In today’s opioid crisis and beyond, a voice of hope that calls to every addict and the people who love them
Posted in , Jan 18, 2018
Adapted from Edward Grinnan’s Editor’s Note for the January 2018 issue of Guideposts. If you’d like to subscribe, click here.
Addiction, it has been said, starts in pain and ends in pain. Never has that been more true than with the opioid crisis our country is now facing, with so many victims beginning their descent into crippling dependency with “pain pills.”
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
Pain pills sound so innocent, so harmless. And for most people they are. They are a temporary treatment to relieve transitory suffering. For some of us—doomed by a predisposition—the suffering is more than transitory. It is a deeper suffering, a suffering of the soul, that we seek escape from. Opioids can become that escape, that relief for the predisposed addict. Before I got sober, my primary drug of choice was alcohol, but in fact I would take anything to escape. I wasn’t totally loyal to the grape. It was more about the escape. And yet the more I escaped, the worse it got. Pain begat pain. Eventually it was a closed feedback loop. Repeated interventions were the only thing that saved me. I was one of the lucky ones.
Our new editorial series Overcoming Addiction addresses the opioid crisis and the wider problem of addiction that plagues America. Addiction, as you will see, honors no social, economic or religious borders. We can’t build a wall to keep it out. Though it often takes root in the young, it can strike at any age. In fact, substance abuse among the elderly is on the rise, especially of opioids.
Our first story in the series comes from an unexpected source—a pastor whose life was nearly destroyed by opioid addiction. It is a story of both the desperation and degradation of dependency and the triumph of finally escaping from it by the grace of God, a day at a time.
Our series will feature more than just the addicts. You will hear from community and religious leaders, counselors and family members, researchers and doctors sharing their challenges and their solutions to the crisis. But most of all, you will hear the voice of hope, the hope of recovery that calls to every addict and the people who love them.