President Donald Trump highlighted faith-based initiatives as a major part in the administration’s efforts to resolve the epidemic of opioid abuse in the country, which Trump declared a national emergency in 2017.
“My administration is committed to ensuring that every citizen can live with dignity and purpose and proudly pursue the American dream,” Trump saidat the Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta on April 24. “Critical to this effort is my administration’s strong support for faith-based initiatives.
“America is a nation that believes in the power of prayer and the strength of fellowship. We believe in the grace of God and we’re proud of it.”
Trump introduced on stage Monty Berks, director of faith-based initiatives at the Tennessee Department of Mental Health, who himself recovered from addiction after getting help from his hometown church 19 years ago.
He said the department’s leaders gave him a chance because they knew he “had a purpose.”
“My purpose was to use the pain that I went through to help other people not have to go through the same thing that I went through,” he said.
Paying it Forward
Addicts in recovery have proven effective in helping other addicts to quit and stay clean. Groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), many of which encourage spirituality in recovery while not necessarily being religious, have utilized this resource for decades. Research indicates that approach works just as well as professional psychological interventions, if not better.
The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, which authorizes some $5 billion over five years to fight the addiction crisis, includes $25 million in grants for “building communities of recovery,” which includes peer-support networks such as NA.
Trump also emphasized prevention, saying “one of the most important steps to ending the opioid crisis is to prevent young people from ever using drugs in the first place.” read more