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Updated: Apr 4, 2023

The pandemic we know as the Corona Virus, aka COVID-19, has ravished the

world. It crept in like a thief in the night stealing economic systems around the

globe and more importantly, to date; the lives of 789,118 world-wide with

174,369 coming from the US. As staggering as this information is, let us not forget

that we are fighting yet another deadly pandemic. Drug addiction and overdose.

The death rate caused by drug overdose is alarming. World data was complicated

to extrapolate, although data provided by the United Nations Office on Drug and

Crime (UNODC) did show that there is a global increase in drug manufacture, use,

and overdose, similar to the rates seen here in the United States. For example, in

2019, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) preliminary data

depicts a staggering death rate of 70, 980 people, due to overdose at the end of

2019 with 51.42% attributed to the synthetic fentanyl.

News reports from the Los Angeles Times indicated that the United States is in

the midst of the deadliest drug epidemic ever seen. Frightening numbers reported

for 2020 are already showing a projected increase in drug overdose deaths. By

April 2020, a 42% increase in drug overdose deaths occurred. Just imagine what

the death toll would be if it were not for the 557,000 dispensed prescriptions of

Naloxone (Narcan). Is it possible that COVID-19 is a contributor to the increased

numbers? Absolutely it is, especially with the inability for individuals to obtain

therapy and the increased rate of unemployment and threat of homelessness.

Our beloved Steven Lee Harris, as well as other community members, was among

those included in the 70,980 individuals who succumbed to a fatal drug overdose

in 2019. Too many others also died too soon. Innocent babies were born into

addiction due to the 6.6% of women who reportedly used prescription opioid pain

killers during pregnancy. 1 in 5 of these women reported misusing that

prescription. How many more mothers used “street” drugs while pregnant?

Harris Family Ministries, Inc is committed, now more than ever, to raise

awareness of the impact of drugs on our communities. We are aggressively

fighting this pandemic because lives are at stake. We lost someone very dear

to us; Steven is the reason Harris Family Ministries exists, so we will not let his

death and dying to be in vain.

Harris Family Ministries’ House of Restoration, the home for mothers working

through addiction alongside their children, is one way we are working to confront

overdose deaths. Mothers will receive faith-based counseling and treatment

while having up to two children with them during the year-long program. Each

mother and her children will receive counseling support to overcome addiction

and break the cycle. Mothers will participate in life skills training and parenting

support. Children will receive educational support and help with the trauma of

having a parent in addiction.

There is much work to do. We are actively seeking a property to build on or with

existing structures for The House of Restoration. We desire to remain in the

Pottstown area but will go wherever The Lord leads us. Until we have a property

and building, we will continue to offer counseling and support. We will not stop,

but we will achieve our goal sooner, with your help. If you are privy to available

property, either a vacant lot suitable for building or one with existing structures to

accommodate multiple families and offices, please notify us. If you have a

property to donate or if you would like to learn more about Harris Family

Ministries and The House of Restoration, we would love to hear from you.

The word of God tells us in Matthew 19:26 that “…with God, all things are

possible”. John 14:13 NIV reads, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so

that the Father may be glorified in the Son”.

We are asking and believing change is near. We will persist by “Restoring families

and saving lives”. What part will you play?

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