The American Association of Christian Counselors is holding a free one-day training event at a Pennsylvania church to help guide the Christian community in battling the massive opioid crisis facing our nation.
The training event, called The Opioid Crisis: Creating Church and Community Collaboration, will be held at Grace Fellowship in York on May 4.
Mental health professionals from a variety of backgrounds will serve as panelists at the event, and will address general substance abuse and addiction and opioid addiction specifically.
Panelists will also discuss “how the body of Christ can effectively respond as lay, pastoral, and mental health care providers,” says the Eventbrite page.
They will also “focus on developing strategic collaborative relationships between churches and the communities in which they live.”
AACC President Tim Clinton explained to the Christian Post the goal behind the training event: “[The opioid crisis is] a problem that is impacting communities, churches, and families throughout the nation....No one entity can stem the tide ... we must work together to help people recover from opioid addiction.
Opioid abuse and addiction has reached frightening new levels, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and last year they declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency and introduced a 5-Point Strategy To Combat the Opioid Crisis”
The year before, 2.1 million people were calculated to have an opioid use disorder, and over 42,000 people died from overdose on opioids. That means “116 people died every day from opioid-related drug overdoses.”
The AACC takes this emergency seriously and hopes to better educate and equip the American church to make a difference in it.
Clinton told the Christian Post that he hopes to see churches “collaborate with other resources within the community to intervene in the lives of those trapped in a destructive cycle of opioid abuse and addiction.”
He also urged Christian leaders to “talk about addiction (and mental illness) regularly and make sure a safe environment exists within the church for members to feel they can be honest about personal struggles — such as opioid addiction — and seek help without feeling isolated or judged.”
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Publication date: May 2, 2018