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Old 07-01-2011, 11:52 AM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,927,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntieannie68 View Post
am living in a small town with a huge drug and alcohol problem---it is not being addressed by the many churches here of all denominations and i am not sure why-----since i volunteer at a local church---i try to address it in my sunday school lessons--but i see the priests,pastors avoiding it in their sermons-----they need to bring the families into the church community no matter what the financial status (especially if they are poor,struggling and broken)----instead they seem to cater to the older wealthy(those that give more financially to the church)--this is discouraging
In my experience people who need fixing usually don't hang around places where they can get help

Talking about the drugs in church would be (no pun intended) preaching to the choir. Most often when teens get into drugs it is because of lack of parent supervision and involvement.

When I was growing up (long time ago) my parents were figures of authority. When my father said something to me, it had to be done and there was no refusing or talking back. I had a healthy respect for both of my parents (and a bit of fear of consequences of being bad) and knew my boundaries.

Granted, both my parents were home after 5 pm (working 7:30 - 5). School was different back then too and took on the role of instilling certain values (non religious) into children. Anyways, long story short, that's all gone now on a large scale. Children are raised by TV, peers and themselves.

OD
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:30 PM
 
4,527 posts, read 5,200,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ognend View Post
in my experience people who need fixing usually don't hang around places where they can get help

talking about the drugs in church would be (no pun intended) preaching to the choir. Most often when teens get into drugs it is because of lack of parent supervision and involvement.

When i was growing up (long time ago) my parents were figures of authority. When my father said something to me, it had to be done and there was no refusing or talking back. I had a healthy respect for both of my parents (and a bit of fear of consequences of being bad) and knew my boundaries.

Granted, both my parents were home after 5 pm (working 7:30 - 5). School was different back then too and took on the role of instilling certain values (non religious) into children. Anyways, long story short, that's all gone now on a large scale. Children are raised by tv, peers and themselves.

Od
even more reason to get these kids and families back to church and address these issues
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,539,972 times
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Where drinking is a part of the social interaction - i.e., the only bar in town is also the only restaurant, the only place working country people meet regularly, the only wide-screen in town to watch games, the only place where folks gather to play pool, cards, cribbage, etc - drinking becomes the norm, is accepted. Some adults can't hold their liquor, everyone knows it and gives them rides home, etc. There is a lot of passive 'enabling' going on in most small towns; yeah, J___ and his wife are alcoholics, but they don't bother anyone and are fun and hardworking most of the time. Their children are alcoholics too, you simply don't let your children go out with them, or if they come to the party, you teach your chldren to avoid them especially if they are driving, etc.

Several children whom I know drink go to church with their parents every Sunday, attend all church socials (and usually help out at them!) - and their parents are in denial; either "MY son NEVER drinks!" or "Yeah, my daughter drinks, but what can you do? Everyone does it." If you tried to start a Teen-Anon or a support group in a small town, most parents would deny that there was a problem. After all, these are the kids of people with whom they work, eat, drink, and socialize!

Truthfully, unless the parents take the lead, a church that tries to start a directed program in a town that will not admit to a problem, will find itself very soon with angry, even departing, membership. We have several churches locally, and while some are more child-and-teen attentive than others, there are lines that they don't cross. Mostly they tend to focus on the passive positive (paintball games, competitions, even town-wide scavenger hunts, suppers, candy-making, all-night board game/movie nights, Christmas caroling, etc) rather than the active negative. Usually, though, the kids that start drinking either become too old for such stuff - or start to think that they are - and stop going. Parents who try to force the issue ("We're/you're GOING, and that's THAT!") end up with kids who rebel by drinking, drugs, or sex - and then you have a whole new set of problems.

Everyone in a small town already knows - or thinks that they know - who the problems are. The difficulty as I see it is in 1) getting them to see the problem, and 2) getting them to address it in a positive manner that doesn't get a rebellious reaction and 3) realizing that you probably won't 'save' more than one or two in a small town - but being there to catch them, always available, if necessary.

We raised our kids with the full knowledge of alcohol and drugs and the fact that they don't solve problems, they destroy and sidetrack rational thought, but alcohol - if used correctly and not abused - could be a social interaction tool. None of our 3 kids (now adults) indulge in alcohol abuse now; they go out with friends occasionally or have two or three drinks with friends, always have a DD (and sometimes ARE the DD) - we worked EMS and they used to see us coming home with their classmates' blood on our shirts, so that left a very real impact on them. It is very hard to overcome the "Oh, THAT'll never happen to ME!" invincibility of teenagers.
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:27 PM
 
Location: South of Maine
739 posts, read 864,401 times
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Default Fireworks and Firewater!

