Grace Downtown of Winchester is using religion to fight the opioid epidemic


Winchester, Virginia may look like an average American suburb from the outside. But beneath the surface, the town is struggling to deal with an opioid epidemic which has hit its residents hard in recent years.

After the town saw an uptick in heroin addiction starting in 2009, local officials have developed a series of innovative approaches to fix the problem. Key to that solution has been religion.

At the town’s local church, Grace Downtown of Winchester, 75% of congregants have dealt with addiction, including even the pastor himself.

Congregants say faith has played a powerful role in their own recovery, and that the church’s innovative approach could serve as a model for other communities across the country.

Watch the full episode of Mic Dispatch above. For other episodes of the show, see here.