You Can Be Free From Alcohol & Drug Addiction

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

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Victory Retreat Montana (VRM) is a drug & alcohol rehab center which uses a Bible Based Methodology, that ends addiction forever by the redemptive and saving power of the Cross of Jesus Christ.

If you are tired of the revolving door 12 Step rehabs, and/or are searching for a Christ centered rehab that permanently ends addiction, come check us out!

We work with you online – by phone and video conference – with 24/7 support via text, chat and email.  VictoryRetreatMontana.com

 

Feds employ data-driven early warning system in opioid fight

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — The pain clinic tucked into the corner of a low-slung suburban strip mall was an open secret.

Patients would travel hundreds of miles to see Dr. Andrzej Zielke, eager for what authorities described as a steady flow of prescriptions for the kinds of powerful painkillers that ushered the nation into its worst drug crisis in history.

At least one of Zielke’s patients died of an overdose, and prosecutors say others became so dependent on oxycodone and other opioids they would crowd his office, sometimes sleeping in the waiting room. Some peddled their pills near tumble-down storefronts and on blighted street corners in addiction-plagued parts of Allegheny County, where deaths by drug overdose reached record levels last year.

But Robert Cessar, a longtime federal prosecutor, was unaware of Zielke until Justice Department officials handed him a binder of data that, he said, confirmed what pill-seekers from as far away as Ohio and Virginia already knew. The doctor who offered ozone therapy and herbal pain remedies was also prescribing highly addictive narcotics to patients who didn’t need them, according to an indictment charging him with conspiracy and unlawfully distributing controlled substances.

Zielke denied he was overprescribing, telling AP he practiced alternative medicine and many of his patients stopped seeing him when he cut down on pain pills.

His indictment in October was the first by a nationwide group of federal law enforcement officials that, armed with new access to a broader array of prescription drug databases, Medicaid and Medicare figures, coroners’ records and other numbers compiled by the Justice Department, aims to stop fraudulent doctors faster than before.

The department is providing a trove of data to the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, which draws together authorities in 12 regions across the country, that shows which doctors are prescribing the most, how far patients will travel to see them and whether any have died within 60 days of receiving one of their prescriptions, among other information.

Authorities have been going after so-called “pill mills” for years, but the new approach brings additional federal resources to bear against the escalating epidemic. Where prosecutors would spend months or longer building a case by relying on erratic informants and only limited data, the number-crunching by analysts in Washington provides information they say lets them quickly zero in on a region’s top opioid prescribers.

“This data shines a light we’ve never had before,” Cessar said. “We don’t need to have confidential informants on the street to start a case. Now, we have someone behind a computer screen who is helping us. That has to put (doctors) on notice that we have new tools.”

And Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, told AP the Justice Department will consider going after any law-breaker, even a pharmaceutical company, as it seeks to bring more cases and reduce the number of unwarranted prescriptions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been in lock-step with President Donald Trump about the need to combat the drug abuse problem that claimed more than 64,000 lives in 2016, a priority that resonates with Trump’s working-class supporters who have seen the ravages of drug abuse first-hand. The president called it a public health emergency, a declaration that allows the government to redirect resources in various ways to fight opioid abuse.

But he directed no new federal money to deal with a scourge that kills nearly 100 people a day, and critics say his efforts fall short of what is needed. The Republican-controlled Congress doesn’t seem eager to put extra money toward the problem.

While the effectiveness of the Trump administration’s broader strategy remains to be seen, the Justice Department’s data-driven effort is one small area where federal prosecutors say they can have an impact.

The data analysis provides clues about who may be breaking the law that are then corroborated with old-fashioned detective work — tips from informants or undercover office visits, said Shawn A. Brokos, a supervisory special agent in the FBI’s Pittsburgh division. Investigators can also get a sense for where displaced patients will turn next.

Authorities acknowledge there are legitimate reasons for some doctors to prescribe large quantities of opioids, and high prescribing alone doesn’t necessarily trigger extra scrutiny. What raises red flags for investigators are the dentists, psychiatrists and gynecologists who are prescribing at surprisingly high rates.

The effort operates on the long-held perception that drug addiction often starts with prescriptions from doctors and leads to abuse of more dangerous black market drugs like fentanyl, which, for the first time last year, contributed to more overdose deaths than any other legal or illegal drug, surpassing pain pills and heroin.

