But of course they are not allowed to use government dollars to explore the spiritual needs of folks who are so sad, so frustrated with their own lack of progress, who feel so unworthy of getting better. They discuss methadone which helps with heroin addition, but admit some folks change to a different drug even while on methadone. They say treatment is only successful 50% of the time, but that is 50% more than zero treatment. And the "success" ratios are all over the place with no public disclosure to guide either addicts or their families in choosing between treatment options.
With the new, extensive medical care available under the Affordable Care Act, it would seem treatment would be far more available, but there is no agreement about what works so it is a bit like plastic surgery where it is hard to tell the skilled from the merely greedy. More money being available will attract those who see this as a money-making opportunity rather than a calling and responsibility.
There are no simple, easy or fast answers for a problem that has been exploding in recent years. But there is one core truth. God cares deeply about these folks and their families. God does not abandon the ill, the broken, the hopeless. And we dare not turn our back on them either.
Let us pray for them every day, every time we learn of someone who struggles with this and for the families who struggle with the medical, financial, emotional and legal challenges of addiction. Let us open our hearts if we are called to work on these issues either professionally or as volunteers.