PHILADELPHIA, PA – It’s the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. But in the wake of a rising number of drug overdose deaths both in the Philadelphia region and nationally, educators, law enforcement officials, counselors and medical professionals recently came together to address the problem.
In 2009, the latest statistics available, there were 136 drug-related deaths in Bucks County, Pa. Many of those deaths were from prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 27,000 people died from accidental drug overdoses in 2007. Another Department of Health and Human Services survey on drug use found that the number of prescription painkiller users has more than doubled since 2002-from 360,000 to 754,000 in 2010.
So last month, the Overdose Prevention and Education Advisory Board was created in Bucks County. District Judge Donald Nasshorn, who is chairing the initiative, said the group will take a multifaceted approach to attacking the burgeoning problem of drug overdose deaths. Nasshorn added that the group will work to change legislation, educate students and parents, and provide informational programs to first responders and community groups, from elementary schools to local Rotary Clubs. Valerie Fahie, the overdose prevention coordinator with The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, which serves Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties, said some states have enacted laws that grant immunity to those who report a drug overdose via 911.
Dr. Karl Benzio is the founder, executive director and psychiatrist at Lighthouse Network, an addiction and mental health referral program that also provides The Lighthouse Network Addiction and Counseling Helpline, a free, 24-hour phone helpline that Care Guides answer to help determine the best avenue of treatment for those who are calling in with a variety of addiction and mental health needs. The addiction expert says these are all sincere ideas, but the organizers are missing one crucial element to recovery.
“The main component they are leaving out is faith and spirituality,” Benzio said. “Bringing God, the Bible, forgiveness, grace, love and the proven way to renew the mind has been left out of the prevention, early intervention and treatment efforts. Insurance companies don’t want to pay for drug services and rehab because we haven’t shown much success attacking substance abuse using the traditional medical model or behavioral modification model.
“We talk about holistic treatment with spirituality being important,” he continued, “but we avoid including the most powerful healing component into the treatment plan-applied faith in GOD.”
April 11-14 AACC Marriage/Family Conference,Rosen Plaza Hotel, Orlando, FL.
April 12 Harry S Truman High School Healthfair, Levittown, PA.
April 13 Karl Benzio to be interviewed on Fox News. Tune-in information to follow.
April 13 Scheduled unveiling of new Lighthouse Network website.
April 18 Karl Benzio to be interviewed on Dove Radio, Medford, OR. Tune-in information to follow.
April 18 Duluth, MN Networking luncheon with Timberline Knolls and the Wildflowers Project. Grandma’s Restaurant, Canal Park, Duluth.
April 20-21 A Journey of the Heart, Cambridge, MN Cambridge United Methodist Church, 404 N. Cypress Avenue, Cambridge, MN 55008. Click here to register for this event. Deadline for online registration is April 15th. For more information Download the flyer
April 23 Omaha, NE Networking luncheon with Timberline Knolls and the Wildflowers Project, partnering with Spencer Counseling Centers, Bridge radio and Bott radio. Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Omaha, NE.
April 26-29 Christian Medical and Dental Conference Exhibitors, Ridgecrest Conference Center, Ridgecrest, NC.
May 10 Networking Luncheon with Timberline Knolls and the Wildflowers Project.
May 10 Focus on the Family Inservice to Counseling Dept Staff.
May 17-19 St. Croix, MN Facilitation Training Retreat for the Wildflowers project. Dunrovin Retreat Center, Marine on the St. Croix, MN.
May 18-19 Chicago, IL Timberline Knolls Site Visit and Collaborative Services.
June 3-7, Taylor University, Upland, IN Association of Christians in Student Development presenting on The Trauma/healing after abortion wounds and The Trauma/healing after childhood sexual abuse. (How to walk the student through healing).
June 28-July 1 Into My Arms-Healing Retreat (helping the wounded heal from abortion wounds and teaching the caregiver how to help those wounded by abortion).
July-August Special two-week missions trip to Gulu, Uganda in Central Africa. For more information on the trip and how you can help by prayer and financial gifts, visit Uganda trip
Edging Forward DVD Series
Mastering the Art of Godly Decision Making
Edging Forward is a nautical term that describes inch-by-inch progress and methodical advance toward your destination by repeated small strategic movements.
Life’s storms pound us, pushing us backward, so how will we reach our destination? Deciding to become Disciples of Christ, we have made commitments in our hearts and minds to live God-honoring lives, but nobody teaches us how, so we struggle in our journey. Edging Forward teaches you how to navigate these storms and thrive.
Edging Forward, a unique and groundbreaking eight-lesson (25 min. each) series by Christian Psychiatrist, Karl Benzio MD, equips you with the key concepts to understand, apply, and master the skills for Godly decision-making, helping you reach your goals of Godly fulfillment and the Mind of Christ.