But that focus can cause law-abiding physicians to abandon disabled patients who rely on prescriptions, for fear of being shut down, said University of Alabama addiction researcher Stefan Kertesz. Those patients will turn to harder street drugs or even kill themselves, he said.

“The professional risk for physicians is so high that the natural tendency is to get out of the business of prescription opioids at all,” he said.

Another addiction expert, Dr. Andrew Kolodny, founder of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, said prosecutors’ emphasis on “drug-dealing doctors” is appropriate but inadequate on its own.

“It’s just not really going to have that much of an impact on an epidemic,” he said. The bigger change will come from a stronger push for prevention and treatment, he said. And, he added, “They should go after the bigger fish…. the legal narcotics distributors and wholesalers who have literally been getting away with mass manslaughter.”

Investigators said Zielke charged $250 a visit and made patients pay in cash. But Zielke said prosecutors unfairly targeted him. Instead of more prosecutions, he said, the government “should promote more alternative therapies,” he said. “And they should find out why so many people have pain.”

A second indictment by the anti-fraud unit involved a cardiologist in Elko, Nevada, accused of routinely providing patients fentanyl and other painkillers they did not need. Justice officials hope to expand the data-driven work nationwide.

Will it work? As Soo Song, who watched addiction warp communities while serving as acting U.S. attorney in western Pennyslvania, put it: “The best measure of success will be if fewer people die.” (Click to Source)

America: Home of the HUMAN LAB RATS … Why prescription medications are mostly unsafe chemical experiments that worsen overall health

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Most people think it’s completely normal to take prescription medications, believing that our bodies need synthetic, lab-made chemicals to balance or help control bodily functions or biological processes that aren’t performing properly. What other choices do we have, after all?

Put it this way: Medical doctors go to college for eight years to learn how to juggle multiple medications while reading all of your symptoms with fancy technological diagnostic tests, so shouldn’t you just shut the heck up and do what you’re told, when you’re told, without asking annoying, invasive questions that will most likely have boondoggles for answers?

How many people, after all, are not taking at least one medication for anxiety, depression, inflammation, cholesterol, blood pressure, insomnia or pain?

Actually, there are plenty of us, because we know that “Western” medicine isn’t really medicine at all, but symptom-cover-up chemicals for deeper rooted problems that almost always stem from what we eat, drink and put on our bodies.

Are you a “drug abuser” when you simply take the drugs prescribed to you by a medical doctor?

Prescription drugs and their abuse in America date back over a century. It all started with a concoction made with alcohol and opium called Laudanum. Yes, it was a pain “remedy” that doctors cross-prescribed for anxiety, sleeplessness, diarrhea or incessant coughing. Sound familiar?

It was quite addictive, as any watered-down heroin can be. Since women in the 1800s in America were prohibited from drinking at taverns and saloons, they simply went to the doctor for treatment for cramps or emotional problems, and voila!

Currently, about 35 million people abuse opioids worldwide. Unintentional overdoses have quadrupled since 2000. Thanks to drugs like oxycodone (think of Percocet) and hydrocodone (think of Vicodin), the U.S. is the biggest consumer of deadly prescription painkillers.

Did you know that for the past 15 years, death certificates have listed opioid analgesic poisoning as the cause of death more often than cocaine or heroin?

Maybe you’re just addicted to soda, though. Did you know that a doctor invented Coca Cola, but in the process jump-started his own morphine addiction when he added cocaine to this new drink and sold it at a pharmacy in Atlanta during the Civil War? Ask your doctor if soda and addictive, deadly, heroin-based prescription drugs are right for you.

Are you a lab rat in the middle of an extended, insidious experiment being carried out by mad scientists and medical doctors?

Have you been told repeatedly that your health problems are all “genetic?” That’s because doctors want you to believe that there’s no cure, only chemical medication “management.”

Have you been told you have a chemical imbalance in your brain? That’s because you’re consuming chemicals regularly in your food and medicine, including in artificial sweeteners, tap water, prescription medications and vaccinations.

Most prescription drugs and inoculations are never tested for safety or efficacy, but rather are “fast-tracked” through FDA and CDC approval when pharma lobbyists pay regulators millions of dollars to just say “yes.”

