Responding to the R.I. Opioid Crisis with Hope and Healing Part 3

Responding to the R.I. Opioid Crisis with Hope and Healing Part 3

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Third in a series from Peggy Matteson, UCC-RI Health Ministry Consultant
 
Increase Awareness
Addiction is a disease.        People recover.        Treatment is effective.
 
When addiction is understood as a treatable, chronic, medical condition - and not a personal or moral failing - prejudice and shame will be replaced by a spirit of compassion and hope that opens doors, hearts, and resources to those suffering with a substance-use disorder.  We can minister to others by opening doors and hearts with accurate information.
 
What can your church do?  
Help others understand the biology of addiction by sharing resources that are available for free from The National Institute on Drug Abuse – Advancing Addiction Science.
 
  • Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.  Groundbreaking discoveries about the brain have revolutionized our understanding of compulsive drug use, enabling us to respond effectively to the problem. 
     
  • Easy to Read Drug Facts website provides flyers with easy to understand terms.  Each one page of information may be printed.  Click the “Listen” button and the computer will read the text aloud.  Videos are also available on this site.
     
  • Posters covering a variety of topics are available from the National Institute on Drug Abuse  free of charge.
     
  • Opioid Facts for Teens.  In 2.14 million people ages 12 and older had an opioid use disorder in 2016, including 153,000 12- to 17-year-olds.  (Center for Behavioral Statistics, 2017) The goal of this booklet is to give teens the facts so they can make smart choices.
     
  • Leaders of faith formation, Christian education and youth groups, as well as parents can explore with youth the science of addiction and the effect it has on the body God has given them.  A Lesson Plan and Activity Finder site provides information and multimedia activities for those in grades 6 – 12.
     
  • Brain Power takes children (grades K-6) on an age-appropriate exploration of the science behind drug use, explaining the effects of drugs on the brain and the body.  Interactive activities are included.
 If at any time you have questions or need help finding or utilizing a resource please contact me by e-mail pmatteson@ricucc.org or if more urgent by text at 401-965-3272.

Read Part 1 of the series - What Can Your Church Do

Read Part 2 of the series - Open Your Doors

Read Part 3 of the series - Increase Awareness
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