Opioid abuse continues to plague America, and it has infiltrated the nation's religious community.
In fact, more than half of surveyed pastors say they have seen members of their congregation struggle with addiction.
According to LifeWay Research, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources based in Nashville, Tennessee, 52% of Protestant pastors surveyed about their connection to the opioid crisis know someone in their congregation dealing with opioid addiction.
The research reached 1,000 pastors across the nation.
The survey was conducted in order to help churches begin addressing the issue.
"Some pastors are at a loss to understand the issues surrounding personal struggles and don't have a plan of action to help those in need," Robby Gallaty, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee, told LifeWay Research.
Other findings in the survey showed:
• Two-thirds of pastors, or 66%, have someone in their congregation who has a family member with opioid addiction.
• 31% of pastors with congregations of fewer than 50 in attendance do not know of anyone personally affected.
• 82% say their church currently serves addicts through spiritual support.
• 46% offer physical support -- food, shelter, clothing, etc. -- to people struggling with addiction.
• 13% admit their church is not doing anything to help opioid addicts.
""We can stick our heads in the sand and hope the issue dissolves, or we can recognize the need and take steps to come alongside those struggling," Gallaty told the research division.