In most other instances, scientific “testing” is simply faked, flawed, altered and skewed to produce the results the pharma companies need to make profits and spread more disease and disorder (think of the Swine flu and Zika virus vaccines here).

Even the yearly flu shot is one huge, dangerous medical experiment that the CDC admits is often a failure. Maybe the reason you need prescription medications is because you’re taking prescription medications. Think about that for a minute.

Now do the math: If the flu shot is a hoax, and prescribed painkillers kill millions of people, then do you really believe your prescription medications, which are dished out by the same rogue doctors and scientists, are given with your “good health” in mind?

Let’s take an inside look at what all the American “lab rats” are experiencing.

Chantix (stop-smoking medication) can cause suicidal thoughts. Nexium can cause inflammation of your kidneys and vitamin deficiencies. Vasotec can ruin your liver. Xanax is extremely addictive and abrupt stoppage can cause seizures. Plavix can cause you to cough up blood. Lipitor can break down your muscles, and can cause kidney failure and long-term nerve problems.

Should we continue?

Mirapex gives some people hallucinations and causes memory gaps. Ambien can cause impaired thinking. Risperdal can give you muscle tremors and uncontrolled movements (drive recklessly much?). Klonopin can make depression symptoms worse, adding in suicidal thoughts and addiction. Actos and Avandia heighten the risk of heart attacks and bladder cancer.

Hey America … picture yourself blindfolded, drugged up and running through a rigged maze with dangerous traps and no exits. This is the world of flu shots, prescription medications, genetically modified food and fluoridated tap water. It’s time to go organic and natural for good. Talk to a naturopathic physician and question anything that has side effects worse than the condition you’re considering treating. Then research the power of natural remedies at NaturalPedia.com. Remember, you don’t have to be a lab rat! (Click to Source)

 

Could This Christian Rehab’s Faith-Based Solution to Drug Crisis Change America?

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New York Teen Challenge announced today that it has proposed to the federal government and President Trump a faith-based initiative asking the federal government to recognize faith-based programs and establish a faith-based administration to allocate funding for “Beds and Buildings” to help combat the Opioid Crisis. Jimmy Jack, president and founder of New York Teen Challenge, along with New York Yankee baseball  legend Mariano Rivera and New York Teen Challenge State Director Ramon Rosa Jr., presented the proposal to President Trump. They were invited on the platform to join President Trump at the White House on Thursday, October 26th to hear the president’s declaration announcing the state of emergency regarding the opioid epidemic.

Rev. Jimmy Jack, is a 1985 graduate of Brooklyn Teen Challenge. He and 50 of his family members have all battled with addiction and have gone through the Teen Challenge Program. He truly is a passionate and inspiring leader who has experienced both sides of the drug culture.

After the president’s announcement, Jimmy, Mariano and Ray met with some of the president’s senior counselors and sat with Kellyanne Conway to discuss the details of the proposal.

About the Faith-Based Proposal

The proposal demonstrates that faith-based programs will help expand capacity and add thousands of beds to the existing secular inventory of residential treatment. The cost to rehabilitate 24,000 patients at a secular program would be $8,640,000,0005. A faith-based program like Teen Challenge can rescue the same number of people at a cost of only $840 million, a savings of $7,800,000,000 or 928 percent.

With only 3,678 clinical residential treatment centers, there are not enough long-term facilities in the US to solve the drug and opioid epidemic problem. It has gotten to the point where traditional secular rehabilitation centers are now strained and overburdened with the influx of those seeking help. In 2015, only 2.5 million people received treatment, this represents only 11 percent of the 23 million addicted population. With over $34 billion spent on treatment averaging $162,000 per addict. With most insurance companies only covering 28 days of residential treatment and only use the clinical model, the average addict is excluded from receiving the necessary long-term residential care.

A faith-based program like Teen Challenge will successfully recover 16,800 patients (verses 720 patients in a secular program) at a proven 70 percent success rate. The faith-based model heals 2,233 percent more patients. The return on investment for the federal government funds is noticeably higher, while at the same time providing proven results.

