McDowell Technical Community College

Bear Creek Baptist Church

It’s A Really, Really Big Problem!

By Bruce Cannon

Mitchell County

It’s a problem of gigantic proportions.  It affects every family in the United States in some form or fashion.  It decreases job productivity, leads to employee absenteeism, and increases the likelihood of accidents on the job.  It causes families to struggle terribly.  It leads to so many deaths. It fills jail cells and court calendars.  What is IT? Substance Abuse and Addiction.

Check out these statistics provided by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an operating division within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

* 21.5 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2014.

*Approximately 5 percent of the American adolescent population suffered from a substance use disorder; this equates to 1.3 million teens, or 1 in every 12.

*About one out of every six American young adults (between the ages of 18 and 25) battle a substance use disorder.

As sad as it is we must understand that Western North Carolina, along with the rest of the state and nation, has a drug abuse/addiction epidemic.  Drugs, especially opiates, are readily available and can be easily obtained.  Once drugs are misused and/or abused, addiction occurs.  And the heartbreaking cycle of theft, deceit, criminal charges, and stays in jails begins.  Families go through agony watching a son or daughter, sibling, or parental figure waste away due to this problem.

Drug addiction is no respecter of persons.  It affects the rich and poor, churched and unchurched, educated and non-educated, and younger and older.

My burden is to reach youth and children with truth before drug use begins. My plan is to be very plain spoken, to pull no punches, and to sound the alarm of what drugs do.  It is to call everyone to the table in Western North Carolina to deal with this problem, develop effective means of prevention and treatment, and to implement those plans.

Help is found and comes when we live no longer in denial that there is a problem, understand that we cannot handle this by ourselves, turn to God for His blessing and provision AND accept responsibility for our situation.  Rather than pretending there is no drug problem or that it is someone else’s problem to deal with, why not take responsibility for the solution, seek the Lord’s blessings and be ready to join other like-minded citizens who want to see change.  We can no longer bury our heads in the proverbial sand.

February is the month for love.  I would much rather have written on the blessings of loving and being loved but this is the topic the Lord laid on my heart.  And, what better way to show love to the masses around western NC than to come together for the sake of the home, the addicted and society in general.

Pray with me.  Seek God’s face for the answer and when He reveals the solution join other like-minded believers to deal