Based on 2013 statistics, illicit drug use in the United States has been increasing. In that year, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older had used an illicit drug in the past month, an increase from 2012 statistics. Although most people use drugs for the first time as teenagers, and is highest among people in their late teens or twenties, illicit drug use is increasing among people in their fifties and sixties. Although most who use illicit drugs begin with marijuana, the percentage of those who begin with prescription pain killers has increased. Despite this, there is a “treatment gap” in the U.S.: only about 2.5 million people received treatment at a specialty facility.*
There is a very high possibility that there are people in your congregation suffering with addiction or in relationship with someone suffering from addiction. As women of faith, we are called to become aware of this critical issue and understand how our congregations or women’s and girls’ ministries can more effectively minister with those in addiction.
American Baptist Women’s Ministries is sponsoring a virtual mission encounter, “See…the Suffering: Drug Addiction,” October 3-7, 2017. Registration is open now (register by September 28, 2016). Through daily activities and evening conference calls with special guests, you will explore the complex issue of drug addictions and see how our faith calls us to respond. Visit www.abwministries.org/vme for information about guest speakers and how to register.
*2013 Statistics from www.drugabuse.gove/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends, revised June 2015. Accessed December 9, 2015.