 2015 and told me about how she read II Corinthians 1:23-2:11 and felt led to share this with me for the OAA and for reconciliation of those who have offended and those whom have been offended. Whether we be family members, loved ones, friends, church members or members of society in general: those of us whom have been offended should offer forgiveness to those whom have hurt us. This is what my friend felt led to share with me. Also, she pointed out that she has read II Corinthians many times but this time these verses jumped out at her because she now has a son that is an ex-offender. Now, she has a very good reason to see the truth in these verses and understand them and put them into practice in her life in a very real and personal way.

If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” II Corinthians 2:5-11

The key verses to this passage are posted here for you, above. I would like to focus on verses 6 through 8 and then 10-11. In verses 6-8, Paul tells us that the punishment that the majority puts on the offender is enough. He also writes that if the offender is not forgiven AND comforted then he will be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Paul exhorts the believers to reaffirm their love for the offender once he has been punished. The offender who is not offered forgiveness and comfort from his seclusion and punishment is left without hope of any reconciliation or restoration and is overwhelmed by sorrow. In verses 10-11 we see that Paul agrees that he and other believers should also extend forgiveness to the offender and do this all in the sight of Jesus so that the devil does not have his way in the matter and deceive us as believers. Paul reminds us that we are not ignorant of how the devil works and his schemes to deceive believers. Ephesians 4:26-27 tells us:  26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. From these verses we see that the devil can gain a foothold when we harbor anger and dwell on offenses.

Also, Ephesians 4:28 instructs us: 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. In this verse we see that when a thief is caught and punished that he is expected to be able to return to work. The work that the offender is to be able to return to is work that he will do with his own hands and talents so that he can then be a productive member of the community, once again. The idea in these verses is that if someone steals something, they face their punishment that is agreed upon by the majority. After the offender is punished, he is to be forgiven and comforted with brotherly love that comes from Christ. Then, he is to be able to work and earn for himself and even to the point of being able to share with others in need so that they do not also turn to evil ways.

When compared to this Biblical model of how to punish and then restore “criminals” back to their families, their communities and their jobs, the way that we do this today is not right. It is no wonder that recidivism occurs. It is no wonder that our system of criminal justice is not preventing crimes nor rehabilitating prisoners from lives of crime. We have pretty much left the answers that God has given to us in His Word and attempted to make it work based on human understanding and we are failing at “fixing” the problems that sin causes us as a society.

Punishment alone does not stop someone from living a life of “crime.” Crime is just the word for sins that other members of society feel should be policed and punished by a court of law with fines and or imprisonment or some type of community corrections. God’s way of correcting sin in our lives, whether it be sin that is “legal” or “illegal” is for us to confront the sin, confess and repent of the sin and then to forgive the sin and restore one another to right relationship. If the agreed upon punishment has been carried out for the offender for the crimes he or she has committed, then the non-offenders are to give the ex-offender the opportunity to have a life that is renewed and restored with comfort and compassion and forgiveness. The non-offender is to see to it that the ex-offender has a job that he or she can do that will provide for not only his or her own needs, but also to be able to give back to the community.

This Biblical answer for how to treat ex-offenders offers hope to them and to the community. Without hope, man fails, and God knows that full well. In Proverbs 13:12 says: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Also, we see how God knows that hope is important for us when He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’” declares the Lord, “’plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

Let us be life changers by offering hope to those who have fallen outside the limits of our legal system and be willing to give them a chance to change. Let us offer jobs to those who have served their sentences and are seeking gainful employment. Let us bring them into our churches and give them a chance to share their testimonies. Let us offer forgiveness and comfort and compassion. Let us love as Christ loves and forgive as He forgives. Let us see an end to the foothold that the enemy has gained in our society by convincing us to live out of fear and revenge instead of faith, hope and love.

Written by Angela Dingler © 2015 (February 13, 2015)

 

Video

Jerry Home from Jail May 10, 2014 – “If You Fall 1000 Times, Get Back up 1001 Times”

This is a message from Jerry where he is wanting to share with everyone the Good News that Jesus saves and His love is unfailing. Jerry wants to share with you how much God means to him and what Jesus has done in his life and in our family’s life. His passion and love for the Lord has grown and both of our faith has been made stronger. As soon as Jerry got home from jail, he wanted for us to make a new video to share with you all what God is doing and how great is His love. God bless you! May those of you who hear Jesus speaking to your heart answer His call.