About Teen Challenge

Teen Challenge is a worldwide organization, established by David and Don Wilkerson in 1958, that has a proven track record of success. Teen Challenge is a faith-based, long-term residential treatment center for young men and women caught in the vicious cycle of drug and alcohol dependency. There are 1,600 Teen Challenge programs in 125 countries, providing 35,000 beds of residential rehabilitation treatment, and 261 of those centers are located in the United States. (Click to Source)

An final end to drug & alcohol recovery is as close as this website: VictoryRetreatMontana.com

Trump Announces Opioid Crisis a Public Health Emergency

Declaration stops short of the ‘national emergency’ designation president had assured over summer

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WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump, surrounded by addicts and their families, declared opioid addiction a “public health emergency” Thursday as he sought to accelerate a federal government response to the crisis.

“We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic,” Mr. Trump said in a 25-minute speech from the White House in which he decried the tragedy of “opioid orphans” and described opioid abuse as a “plague” that Americans must defeat.

Mr. Trump, saying his administration was already “aggressively” fighting opioid abuse, pledged to raise the subject of Chinese-made bootleg fentanyl on his November visit with President Xi Jinping. Mr. Trump also praised pharmacy benefit managers’ efforts to limit the supply of some painkillers and touted a move by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year to urge one drug maker to pull an opioid off the market.

Reaction to the move in the states was divided somewhat along partisan lines, with Democrats questioning whether Mr. Trump’s action went far enough, especially given that it didn’t include a commitment to new funding, and Republicans praising it as forceful and necessary.

Mr. Trump also said his administration was looking at bringing lawsuits against unspecified “bad actor” companies, but it wasn’t immediately clear what steps the federal government might take in that regard. This week, Purdue Pharma L.P., which sells the opioid painkiller OxyContin, said that the U.S. attorney’s office in Connecticut was investigating the company over the drug, and that it was cooperating with the investigation. The U.S. attorney’s office in Connecticut declined to comment.

Overall, more than nine states, and dozens of cities and counties, have sued Purdue and other opioid painkiller makers, alleging that their marketing has misled the public about addiction risks. Some state and county lawsuits have also targeted distributors of the opioid drugs. Purdue and many of the other firms have denied the allegations.

Opioids such as fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone and hydrocodone killed more than 34,500 people last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and administration officials Thursday likened the death toll to that in the Vietnam War. Opioid addiction has ravaged communities throughout the country in recent years, drawing attention from officeholders of both parties, many of whom have been urging Mr. Trump to take action for some time.

The president’s declaration Thursday stopped short of the “national emergency” designation that he had said over the summer he would invoke. It was twinned with an announcement that the administration would lift a rule that effectively prevented hospitals and treatment centers from maintaining more than 16 psychiatric beds at a time.

Senior administration officials said ahead of Mr. Trump’s comments that a public-health emergency declaration would allow existing funds for unemployed workers and people with HIV and AIDS to be shifted within those programs to specifically include participants with addictions.

The declaration, which must be renewed every 90 days, carries no specific commitments for additional funding. A senior administration official said that such funding had been proposed in previous GOP-led bids to repeal and replace Democrats’ 2010 Affordable Care Act, and that the White House now hoped to see the funding in a year-end spending deal.

A White House commission on the opioid crisis led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a onetime Republican rival and subsequent backer of Mr. Trump, suggested over the summer that the president declare a national emergency, leaving open different options for what form that declaration should take.

Declaring a national emergency would have allowed federal officials to access a pool of reserve funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But critics of that approach worried that would draw resources from hurricane-recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and several states, and officials said a public-health emergency declaration was more fitting for a continuing crisis.

Outside the White House Thursday, Mr. Christie praised Mr. Trump’s move as an “enormous first step” and urged Congress to appropriate additional funds. His commission is due to release final recommendations next week, and Mr. Trump said he was poised to adopt many of them. (Click to Source)

PROFIT at any cost: Big Pharma’s bribery and kickback schemes led to deaths of U.S. soldiers

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(Natural News) The families of U.S. troops who have been killed or injured while fighting overseas in Iraq have filed a lawsuit against multiple U.S. and European pharmaceutical and medical supply companies after accusing the corporations of knowingly financing the Mahdi Army, an anti-American militia, through a series of bribes and kickbacks.

The lawsuit, which was filed against some of the biggest and most well-known names in the industry – including GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Roche Holdings – claims that the corporations sent financial aid to Iraq’s Ministry of Health through their local agents. Allegedly, these funds were then used by officials at the ministry to assist the militia as they carried out attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq.

