Fentanyl, An American Crisis

Lord Jesus, our nation is experiencing a drug crisis that can only be solved by you. Hope cannot be found in a pill or an injection. It can only come from your saving grace.

Could anyone have imagined the current fentanyl crisis and the heavy toll it would take on society? Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 45. There’s no doubt that this synthetic opioid, which ravages the mind and body, is dreadfully euphoric, mind numbingly narcotic, and dangerously hallucinogenic. As humans seek a quick fix to wipe out their pain and hopelessness, are they using this drug as a substitute for God, and reality itself?

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A History of Drug Abuse

Currently, the United States is knee-deep in what many are calling a “fourth wave” opioid epidemic. The first wave began with unprecedented abuse of prescription opioids such as OxyContin, followed by a second involving widespread heroin use. Next came a significant increase in addictions to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The fourth wave is perhaps the deadliest as it involves the use of multiple substances at the same time. The haphazard mixing of fentanyl with methamphetamines and cocaine is a recipe for a disastrous overdose. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for fentanyl to be used in conjunction with alcohol and/or marijuana.

Overdoses within this fourth wave are fueled by counterfeit pills being smuggled across the open border. The New York Post explains, “It moves across our utterly open border after being manufactured by powerful cartels in Mexico, typically from China-made starter chemicals.” Fentanyl and other illegal substances can also be found on the dark web and ordered with the click of a button, or by connecting with drug traffickers via social media.

Counterfeit Pills are Deadly

It’s important to understand that fentanyl is a cheap lab-made drug which can be pressed into pills that resemble other opioids or benzodiazepines. Known as counterfeit pills, they can be disguised as well-known drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet, Xanax, Vicodin, Alprazolam, Adderall, Ecstasy and Molly. Moreover, fentanyl can be cut into illegal substances like heroin, methamphetamines and cocaine, thereby increasing their addictive properties. Currently, any drugs sold on the streets or online could contain some amount of fentanyl. Since this powerful drug is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin, it’s like playing Russian Roulette on steroids. Tragically, thousands of people each year are dying from what’s being labeled fentanyl poisoning.

Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi stresses ,“The gravity of this crisis cannot be overstated. In each of the past three years, our nation has experienced an appalling new milestone in the number of Americans who have died from drug overdoses, with yearly totals exceeding 100,000 each of the past few years. The overwhelming majority of these deaths have come at the hands of opioids and, in particular, fentanyl poisoning. To put that into perspective, nearly as many Americans died of overdose in 2022 as died fighting in the First World War.”

As a steady flow of fentanyl floods the country, the big question is how to stop this catastrophic drug epidemic that takes the life of an American every five minutes. More importantly, what are the spiritual factors driving this wave of death and destruction?

If people recognized Jesus as the Great Healer, wouldn’t they turn to Him, instead of to these drugs which bring temporary euphoria and crushing addiction?

Safe Injection Sites are the Latest Experiment

To battle the wave of fentanyl deaths, a new and controversial strategy has been employed in New York City, known as a safe injection site (SIS). Currently there are locations in both Harlem and Washington Heights. These facilities are overseen by health care personnel who supervise addicts as they inject drugs.

While onsite, users bring their own drugs to consumption rooms which are fully stocked with sterile syringes, alcohol wipes, straws for snorting and other paraphernalia, emergency oxygen and the opioid-overdose-reversing drug naloxone. FTIR spectroscopy and test strips can be utilized to verify product purity, as well as detect substances such as fentanyl, morphine, cocaine, benzodiazepine, xylazine, ketamine and methamphetamine. All this is done in an effort to prevent overdose or poisoning. Staff can also give tips on proper injection technique, or offer a helping hand as needed. As users get high, they are monitored for signs of overdose. If an emergency arises, care will be provided immediately.

Open Society Foundation Supports Safe Injection Sites 

The website of OnPoint NYC, a New York City nonprofit that operates the two privately run safe injection sites, states, “OnPoint NYC vigorously advocates for social justice and strives to address adverse outcomes among people who use drugs or engage in sex work by providing the resources, tools, and support they need to enhance the quality of their lives and live with dignity. We combat stigma and embrace people who use drugs and engage in sex work instead of pushing them to the margin.”

Funding for OnPoint NYC comes from George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, as well as the AIDS Institute, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York Community Trust, Deutsche Bank, and many other organizations. Open Society’s website documents their history of support for SIS in places like Ukraine and Mexico, where drug consumption venues are provided for “safe, supervised drug use without fear of arrest.”

Those who advocate for SIS claim that allowing addicts to take drugs in a supervised setting is the “most compassionate way” to address the nation’s drug crisis because it reduces the number of deaths due to overdose and decreases the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV. Additionally, while onsite, the user has the opportunity to interact with staff who can provide advice and counseling. The sad reality, however, is that less than 1% of users will actually request addiction treatment once they are given a comfortable place to do their drugs.

Other free services provided by SIS centers include HIV/Hep C testing, buprenorphine for substance use recovery, wound care, group therapy, crisis intervention, hygiene facilities, digital connectivity, hot meals, and even acupuncture, aromatherapy and meditation.

A disturbing trend being witnessed in SIS facilities are users who need treatment for flesh eating wounds caused by a potent drug called xylazine. Also known as “Tranq,” this “zombie” drug is mixed with fentanyl to create a powerful sedative effect. The DEA warns that those who inject drug mixtures containing xylazine could develop severe open wounds, which can lead to amputation.

Most People Oppose Enabling Drug Use

Currently, the majority of state lawmakers and American citizens oppose safe injection sites. The main argument is that these facilities will only perpetuate addiction rather than stop it. By enabling users, drug abuse is encouraged, which further deteriorates the addict’s quality of life. Additionally, proactive solutions, such as tackling the open border and mandating drug treatment for addicts are being ignored. The answer to the war on drugs isn’t holding the hand of a drug user as they inject harmful, deadly substances into their body.

Some users have called SIS a “blessing,” by stressing that at these places, “they’re always taking care of you,” and “they make sure you don’t die.” Others have even said it’s “God’s work” because it provides a safe haven for destitute, marginalized people.

As Christians, we know this cannot be God’s work because using drugs makes people slaves to the wrong master. Even if a person’s body is kept alive, their spirit experiences a form of death as the drugs become their god, rather than Jesus Christ. Instead of alleviating pain, drug use simply prolongs it.

The bottom line is that people need Jesus, not drugs.

Prayer Points to Consider:

  • Pray for a revival in this nation where people turn to Jesus Christ, rather than drugs.
  • Pray for supernatural healings for addicted persons.
  • Pray that our borders would be made secure.
  • Pray that the flow of fentanyl and other illegal substances would be stopped in its tracks, and drug dealers/users would be cut off from their sources.
  • Pray that current “safe” injection sites would be closed and any plans for new ones would be thwarted.
  • Pray for money to be invested in quality, well-structured recovery programs.

The Great Healer, Jesus Christ, sees the pain and hopelessness of those who are harmed by the current drug crisis. Lord, we pray that they would reach out for the hem of your garment and receive the healing that only you can provide.

The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in his wings, Malachi 4:2.


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