Video and essay resources for congregations to begin discussions on addictions.
Our call is to hear the cries of those whose lives are impacted by the current opioid epidemic…
An October 6, 2020 report from the American Medical Association summarizes the continuing opioid epidemic crisis in America: “In addition to the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic, the nation’s opioid epidemic has grown into a much more complicated and deadly drug overdose epidemic. The AMA is greatly concerned by an increasing number of reports from national, state and local media suggesting increases in opioid- and other drug-related mortality—particularly from illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs.”
This crisis affects every congregation. Yet this disease is often a difficult topic to discuss. The Addiction Policy Forum has produced 4 short videos that clearly explain basic, important issues relating to addiction: how addiction works, the risk of addiction, understanding severity and not waiting for rock bottom. All 4 can be found at: https://www.addictionpolicy.org/videos.
In addition attached are four essays which are intended to assist you in focusing your pastoral care and to give you hints as to ways you might bring perspective when various addiction issues arise.
The essays are directed at: 1/ General Information for a local congregation; 2/ Parents and family members of one who is sick; 3/ People who are themselves caught in addiction; 4/ Parents who have lost a child due to an addiction related death.
There is no doubt that once those in church leadership come forth to address this epidemic with Christ like love in worship, in educational setting, more and more will feel safe telling their stories and helping others who need assistance.
Additional resources at the Addiction Policy Forum website (https://www.addictionpolicy.org/) include a handbook for families: Navigating Treatment and Addiction: A Guide for Families.
We invite you to view these videos and share them with your congregation.
The PSEC Addiction and Recovery Task Force
Rev. Dr. Deborah Clemens
Rev. Josh Blakesley
Dr. Kay Jones