Faith-based programs are the most successful way to combat opioid addiction, but the government is resistant to these programs due to political correctness, according to baseball icon Darryl Strawberry. “Federal is always pushing it back against the faith programs, but they work,” Strawberry told Bold TV at a recent event for his foundation combating the opioid crisis. “Because when they understand what addiction is, most people — this is not about being politically correct — we gotta get away from that; that’s over.”
Strawberry cited a spike in opioid-related deaths in New Jersey, one of the places Strawberry’s work focuses on, which has seen significant drug overdose death rate increases in recent years, according to the Centers For Disease Control.
“We’re losing lives every day,” Strawberry said. “The numbers are alarming, they’re going to be up sky high.”
The author and former Major League Baseball player said he thinks that faith-based programs for addicts are needed because “addiction is a spiritual brokenness” and “if we don’t implement some spiritual tools for their life, they don’t really have a chance.”
Despite the government’s resistance in the past, Strawberry seemed hopeful about the future and said he is hoping to put out a statement soon regarding his organization collaborating with the government.
“It’s about government and real spiritual people coming together and sitting at the table and saying, ‘How can we make a difference? How can we change?'” he said. Strawberry said this work is important to him because of his own struggles with addiction, which negatively affected his life and baseball career.
He continued, “This is not about religion; this is about faith. This is about hope and bringing hope into people’s lives. And we need to become that type of people once again, so we can make a difference and help save some of these young people’s lives.”
The baseball legend also gave his thoughts on marijuana use and repeated his rhetoric that smoking weed is linked to using opiods. While he said marijuana use can be okay for adults, he emphasized “if young people start there, it’s gonna lead them into a road that has led most young people into taking opiates and losing their life.” His take on marijuana has received some backlash in the past from others in the sports world.
Photo Credit: Darryl Strawberry