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On Opioid Abuse And Addiction

WHEREAS, Opioid abuse and addiction, including prescription painkillers, have increased at an alarming rate over the past decade; and

WHEREAS, In 2017, sixty-four thousand Americans died from opioid abuse, which made it the leading cause of death for those under fifty years old, and deaths related to opioid overdose have increased 493 percent since 2010; and

WHEREAS, Opioid addiction is problematic within every ethnicity, socio-economic group, and geographic region; and

WHEREAS, All people, including those battling addiction, are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and maintain an ongoing dignity; and

WHEREAS, The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, purchased by the blood of Christ, and opioid abuse destroys that temple (1 Corinthians 6:19–20); and

WHEREAS, Believers are not to be under the control of anything other than the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18); and

WHEREAS, While Satan seeks to destroy and enslave people (John 10:10), followers of Jesus are called to put on the whole armor of God in order to stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10–18); and

WHEREAS, Christians are commanded to love their neighbors (Matthew 22:39), which includes those in our communities suffering from the harmful effects of opioid addiction; and

WHEREAS, Opioids are easily obtained and deceptive in their power to addict; and

WHEREAS, Opioid addiction is harming the workforce, overwhelming the medical community, and causing difficult budgetary challenges in many cities; and

WHEREAS, Opioid abuse destroys the individual user, but it also destroys the family unit by often separating children from their addicted parents; and

WHEREAS, The opioid epidemic has caused a strain on the foster care system in most states; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, urge pastors, churches, and all Christians to be aware of the dangers of opioids, advocate for solutions to abuse, and serve those affected by addiction; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we condemn and oppose all usage of opioids outside of the prescription, direction, and care of a licensed medical professional; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage the medical community, insurance providers, healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical manufacturers to advocate for the prescription of opioids only under the most stringent standards, ensuring that patients are educated on the benefits of appropriate, proper usage as well as the dangers of abuse, as we recognize that the medications are efficacious in managing pain when utilized appropriately; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage our city, state, and national governments to work together to address the crisis; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we equip followers of Christ to resist the temptation to assume they are immune from this temptation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we demonstrate grace toward the addict and hope for recovery that individuals might prosper and flourish; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage families to educate their children on the dangers of opioids and consequences of their abuse; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage churches to provide gospel ministry to those in their communities affected by opioid abuse; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we encourage churches to live out the biblical mandate to care for the fatherless by supporting families and organizations that advocate and care for children whose homes have been impacted by opioid abuse.