St. Chad’s Anglican Church in collaboration with Ahadi East Africa Ministry have organized a special prayer day on October 26 in an attempt to seek intervention on opioid addiction that has ballooned into a national crisis,demanding prompt action on all fronts.
In a press release led by Rev. Elivered Mulongo of St. Chad’s Parish Dufferin, Toronto the church say it’s concerned about the dangers of opioid as having devastating effects on families and communities.
The clergies now call for an immediate intercession and urges Christians across all denominations to join them in prayers in realising the function of church in fighting the problem.
“The Opioid crisis has destroyed many lives this past year. There is great concern over addictions in this country. Health professionals, Law enforcement, communities are working together to address the addictions crisis and to find effective solutions,” the church said.
“The faith community knows first hand the devastation addictions have on families and others close to the problem.”
The prayers set to kick off at 7.pm will be held on Friday October 26 in St. Chad’s Anglican Church situated at Dufferin Street ( just north of St. Clair Ave W. ) in Toronto.
“On Friday, October 26, Join us for a special prayer service offering comfort, support and hope in dealing with all type of addictions. Special prayers will be offered for those who have lost loved ones due to addictions and those involved in delivering care and finding solutions,” the press release read.
This comes as Canada continues to experience a serious opioid crisis across the country.
Opioids, a class of drugs including the synthetic pain medications percocet, oxycodone (Oxycontin), hydrocodone (Vicodin) and demerol, are generally safe when taken over a short period of time, as prescribed by a physician.
Regular use, however, often causes dependence, which can result in a fatal overdose. Dependence takes another turn when addicts are cut off from their prescriptions, as many turn to heroin, a more accessible and inexpensive yet often lethal alternative.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse , both synthetic opioid and heroin deaths have dramatically increased since 2009.
There were more than 8,000 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada between January 2016 and March 2018. There were 3,005 apparent opioid-related deaths in 2016 and 3,996 in 2017 according to NIDA.
Between January and March 2018, there were at least 1,036 apparent opioid-related deaths of which 94% were accidental (unintentional).
In the US, opioid overdoses stole the lives of over 33,000 Americans in 2015 comparable to death by car accidents, while casualties from heroin alone surpassed gun homicides that same year.
The increased deaths caused by the drug prompted President Donald Trump to designate the opioid crisis as a national public health emergency on 27 October 2017, a designation believed will increase the amount of access to medication in rural areas.