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One Minute for April 2021 (The Opioid Epidemic)

You have probably seen the commercials on television promoting the website It was developed by the Orange County Health Care Agency to educate the public to the dangers of prescription opioid overuse. The opioid epidemic has devastated thousands of families across the country as loved ones misused their prescriptions for these pain pills. Millions of prescriptions for these pills have been written by physicians and been filled by pharmacists nation-wide. While many people have died or been injured by opioid misuse and abuse, opioids can be used effectively under tight control under physician’s care.

Opioids were originally marketed as non-addictive, safe, and user-friendly. But it soon turned out this was wrong. Opioids are highly addictive and dangerous. As the opioid epidemic worsened, Attorney Generals of many states sued several pharmaceutical companies for false marketing and lying to the public.

Chronic pain is real. Opioids were developed to deal with this pain. But many physicians have lost their licenses as a result of prescribing too many opioids and not monitoring their patients close enough. My own primary care physician knows several doctors who have lost their MD licenses.

The website covers the current state of affairs about opioids such as the names of the opioids being prescribed to patients, what you should ask your doctor about pain killers, and how to manage pain without opioids. Some of the ways to manage your pain without opioids: physical therapy, exercise, heat and ice, acupuncture, chiropractic care, etc. (see the website).

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of unintentional injury and death in the United States, causing more deaths than motor vehicle crashes and opioids are responsible for most of these deaths.

If you love someone you know is using opioids, be sure to discuss this with them. Christ calls us to love one another and you can prevent someone from injury or death due to misuse of opioids. Once someone starts taking them it is difficult to stop using them. Pray for them. Urge them to talk with their physician. Get a second opinion if necessary. Love them and listen to them in their pain.

God is our Healer and Protector. Call upon Him in times of trouble.


One Minute is written by Rev. Ron Rehrer, Counselor for Church Workers of the PSD. He can be reached by phone at 949.433.5182 or by e-mail at


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