Needless to say, if the accusations made in the lawsuit really are true, then it would be one of the most egregious acts ever committed by pharmaceutical companies to date, and would even border on treason.

The money was sent in the form of “commissions” or “free goods,” and at times amounted to as much as 20 percent of the total value of a contract with ministry officials. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the defendants included specific language in their contracts that promised Iraq’s Ministry of Health after-sales support and other services related to the product that was sold to them.

“In reality, such services were illusory and functioned merely to create a slush fund the local agents could use to pass on ‘commissions to corrupt (ministry) officials,’” the lawsuit states.

While the lawsuit claims that the money that was sent from these pharmaceutical companies to Iraq’s Ministry of Health violated the U.S. anti-terrorism act, Pfizer released a statement explaining that the company “categorically denies any wrongdoing.” In addition, GE said that they were “thoroughly reviewing the allegations,” and a spokeswoman for Roche declined to comment because the company had yet to be officially served with the lawsuit. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson also refused to comment on the matter.

“Defendants did not intend for the ‘free goods’ provided to Kadima (health ministry’s pharmaceutical importing agency) to serve any legitimate charitable or medicinal purpose,” the lawsuit alleges. “It was widely understood in Iraq that MOH (Ministry of Health) operated more like a terrorist organization than a legitimate health entity, and no rational company would have viewed MOH as a suitable object for charity.”

Back in 2007, the global intelligence company Stratfor reported that U.S. led forces in Iraq had arrested the deputy health minister after he was accused of “selling health services and equipment in return for millions of dollars that he later funneled to Shiite militias.”

Unfortunately, this is hardly the first time that global brands have engaged in backdoor deals and shady transactions in exchange for special privileges from and relationships with politicians and lawmakers. In August, for example, Lee Jae-yong of Samsung was sentenced to five years in prison after it was revealed that he had paid almost $8 million in bribes to win over the support of South Korean President Park Geun-hye in the midst of ongoing corporate negotiations. In 2012, Walmart was accused of sending millions of dollars to the Mexican government in hopes of speeding up construction of their stores there, an issue that the company is still dealing with to this day.

Indeed, while these allegations against these pharmaceutical companies are certainly serious and warrant further investigation, it would be inaccurate to say that this sort of thing is rare and uncommon.

Attorneys working for law firms of Sparacino & Andreson and Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick stated that they have spent thousands of hours so far reviewing transactions that were made between the pharmaceutical companies in question and the Iraqi Ministry of Health between the years 2004 and 2013.

Ami Neiberger-Miller, whose 22-year-old brother was killed in a roadside bomb allegedly planted by the Mahdi Army in Baghdad back in 2007, explained that she wants the companies to be held accountable for providing them with financial aid. “I had always pictured my brother’s killers as faceless,” she said. “I wouldn’t have thought U.S. companies would have anything to do with his death. Those funds went directly from those companies to terrorists who had a mission to kill U.S. troops like my brother. They should be held accountable. Companies should know what is done in their name.”

Whether its U.S. corporations sending money to terrorists in Iraq, or even the disastrous and poorly run Department of Veterans Affairs, something needs to be done to improve the way veterans and military individuals are treated in this country. It’s sad, but far too often these brave men and women don’t receive the amount of respect and care that they deserve, and if U.S.-based pharmaceutical companies really did put our troops in danger for money, then it really is a sad day in America. (Click to Source)

Pharmacist who shuttles carloads of pharma drugs to Congress admits they’re senile, brain-damaged patients who “might not even remember what happened yesterday”

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(Natural News) Many of the nation’s top lawmakers appear to be pharmaceutical drug addicts who rely on a steady stream of pharma pills being covertly shipped into them daily at Capitol Hill via a local pharmacy in D.C. known as Grubb’s. It’s a quaint little place that a recent article published by STATNews.com featured in an almost sentimental light, while also admitting that many members of Congress who utilize its services likely “aren’t all there” in terms of their brain function.

Mike Kim, the head pharmacist and owner of Grubb’s, should know; he’s the one who’s responsible for filling prescriptions for members of Congress. And he says that what he sees are plenty of prescriptions for things like diabetes and circulation issues, as well as for more serious conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. This, he says, is somewhat concerning because it calls into question whether or not the people crafting our country’s laws are cognitively fit to be making such important decisions.

