Recovery and Addiction

Addiction in Philadelphia

… [the Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9


Addiction is a debilitating disease that does not discriminate based on age, gender, race, religion, or socioeconomic status. It affects people from all backgrounds and communities. Rising opioid and prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic levels, ravaging communities across the nation and throughout Pennsylvania. More than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2017, and Philadelphia’s overdose death rate is among the highest in the nation. However, access to treatment is often difficult, for financial and/or logistical reasons. And with rates for relapse ranging from 40 to 60 percent, ongoing support is needed for those in recovery.


As Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church points out, addiction “wounds the body of Christ.” The Church can—and should—be a powerful force in response to addiction. God’s unfailing mercy provides strength and support on the difficult journey toward lifelong recovery. We are called to be like the Good Samaritan, who bandaged the wounds and paid for lodging for a man who had been robbed, beaten, and left half-dead by the side of the road. “Go and do likewise,” Jesus said.


To help those struggling with addiction, we have created the Recovery Advocacy Network, focused on supporting individuals in recovery and training those who want to be advocates from parishes across the Diocese; we provide support for veterans living with addiction; we provide counseling through the parish wellness centers; we provide free Narcan training to all parishes; and we continue to engage in street ministry to reach the most vulnerable.


In Our Churches

Be the Gospel. On an almost weekly basis, missioners from the Episcopal Church of St. Mark’s in Frankford as well as Franciscan brothers and the brothers from Padre Pio walk the streets in Frankford. Forging relationships with those that are unsheltered and addicted.

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Featured Events

Looking to be more engaged?

Are you passionate about recovery? Consider becoming an advocate for those living with addiction. Our Recovery Advocacy Network is seeking to have a recovery advocate in each parish throughout the Diocese who will respond to persons with a substance use disorder. We are happy to provide more information or answer any questions you may have.

The Rev. Canon Toneh Smyth

The Rev. Canon Toneh Smyth

Canon For Mission

(215) 627-6434 x130