CNS- In his March 29 briefing on coronavirus, President Donald Trump alluded to the social consequences of not taking seriously the threat it poses. He mentioned the “massive” rates of drug use, depression, and suicide that might happen if he took a more relaxed approach to the disease.
Trump’s critics have played their “fact check game,” questioning how accurate his statement is. Even if we allow for hyperbole, Trump is right to call attention to these often neglected side effects associated with the stress and isolation engendered by a pandemic.
What Trump did not say is that one of the greatest tonics guarding against these conditions is religion; it is also true that those most at risk are non-believers. This is not a gray area: the studies are numerous and the findings are impressive. [The evidence is cited in my book “The Catholic Advantage: Why Health, Happiness, and Heaven Await the Faithful.”]
Dr. Harold G. Koenig is the nation’s leading scholar in the study of well-being. He teaches psychiatry and medicine at Duke University, and is the founding co-director of Duke’s Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health. He and his associates examined 278 studies on the relationship between religion and alcohol and drug use. They found that 86 percent of the studies concluded that the more religious a person was, the less likely he was to indulge. They also found that of the 185 studies on religion and drug abuse, the inverse relationship between religion and drugs was found 84 percent of the time. read more