We are in the midst of an opioid addiction epidemic that, according to the CDC, is taking an average of 115 lives every day. There are 20.1 million Americans 12 or older who live with a substance use disorder, amounting to 1 person in 12 living with addiction, according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. A Pew Research Center study in 2017 noted nearly half of the population has a friend or family member living with a drug addiction. The scope of addiction is massive.
As a Jewish community, we like to think we’re immune, but we’re not. According to Rabbi Zvi Gluck, director of Amudim, there were 143 known opioid-related deaths of Orthodox Jews under age 35 in one year alone.