On January 12, 2016 President Obama delivered his final State of the Union speech and specifically mentioned the rising problem of prescription drug and heroin abuse. Earlier this month, AL.com published a call the President made to Alabama concerning this epidemic and the toll it’s taking on our state.
President Obama said:
“As the use of prescription drugs has increased over the past 15 or 20 years, so has their misuse – as well as the wreckage caused by other opioids like heroin. In fact, four in five heroin users started out by misusing prescription drugs, and then switched to heroin. As a consequence, between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin-related deaths in America nearly quadrupled. More Americans now die of drug overdoses than they do in motor vehicle crashes. In Alabama, overdoses claimed 723 lives in 2014 alone.”
He went on to explain that none of us are immune from this becoming part of our lives. It does not matter what profession you are in, what area of town you reside, or how much money you have, drugs do not respect socio-economic bounds and can affect all people in all places.
This is not about a specific political party or an agenda; this is about real people that are struggling to hang on to their lives before losing it to drug addiction. Regardless of your opinion on the President and his politics, the fact that our state specifically received his attention regarding this issue speaks to the significance of the epidemic we are facing.
President Obama closed with this:
“This is a crisis that could touch any of us. These kids are our kids. These folks are our parents; our brothers and sisters; our neighbors and friends. We should treat them that way. We should take on this issue for their sake. And if we do that, we’ll not only help our loved ones, we’ll help strengthen our families, our community, and our entire country.”
This is an issue we can all agree on. The people around us that are succumbing to addiction are moms and dads, sons and daughters, and as Jesus taught us, they’re our neighbors. They aren’t to be thrown on a trash-heap of people that most of society sees as worthless or unsalvageable. However, we know that loving them well can be extremely difficult. If you ever have any questions about an issues you or your family is facing or about how we might be able to help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us: Contact Urban Purpose.
Read the article that was published on AL.com here: http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/02/president_obama_its_time_to_st.html