But it proved even more addictive, especially when injected with the newly invented syringe, and quickly became a serious global problem. Next, strong synthetic opioid pain killers, products of the chemical-drug revolution, became widely available such as Demerol, Tramadol and Vicodin. Legally marketed through doctors who were falsely assured they were not very addictive, by OxyContin ushered in the modern opioid epidemic.
Opioid addictions are not only lethal but horrific for family members. However, so far deaths due to illegal drugs pale in comparison to the deaths caused by tobacco and alcohol, with the UN reporting global overdose deaths due to the majority of trafficked drugs including opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, sedatives, marijuana, ecstasy running a mere , to , Missionaries have traditionally been on the side of pharmaceutical drugs, which have saved lives and alleviated pain.
And no one can deny the great help to mankind of pain-killing opioids, along with many other pharmaceutical drugs. But recently pharmaceutical companies are being called to account for their reckless over-production and relentless promotion of opioids and other addictive drugs.
In many developing countries, these can be easily bought without a prescription from multiple pharmacies and doctors who are quick to drugs for every ailment with no apparent awareness of interaction dangers. Millions of people worldwide have become addicted to doctor-prescribed medications, some moving on to illegal drugs.
Western drug companies lead the way with ever younger children being prescribed addictive medications.
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In the USA, as of , over , children under the age of one are on psychotropic medications and over , under the age of five. In addition to opioids, the pharmaceutical companies also produce hundreds of other addictive mind-altering drugs, including tranquilizers, sedatives, anti-depressants and stimulants. In , the total number of individual prescription medications filled at pharmacies was just over four billion.
Increasingly deaths of those on medical prescriptions are viewed as unavoidable and therefore acceptable because, unlike other drugs, prescribed drugs are considered necessary, not recreational. Pharmaceutical companies, like drug inventors in the past, regularly invent and market new miracle drugs as safe and healthy without adequate testing for difficulties in withdrawal.
The pharmaceutical industry is rapidly spreading its drugs around the globe, making them available and affordable in even the poorest nations. One study of products from drug companies showed they regularly market drugs to the third world by grossly overstating their benefits and obscuring dangers.
Alarmingly, there is a higher death rate in areas with the most prescription drug advertising. Who will call the pharmaceutical companies to account?
Today the pharmaceutical industries control public perception by heavy advertising through mass media. Their money ensures that the news sources do not publish anything against their products.
Despite rare fines for deceptive advertising, their tactics continue. Drug companies lobby for government funding of prescription drugs which will increase affordability, acceptability and availability. The global pharmaceutical industry revenues have reached 1 trillion dollars per year, with a 5. Opioid addiction is so quick and strong that historically other drugs have been proposed to help people escape the addiction without success. The latest drug to enter this cycle is marijuana, with a low chance of death by overdose.
Causing an intoxication that is distinct from alcohol, marijuana has been used for centuries by Frontier People Groups in India and Muslim countries with a reputation of sometimes triggering psychotic episodes, paranoia and schizophrenia. These reports were long questioned but finally statistically verified by a number of recent rigorous studies done in Sweden, Holland, New Zealand, Australia and Britain. But, has medical marijuana saved people from opioid addiction as hoped? Worse, mortality increased as time passed.
Some Christians wonder if legalization will help stem the drug problem here and abroad. Legalization has a number of proponents. Legalization of illegal drugs makes drug production and sales more transparent, taxable and profitable to governments and reduces enforcement costs. It also puts crime based illegal drug cartels in direct competition with legal drug industries, making it more difficult for them to stay in business. People thrown in prison for drug trafficking and possession could be released.
Some also argue that people will use drugs anyway, but if they are made legal, they will use them in safer ways or in safer company. Many of the Frontier People Groups live in countries that partially or completely ban some drugs, like alcohol or opium, though most have robust black markets going.
The West has vacillated between banning and legalizing addictive substances. Four factors were crucial to turning a mild local drug into a powerful global addictive money-maker: availability, affordability, acceptability and addictability. Legalization greatly increases all four factors as well as the power and profitability of the related drug industries, which greatly expand. Media, movies, ads and campaigns for legalization all try to romanticize and normalize usage.
