Dear Reader: There but for the Grace of God…

Whenever I think about addiction, my cinema-obsessed mind immediately goes to director Darren Aronofsky’s brutal but brilliant 2000 film, Requiem for a Dream. Four characters dominate the narrative—all of them wrestling with drug dependency. And while my younger self reveled in the bleakness of this film, my older self can’t stomach it anymore. True for many casualties of addiction, Requiem is without redemption: None of the four characters can overcome them.

The cover story for our August issue, by Katie Rutter, takes a look at the opioid crisis that plagues much of the Midwest, yet her article deftly juggles the epidemic and a faith-based approach to addressing it.

Counselors and other medical professionals have their work cut out for them. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids every day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the total economic burden of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion annually.

Along with Rutter’s article is an excerpt from one of our best-selling titles, Breathing Under Water, by Richard Rohr, OFM, who shows us how the Gospel-infused 12 Steps can help people ravaged by addiction.

If you or a loved one struggle with this disease, please know that we at Franciscan Media are praying for you.

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