This Month's Issue

Bonnie Franckowiak, professor and coordinator of the Master of Science Nursing Program at Washington Adventist University, says recognizing substance abuse varies from age group to age group. For example, adolescents showing changes in mood or failing grades could be signs of drug use. In more advanced age groups, needle marks could be a clue that someone is using. She says the biggest determinant is recognizing a person ceasing to function as he or she once did, not to mention their finances vanishing for no visible reason.

 

Photo by Bonnie Franckowiak by Tijuana Griffin

Opiates, naturally occurring alkaloids, are found in opium poppy plants, and relieve pain symptoms. Drugs in this family include heroin, opium, morphine and codeine, reports opium.com.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine classifies opioids, which are at least partially synthetically produced, in two categories: illicit, which is where heroin falls; and licit, which are prescription pain relievers that include oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and fentanyl.

 These drugs are chemically related and interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system to produce pleasurable effects and relieve pain.

Story by Anna Bartlett

Members of Ohio Conference’s Elyria church run several programs to build community with those in need of healing.

“In the entire community of Elyria and Lorain... there is a very strong drug epidemic and [high risk of] overdose in these cities,” shares Marius Marton (pictured below), Elyria church pastor.

In response to this members of the Elyria church, some who are themselves recovered or in recovery from addiction, run a long-standing women's ministry and a brand-new men's ministry to build community with those in need.

Story by Tamaria L. Kulemeka

The opioid and heroin epidemic is crippling communities across the nation, leaving health officials and providers, coroners, law enforcement and churches scrambling to respond to and combat this widespread crisis.

Bonnie Franckowiak, professor and coordinator of the Master of Science Nursing Program at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md., says, “The use of opioids in this country is staggering. It’s huge, and it’s growing all the time; we don’t seem to have a handle on it at all,” she says. “In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, which is enough to give every American adult their own pill box.”

Photo by Keren Tan from Flickr

Editorial by Rick Remmers

This fall marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. While Martin Luther was not the first reformer, his posting and printing of the 95 Theses, or complaints against the Catholic Church, are considered the launching point of the reformation.

One of the foundational doctrines of the reformation was sola scriptura—a recognition that the Bible alone is to be our source of doctrines and practice. Rather than accepting church tradition or other kinds of authority, we must look to the Bible as the reliable source of God’s teaching and direction for our lives.