The Rise of Addiction During the COVID Pandemic

Listen to podcast audio:

One of the least talked-about effects of the pandemic was a sudden rise in addiction and substance abuse. Ron Brown, the Executive Director of Teen Challenge Southern California, joins the Gary Wilkerson Podcast to explain how isolation and feelings of hopelessness contribute to addiction. In this honest conversation, Gary Wilkerson and Ron Brown talk about how people are finding freedom through Christ.

Key Points from the Podcast

  • Gary Wilkerson and Ron Brown discuss the founding, history, and current state of Teen Challenge.

  • The imposed isolation during the COVID pandemic has caused a rise in drug use and addiction.

  • Many who are addicted feel trapped and do not realize there is freedom to be found in Christ.

  • Illicit drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol and pornography are so pervasive and available in our society that many people turn to them when they face a difficult situation.

  • The first step in helping someone struggling with addiction is to get them connected to resources outside themselves—prayer, godly community, and potentially a recovery program.

  • Unfortunately, a large segment of the modern Christian church does not focus on addiction and isn’t prepared to help those struggling with addiction.

  • You can’t care for others if you haven’t learned how to let God care for you.

Bible Verses Referenced in the Podcast

Proverbs 23:10; Psalm 11:3; Genesis 4:7; John 8:36; Luke 7:36–50

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast

Podcast Episodes Featuring Ron Brown

About Ron Brown

As Executive Director, Ron Brown oversees the ministry of Teen Challenge Southern California and its ten ministry locations. In addition to the year-long structured Christian discipleship ministry for those addicted to drugs and alcohol, Teen Challenge Southern California provides comprehensive outreach and prevention programs for inner-city youth at risk of gang affiliation and drug abuse. In addition to his duties as Executive Director, Ron is passionate about leadership development and encourages pastors and Christian leaders through conferences and seminars locally, nationally, and internationally.


About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

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