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Updated: Oct 1, 2022

A Message from the Editor

Drug use is directly and indirectly responsible for 11.8 million deaths each year. Smoking, alcohol and drug use is an important risk factor for early death: 11.4 million die prematurely as a result each year. Over 350,000 die from overdoses (alcohol and illicit drug use disorders) each year.

In addition to the significant risks of addiction, abuse and misuse, opioids can cause life-threatening respiratory depression (breathing problems), which can lead to overdose and death, and withdrawal symptoms in newborn babies. When taken with other central nervous system depressants, including alcohol, the use of opioids may result in coma or death.

In addition to the illicit sale of opioids and other harmful drugs, some drug manufacturers, pharmaceutical salespersons, and doctors must share in the responsibility for these deaths. We need to enact laws with greater punishment for these crimes.

A Quote to Remember

“Every drug addict has a unique personal story and must be listened to, understood, loved, and, insofar as possible, healed and purified. We cannot stoop to the injustice of categorizing drug addicts as if they were mere objects or broken machines; each person must be valued and appreciated in his or her dignity in order to enable them to be healed. The dignity of the person is what we are called to seek out. They continue to possess, more than ever, a dignity as children of God.” by Pope Francis


Prayer to St. Jude to End Addiction

God of life, You made me in Your perfect image, to live in Your love and to give You glory, honor and praise. Open my heart to Your healing power. Come, Lord Jesus, calm my soul just as you whispered “Peace” to the stormy sea.

St. Jude, most holy Apostle, in my need I reach out to you. I beg you to intercede for me that I may find strength to overcome my illness. Bless all those who struggle with addiction. Touch them, heal them, reassure them of the Father’s constant love.

Remain at my side, St. Jude, to chase away all evil temptations, fears, and doubts. May the quiet assurance of your loving presence illuminate the darkness in my heart and bring lasting peace. Amen.

by The National Shrine of St. Jude

A Prayer for the Victims of the Pakistan Floods

Good and gracious God, We are stunned by the suffering of the people in southern Pakistan who face yet more devastation after record floods blamed on climate change submerged a third of the country, killing more than 1,100 people. Water that is meant to give life and cleanse became a surge of water now flowing down the Indus river, threatening communities in southern Sindh province. Local officials say 1.2 million people have been displaced in Dadu district in Sindh, where hundreds of villages are submerged - and there is still more water coming. Please Lord abate the water and all that it is destroying. Help the people to figure out how they can help each other and helping those who have died. We ask you this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism

Prayer for Queen Elizabeth

"Remember thy servant Elizabeth, O Lord, according to the favour which thou bearest unto thy people, and grant that, increasing in knowledge and love of thee, she may go from strength to strength, in the life of perfect service, in thy heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever, one God, world without end Amen."

1928 Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, p. 332.

Prayer for migrants and refugees

There are many refugees, migrants, overseas workers exploited, abused, treated as slaves around the world Lord. You and your parents were refugees in Egypt, inspire your followers to speak out for the migrants and refugees and demand their human rights, may we do all we can to help them. Inspire us to help strangers in need. Amen

by Father Shay Cullen Profiles in Catholicism

A prayer to end gun violence

“Evidence and Action”

Lord, “In 2019 alone, more than 250,000 people died as a result of firearms worldwide. Nearly 71% of gun deaths were homicides, about 21% were suicides” .

Why are we killing each other and ourselves?

Lord, “Nearly nine out of 10 people killed by gun violence in 2019 were men. The highest number of homicide deaths occurred among people 20-24 years old, while the highest number of gun-enabled suicides happened among those aged 55-59” .

Why are men killing themselves so frequently? Why are the young dying of gun-deaths? Why are the middle-aged killing themselves?

Lord, ‘Gun violence in Latin America is exceptionally high, due in no small part to the prevalence of criminal gangs and a vibrant drug trafficking industry’ .

Why do gangs and drug trafficking proliferate?

Lord, there were “120, 000 gun-related killings in the United States between 2001 and 2010 .

What is a reasonable weapon? Who can possess one? Where can a gun be kept safely?

Lord, in Europe, “researchers noted that a proliferation of gun availability can lead to an arms race among criminals, increased rates of gun violence and general feelings of insecurity among the general public”

What will turn us from rising violence to making peace?

Lord, “In contrast to the U.S. and Latin America, gun deaths are extremely rare in countries like Japan, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Australia. These countries have implemented incentives or passed legislation to decrease the number of firearms in circulation .

Who will we learn from?

Lord, “By comparison, gun-related homicides and suicides fell precipitously, and mass-shootings dropped to zero, when the Australian government passed a series of gun-access restrictions in 1996” .

When will we act?

Lord, “in July 2021, Australia implemented a permanent gun amnesty program, in which unregistered firearms could be anonymously surrendered at police stations” .

As imperfect as we are, what kind of society are we seeking to establish?

May Mary, the Mother of the Lord and Joseph her spouse, together with the Lord Jesus Christ, renew life and love today! by Francis Etheredge Profiles in Catholicism

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Spiritual and Emotional Roots and Treatment of Addiction - Dr. John Townsend

Drugs, Marijuana, and Alcohol: A Catholic Teaching on Intoxication

Recovery and The Family" by Father Martin

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