“It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday,’” Kim reportedly told STATNews.com.

Grubb’s has apparently been involved in legally trafficking pharmaceuticals to and from the Capitol building on a daily basis since at least 1997. It operates through the Office of the Attending Physician (OAP), which basically functions as the personal physician for members of Congress. The OAP is secretive in its dealings – and understandably so, seeing as how the personal medical affairs of members of Congress should remain private, just as they do for every other American.

But where the concern lies is with the ease of access that Congress has to drugs in general, not to mention the ones that are used to treat cognitive decline. Not only does Congress get to cut to the front of the line, so to speak, when it comes to accessing drugs at Grubb’s but it also gets them hand delivered – oftentimes to the tune of 800 prescriptions per day.

“Nearly every day for at least two decades pharmaceutical drugs have been brought by the carload to the Capitol – an arrangement so under the radar that even pharmacy lobbyists who regularly pitch Congress on their industry aren’t aware of it,” writes Erin Mershon for STATNews.com.

“The deliveries arrive at the secretive Office of the Attending Physician, an elaborate medical clinic where Navy doctors triage medical emergencies and provide basic health care for lawmakers who pay an annual fee of just over $600. Every one comes from Washington’s oldest community pharmacy, Grubb’s.”

John McCain: Grubb’s has ‘injured me on several occasions’

While it can’t be said with certainty which members of Congress are taking Alzheimer’s drugs, there are clues for those with eyes to see. During her failed bid for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, for instance, showed signs of possible brain abnormalities, spiraling into strange bouts of head bobbing and eye movements that point to brain damage. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has similarly displayed strange behaviors while giving speeches that suggest she might have a form of dementia.

John McCain is another longtime member of Congress who, in speaking with STATNews.com, basically admitted that he’s a regularly recipient of drugs from Grubb’s. He told the news outlet that the people who work at Grubb’s are “good people,” and that “they’re always courteous.” He went on to explain that they have a difficult job but that they always cooperate with him, adding strangely that nobody should tell them that because “they’ve injured me on several occasions,” he said, apparently in jest. (Click to Site)

New Ager-Turned-Christian Steven Bancarz Exposes Connection Between Psychedelic Drugs and Witchcraft

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A former New Ager who became a born again believer in Jesus is explaining the link between the use of psychoactive substances and the occult.

In a video released on his YouTube channel Sunday, Steven Bancarz, who shared his remarkable testimony with The Christian Post last year, unpacked the spiritual darkness tied to the use of psychedelic drugs.

“Psychedelic drugs are a class of substances that interact with the seratonin receptors in the brain, causing an alternation in perception and sometimes resulting in visionary or hallucinatory experiences,” he explained, the most common of which are LSD, DMT, mescaline, and Psilocybin mushrooms.

These substances have been used for thousands of years among practitioners of pagan religions of all kinds, Bancarz noted. He made the video in response to the many questions he received about this after dispensing his New Age beliefs, and said he has some personal experience with mushrooms.

The use of psychedelics has profound spiritual implications, he stated. And although the phrase “psychedelic drugs” never appears in text, Scripture forbids it. And these same biblical prohibitions apply to other drugs like marijuana, meth, and cocaine, he said.

The use of psychedelics thwart the meaning of life, Bancarz said, which for the Christian is “fellowship with God through Jesus.” Whatever the appeal of using these drugs like “expanded perspectives,” “contact with the spirit world,” or fulfilling human curiosity, “the end of human life is to be restored to relationship with the Father, through faith in Jesus.”

“Biblically speaking, the shifting of our consciousness with drugs is not something God calls us to do. It does not bring us closer to Him,” Bancarz said.

He noted that several passages of the New Testament forbid drug use, which is contained in their condemnation of “sorcery,” such as in Galatians 5:19-21 where it is listed alongside sexual immorality, jealousy, and fits of anger — sins the apostle Paul calls “works of the flesh” that inhibit people from inheriting the Kingdom of God.

“The Greek word used here is pharmakeia,” Bancarz said, “which is where we derive the word pharmacy from.”