Once legal, advertising becomes ubiquitous. People assume it is relatively safe and so it becomes a socially acceptable form of recreation or coping with life.go to site
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For example, s movies successfully normalized binge drinking for under legal drinking age students, especially during spring break; however, as a result the annual death rate just during spring break became US students, with , injured and , sexually assaulted. Trying to educate students instead of enforcing the legal-drinking-age laws has totally failed. Legalization also makes drugs more available and affordable. Legal drugs, tobacco and alcohol are sold in multiple outlets on every corner. Opioids are dispensed from many local pharmacies. The legal drug industries entice young people into lifetime use by marketing cheap and fun versions of alcohol and tobacco, and now marijuana, even though it is illegal for young people to use these drugs.
Legalizing a formerly illegal drug, like marijuana, has made young people see it as safer and significantly increased their usage, even though it was still illegal for them. Partial and full legalization has resulted in doubling the usage rate of marijuana 54 and creating an 80 billion dollar business, 55 but it has not diminished illegal production or the crime associated with marijuana.
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Legalization motivates the industries to invent even more addictive drugs, as lifetime use is highly profitable. Since the early 20th century, chemical and pharmaceutical companies have led the way in inventing and patenting thousands of new addictive synthetic drugs as well as strengthening existing ones. But earlier reform movements quickly found out that concentrated addictive substances cannot be used in moderation by most people.
But after decades of trying, research has found no personality traits consistently associated with addicts nor abstainers.
The only consistent predictors of drug epidemics are the four factors: availability, affordability, acceptability, and addictability, which lead to trying the drug and beginning regular use—and the inevitable rewiring of our brain to need that repeated pleasure stimulation. David Courtwright points out that organized opposition is the only thing that has worked to expose and reign in the industrial purveyors of addiction, in his book Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business, including things like gambling and pornography.
Addictive drugs are not subject to usual market forces because addicts will do anything to get their next dose. So black marketing of drugs is not eliminated by legalization either. Concentrated drugs are cheaper and easier to transport illegally. Vast amounts of pharmaceutical drugs end up on the black market, bypassing the legal controls, greatly increasing the sales of the pharmaceutical companies who ignore the problem.
Crime is not reduced by legalization because most crimes committed in relation to drugs are due to being under the influence, and these crimes increase after legalization because usage increases.
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Modern solutions proposed by some, especially the drug companies, have given up the goal of keeping people off drugs entirely. And they preserve the income of the drug industries and governments! They do not take into account the ongoing consequences to families of drug addicts, to society with non-functioning members, and to the addicts themselves who lose decades of their lives trying to get off and stay off of these drugs.
Unlike governments and media, only missionaries and other believers with no profits to lose can expose the deceptions marketed by the drug death industries. Every evangelical revival in the last years, since drugs and alcohol have become so powerful and widespread, has shown the power of the Holy Spirit and shared sober fellowship to free people from drug and alcohol addiction. Globally, evangelical churches, wherever they have grown up, by the power of Jesus, have pulled addicts out of their addictions into loving social sober fellowships.
This transformation was awesome for me to see as a child growing up in a Mayan tribe. I long to see this powerful gospel come to the hurting families I knew in the shanty towns of North Africa and South Asia, where every family was being beaten down by addictions. Be sure to check out his new book Age of Addiction, May Many cocktails equal two to three drinks, and a cup of wine is equal to two drinks.
For believers, abortion is not just another bad thing. Rather, it is the greatest tragedy of all time. Each year, 56 million children are intentionally aborted globally—, per day, babies every minute. If missionaries do not seek to stem this evil tide, who will? Babies are increasingly seen as unwanted life, threatening prosperity, and abortion has become viewed as a necessary evil to solve the problem.
Currently almost half of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned , 7 revealing the total failure of organizations like Planned Parenthood to promote responsible behavior and choices. Since the s, global abortions have skyrocketed, peaking in the s and have since decreased slightly in developed nations but remain constant or increasing in developing countries.
Christians are the only hope of changing the anti-family, anti-child narrative spreading globally. Few evangelicals support abortion, but the devastating evil of abortion remains marginalized in the majority of Christian churches. Help for mothers in unreached people groups without churches is practically non-existent. Organizations such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Population Council use compassionate medical rhetoric to make their role in the murders of millions of babies seem virtuous.
The industry argues the cost of the abortion emotional, physical, monetary is much lower than the cost of delivering the child and raising her, getting the baby adopted or having social services raise her. The industry additionally profits off the sale of infant body parts to meet the market demand for fetal organs and tissue used for research, 22 a demand created and sustained by abortion. If a woman seeks help for a crisis pregnancy in most parts of the world, she will find the same response wherever she turns: get an abortion.
We know God has the best answer to her struggle, but how will this woman hear that message? In , a newlywed missionary couple embodied this ethos beautifully while working for a hospital in India.