Saturday, May 13, 2017

Reflections and Resources - Addictions

On Thursday and Friday, Sue Washburn, Alice Tondora, and I lead conversations on addiction at the two western Regional Meetings of the Synod of the Trinity in Morgantown, WV and Camp Crestfield. We met some wonderful people who shared our concern for those families and individuals impacted by alcohol and other drug dependency. They shared with us stories of hope and heartache and concern for discerning where the Holy Spirit may be guiding the church in the future to bring hope and healing to those experiencing the pain and struggle in addictions. We came away with affirmation of the direction we are being lead and ideas and suggestions for our common ministry. Some which, we will reflect upon in the next few weeks. We talked about some of the resources available on the internet. Here are a few, though not in anyway an extensive list of possible web links. We include additional links in the next few months.

The U.S. is in the midst of an epidemic of opiate addiction and overdose. Overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have quadrupled since 1999. Deaths from heroin have tripled in the last five years. Pennsylvania has a higher overdose rate than most states.
The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance (CPA) realizes immediate action needs to be taken to prevent opiate abuse. The CPA offers this website, and its content, to increase awareness, education and information on how to seek help. Visit their web page at

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
NIDA provides a wealth of information about drug abuse and links to other organizations and resources. NIDA is committed to bringing timely, factual information on addiction and its treatment to the public. NIDA’s Office
of Science Policy and Communications links scientists, the scientific community, and the media, PILB supports the rapid dissemination of research information to inform policy and improve practice. NIDA’s goal is to ensure that science— not ideology or anecdote—forms the foundation of public information on drug use and addiction.
Visit NIDA online at

Easy-to-Read Drug Facts
As the name of this website states in contains easy to read drug facts. The site will even read the material to you. This website talks about drug abuse, addiction, and treatment. They have a series of videos on this home page and here is one of them. Visit

Why Are Drugs So Hard to Quit? - Video link
Quitting drugs is hard because addiction is a brain disease. Your brain is like a control tower that sends out signals to direct your actions and choices. Addiction changes the signals in your brain and makes it hard to feel OK without the drug. This video from NIDA explains addiction in simple terms and offers a hotline to help you or a loved one find treatment.

Lee McDermott, Contributor

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