Untangling the Opioid Crisis with Wayne Smith PGE 39

In 2017 The United States Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency concerning the epidemic of opioid addiction. That epidemic has greatly increased and, consequently, made terribly worse because of the Covid-19 Coronavirus disease pandemic. However, attention to the opioid epidemic was diverted due to the Covid-19 crisis. It is vital that we as the general public have a deeper and more expansive awareness of this disease so that we have the information and can seek the training that will help fight this epidemic.

There are few people better to help us understand this disease and crisis than Wayne Smith, founder and director of Samaritan Ministry in Knoxville, TN. I interviewed Wayne about the HIV and Hepatitis C crises in episode 16 of this podcast. I encourage you to listen to that episode also, because, as you will learn in the interview, these crises are interlinked and can compound each other.

The opioid addiction crisis has its roots the interplay of people seeking to control their pain, especially after medical procedures, of pharmaceutical companies’s assurances that opioids were not addictive, of the medical community over prescribing the medication, and of pharmacies accepting prescriptions on too broad a basis. Sadly, there is also are unhelpful political disputes over treatment issues that hinder progress.

Opioid addiction is not a moral failure but a disease that is treatable!

Links to the Center for Disease Control and the United States Department on Health and Human services about the opioid epidemic are here:



A link to an ABC news article relating to the politics around Opioid treatment in West Virginia is found here:


An excellent interview by Wayne with Jason Goodman about the recovery process is found here:


An interview by Pastor Wade Bibb with Dr. Stephen Lloyd about his addiction experience can be found here (the actual interview occurs at minute 52 and thirty seconds during the video:


The music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project. You can learn more about the album and the Worship Project at theportersgate.com.