BY DR. BASHA P.JORDAN, JR., Hope Alive Outreach
ST. PETERSBURG – America, wake up! St. Pete, wake up! Church, wake up!
There are 90 Americans dying every day from drug overdoses, according to a Channel 11 Alive broadcast in Atlanta this past Tuesday. While attending the mid-year conference of the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA) this week in Atlanta, Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) stated the following:
“Three years ago 47,000 people died in America from drug overdoses. Two years ago 52,000 died in America from overdoses. Last year 60,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. Americans comprise five percent of the world’s population, but consume 90 percent of the world’s heroin consumption. It will take the youth to help solve this problem.”
Who do you know who have died as a direct result of drugs or alcohol? Is a member of your family addicted to drugs or alcohol?
Somebody has to do something and it must be now! Wake up everybody, no more sleeping while our people are dying and families are being destroyed by these damnable demons called drugs and alcohol.
What is the solution?
As the newly appointed chair of the Drug and Alcohol Task Force of St. Pete, along with the Assistant Chair Cliff Smile, we have called together members of various sectors of our community to address the drug epidemic. Some have labeled it an opioid epidemic, but the epidemic surpasses just opioids.
Crack, alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs are all killing God’s people in epidemic proportions. Unfortunately, there was no epidemic declared by those in power until other than blacks started dying in greater numbers.
But now, thank God, everyone can benefit from the emphasis put on addiction now in America. Every elected official in America should have this as a priority if they are concerned about addiction because it has no respect of race, educational level, economic status or whether you live on the north or south side of any city.
Our task force will have its first meeting on Aug. 1 and we need the support of the entire community, especially the church, to pray for us and for those who are suffering from the disease of addiction. We have a few pastors on the task force but we need all spiritual leaders and churches of St. Pete to make this a priority on your prayer list and during prayer meetings.
In my book “The Pipe and the Pulpit,” I talk about those in the church who suffer in silence from the disease of addiction because of pride, guilt and shame as I did before God delivered me. The same happens today. Last week Dr. John Evans, pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church had me to speak on addiction and do a book signing at his church to give hope to those families and friends who suffer in silence.
Addiction is a spiritual problem and there is a spiritual solution. However, the St. Pete Drug & Alcohol Task Force will be addressing the problem from a prevention, education and treatment standpoint of view and we will need financial support from those with a philanthropic spirit.
Finally, it was mentioned how youth were playing a vital role in addressing addiction through CADCA. If you are a youth or know of a youth who is sincerely interested in being on the task force, email me at prophetBasha@aol.com or call me at 443-250-9635.
I was in the hotel pool area one evening at the CADCA conference and saw a few teenage boys who were attending the conference. My concern was why they were interested in joining an anti- drug coalition. One was a white teen from New York and the other a black teen from Maryland, both were 17 years of age. Their answers were the same. They both had numerous relatives who were addicts and they had experienced deaths and the devastation that drugs had brought upon their families. They are making a difference. And a child shall lead them (Isa.11:6).
Wake up everybody; somebody’s got to do something! If not now, when? If not you, who?