While “sorcery” refers to magic in its witchcraft sense, it also includes magic with drugs, like substances and medicines used for spiritual, recreational, religious ceremonial, and other non-medicinal purposes. The Book of Enoch, while not a canonical book of the Bible and should not be considered God-breathed like the rest of Scripture even though part of it is quoted in Jude 14-15, affirms this definition, Bancarz added.

The Book of Enoch also describes how fallen angels taught humans how to utilize plants and cut roots to tap into their psychedelic compounds and to elicit metaphysical experiences and cast spells.

“If transpersonal mystical experiences coming alongside the use of drugs cannot be called pharmakeia, I don’t know what can. This is literally what the word means.”

Elsewhere in Scripture, such as in 1 Corinthians 6:9, “drunkenness” is condemned, and Bancarz maintained that drug use falls under this category. The word used in that passage is “methe,” which primarily refers to intoxication through alcohol but includes any kind of intoxicant. Whatever the substance, anything that impairs someone’s physical and mental faculties is grievous to God.

Moreover, Scripture also exhorts Christians to be sober, he continued.

1 Thessalonians 5:6, 2 Timothy 4:5, and 1 Peter 1:13, and several other instances all emphasize the importance on being sober-minded, being temperate in our thinking.

“And we can’t be sober in our minds and in our thinking if we are intoxicated under chemically induced states of consciousness,” Bancarz said.

The use of psychedelics is also a pagan practice, and to employ them is to disobey God’s call to be separate and distinct from the world, a holy nation, a pure people for himself, he stressed.

“[God] wants us to look different, think different, and act different,” Bancarz explained, “and historically speaking, the only cultures that used these [psychoactive] substances were pagan.”

In light of all this evidence, “we need to turn away from our sin, put away the use of these substances, put our faith in Jesus for our salvation, and follow the straight and narrow path that leads to everlasting life,” he concluded.

Bancarz’s website, Reasons for Jesus, is an apologetics resource hub that helps Christians understand the deception of occultic spirituality and the demonic realm. (Click to Site)

Cannibal killer shot by police after refusing to stop eating woman he beheaded

Aphiwe Mapekula dies in hospital three days after attacking Thembisa Masumpa

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A man who was accused of beheading a woman and cannibalising her corpse has died in hospital after being shot by police in South Africa.

Aphiwe Mapekula, 23, was shot in the arm, leg and stomach outside his home in Mount Frere after officers arrived to find him eating the corpse of a woman.

It is the latest incident involving cannibalism in the Eastern Cape, after four men were charged with raping, killing and “consuming” parts of a woman near Durban last month.

Police say they arrived at the scene in Mount Frere last week to find Mapekula eating the flesh of Thembisa Masumpa, 35, a woman who was known to him and who he allegedly beheaded after a family argument.

Officers told local newspaper reporters the suspect ignored several warning shots designed to stop him, before charging at the police with a knife after they opened fire.

He was taken to taken hospital, where he is also alleged to have attacked a female medic minutes after being admitted, and died three days later on 12 September.

His mother, who first raised the alarm when she saw her son attacking Ms Masumpa as she tried to leave their home, told the Daily Dispatch: “I never raised a son like this one. I never imagined this.”

Neighbours say Ms Masumpa worked at the home doing odd jobs and was washing in the backyard when she was attacked by Mapekula.

Local police spokeswoman Captain Edith Mjoko said “He killed her with a knife by cutting her throat.

“When the mother of the suspect saw what was happening she rushed and called the police to the scene.

“When they arrived the suspect was busy eating the flesh of the deceased.

“Police ordered him to stop and to hand himself over. He went berserk and stormed at them with the knife.

“Several warning shots were fired to deter him but in vain.”

Local mayor Bulelwa Mabengu said he believed “drug and substance abuse” was involved. Neibours described Mapekula as an introvert who dropped out of university after struggling with drug addiction.

A spokesman for the local health department, Sizwe Kupelo, told HeraldLive: “He was admitted on Saturday after he was transferred from Madzikane KaZulu Hospital in KwaBhaca with gunshot wounds and needed emergency surgery. He unfortunately died in the early hours of this morning at about 4.35am”. (Click to Site)

More opioid prescriptions than people in some California counties

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SEPTEMBER 08, 2017 12:01 AM