LifeWay Research asked 1,000 Protestant pastors about their personal connections to the opioid epidemic in light of the fact that doctors issued 191,000,000 opioid prescriptions in 2017 alone. Opioids are a class of drugs which block sensations of pain and cause euphoria. They are dangerous because they pose very high risks for addiction and overdose. Opioids are an ingredient in many pain-relieving medications.
· HALF OF PASTORS — 52% — say someone in their church is dealing with an opioid addiction.
· But 60% of pastors say they do not offer a 12-step program or other support groups for substance abuse.
God is in the business of redeeming the lost and restoring hope to those in despair. Psalm 34:18 declares, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
For those who have become addicted to alcohol, drugs, pornography, sex, or food to endure the pain of prior abuse, divorce, exposure to pornography, abandonment, domestic violence, the painful loss of a loved one, human trafficking, or addicted parents, this is good news indeed!
That’s why three years ago, pastors and addiction recovery professionals teamed up to start a concerted effort to help churches spearhead a Christ-centered solution for the growing addiction epidemic in this country. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the increased stress and anxiety have led to a skyrocketing number of people turning to destructive self-medication instead of to their Creator for comfort. Mission Recovery, a project of Survivors and Victims Empowered (S.A.V.E.)
To Educate, Empower, and Equip the faith community to mobilize to address and heal the wounds of alcohol and drug abuse on our nation, especially the opioid crisis.
Mission Recovery is a project of S.A.V.E., Survivors and Victims Empowered which is comprised of other individuals and professionals who have diverse experience and over 35 years of experience in advocacy and educating the clergy, churches, professionals, and politicians to address relevant cultural and social issues.
Alcohol, substance abuse, and most recently the opioid crisis. Is one of the most if not the most, relevant social needs in our country. Addiction is of epidemic proportions in our nation. Alcohol, illicit substances like cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin and now the opioid crisis. Our call is to address drugs, alcohol and opiates and promote awareness and education. We want you to partner with us in our efforts to provide awareness and a toolkit that pastors, churches clergy and family members of addicts can use to address addiction and help individuals and families who are being devastated.
Pastor Ron Smedley was born in Dallas Texas and has pastored churches in Mississippi, Iowa and Texas. He has been happily married to Kathy for 39 years. Kathy is a licensed professional counselor and has a private practice. In addition to her credentials, Kathy also has extensive ministry experience. Ron and Kathy are the proud parents of four adult children, two grandchildren and another one expected in May.
Ron is currently pastoring a church in Hopkins County Texas and has served the community most of his adult life in various capacities. He is a currently a trustee of his local school district and sit on boards of several non -profit ministries and agencies.
He has been a minister for over 30 years and has also worked as a parole officer for the State of Texas and a caseworker for Child Protective Services…He began working in recovery and rehabilitation in August 1996 beginning with the State of Texas Therapeutic Community. Also, Ron was one of the first pastors to organize RAPHA Faith Based Support groups in the church he pastored in DFW back in the early 90’s.
Because Pastor Smedley has been both a pastor, parole officer and a caseworker, he has a very distinctive and unique perspective on recovery. Having experience in both secular and faith treatment. We feel this has led to a perspective that brings a diverse and balanced approach. Also, we feel not only is his experience unique, we feel it is advantageous to our mission because he had the experience and training to take the successful processes of both worlds and use then to empower the faith community as well as likewise, address the system about the benefit, value and results of faith-based recovery.
Out of this dual perspective, he has first- hand experience to see both the magnitude and pervasiveness of the problem in our nation, and the many facets of the problem.