I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition (PBCSAC). In attendance was a plethora of addiction industry, well-connected professionals from various South Florida rehabs, sober homes and focus groups. This group, together with like groups from counties all over the State of Florida and the United States, is credited with the overdue attention given to the opioid epidemic. In May, Governor Scott declared Florida’s opioid epidemic a “public health emergency.” As a result, additional funding can be realized in strategic areas for heroin antidotes. Funds were made available for the Sober Home Task Force to stop the greed and help provide safe homes for people in recovery. New addiction awareness initiatives, locally and in Washington D.C., are being implemented.
With that said, the addiction battle is against an enemy that is so vast that we can only combat the proverbial “tip of the iceberg.” The Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., Vice Admiral, recently submitted his report, “Facing Addiction in America … Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health” and he stated “… addiction is a health condition, not a moral failing or character flaw.” As such, addiction is a disease that affects body, soul and spirit. Many 28-day programs provide medically assisted treatment where patients can detox and address physical/body recovery. There are many behavioral health rehabs providing counseling services to address the soul in 30 to 60 day rehabs. Rehab defined … restores an addict to their condition prior to using the substance.
Faith Farm Ministries was the only faith-based organization represented at the PBCSAC meeting. We understand that there is an obstacle to the “rehab” approach. An addict may not have dealt with whatever caused them to use in the first place. For this reason, Faith Farm’s approach provides a regeneration program, or spiritual recovery. Just like a caterpillar becomes a chrysalis, then a beautiful butterfly … this is what Spiritual Recovery does for a person.
Making an impact in the external addiction battlefield is a daunting goal. It seems to me that the battle strategy to combat the addiction enemy can best be fought from the “inside – out!” We stand a better chance when we try to help a person by loving them and helping them to love themselves.