You don't usually think of the Fourth of July as a day to get drunk, but Fireworks and firewater mixed together with driving, can be dangerous! I'm reminded of that old warning: "he who goes forth on the Fourth with a fifth...may not come forth on the Fifth"!
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Middle America
37,149 posts, read 43,088,498 times
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A church-based addictions outreach is going to run into the same challenges every addictions outreach runs into...people can only be helped if they WANT help. The most you can do is be present and visible...ultimately, people have to want to improve their situations, and you can be there as a resource when they do.

As a parishioner in a fairly liberal, social justice-based protestant denomination church, I know that my particular community of faith is NOT one that shies away from extending mental health support as part of their calling to be a community of caring, and that includes addiction support. For any faith community who wants to reach out to those with addictions and other mental health issues, they need to make sure they are equipped. That means trained professionals/access to trained professionals via referrals, etc.

I grew up in a small town/rural area. Drinking as a main form of entertainment, drinking to excess, teens drinking, drunk driving and drunk driving-related collisions and deaths were all very, very common. Drugs were less prevalent, but present (particularly meth and weed). Especially among the teen population, there were some who did that, but far, far, far more went the alcohol route. "There's nothing else to do," was the popular excuse. I don't know, I found plenty to do.

Last edited by TabulaRasa; 07-02-2011 at 05:08 PM..
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Old 07-02-2011, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Lake Oswego, Aspen, and...finally...'Palazzo Oligarcho' in Great Neck!
3,243 posts, read 4,299,417 times
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There is a town full of Churches, where one of my friends opened a store.... something for her to do on weekends.... All of the people she hired ended up being leeches, who exploited her pathological generosity.

There was this one woman, who turned out to be a Meth Addict. She got fired, but my friend ran into her again. In a special moment of 'sharing' and hand-holding, the Addict choked out... "Please, Mindy... Tell me about Jesus....". Well, 'Mindy' ended up paying for a very expensive "Rehab" program for the woman.

Apparently, Christians who will foot the bill for "Rehab" are considered the ultimate suckers by Druggies. You cannot continue "Tweaking" indefinitely. You need some downtime, every now and then, to build up some tolerance to the drugs, so they will make you high again (well, and so that your Liver and Kidneys can kick back in, etc.). And a Drug Rehab program is the best place to Crash....much more comfortable than shivering and shaking under a bush, somewhere.

A while later, my friend was back in that chock-full-o'-Churches little town, checking up on the 'Reformed' Addict. She was back working her street corner. Her pimp menaced my friend. "Jesus" apparently hadn't worked. She was back on drugs, as she probably had planned to be, all along. She'd just needed a good 'rest'. My friend, of course, admits none of this to herself, and continues to pray for the woman.

My friend grew up in a Church low on the Protestant Ladder, where an almost hysterical obsession with "Leading people to Jesus" was pounded into the Congregants' heads. Coupled with my friend's Narcissistic Messiah Complex.... just the perfect storm for Druggies who want someone else to pay for their 'off-cycles'. They know just how to work Christians, to get just what they want.

My friend, once quite wealthy, is out of money. Just be aware that your childhood religious conditioning may be setting you up to be used.
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Kansas
19,185 posts, read 15,417,652 times
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Can a church make a difference really? Having God in your heart is what will make the difference. The church I attended as a child was a "fire and brimstone" rather than "forgiving". We learned to do the right thing and that met not being selfish and consumed with "self". The drugs and alcohol, all of those "addictions" and "escapes" are just an escape from a tormented life without God in the first place. They have outreach programs here but I have recently heard it hinted that something is going on there that is very wrong. I do think that support groups, even those geared at males, females, parents, youth and children have a place as so many people turn to addictions and "therapy" because they don't have anyone to really talk to and don't understand that others have the same or similar challenges. The church needs to be open to discussing issues that make people uncomfortable so that they can get past the shame and get help. I don't attend church.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
16,359 posts, read 13,805,345 times
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In a neighboring small town from me, Cushing, the local authorities want the landlord to be responsible for the expense of cleaning up a meth lab in a rented home.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:35 AM
 
6,486 posts, read 5,767,019 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily0fthevalley View Post
Yes, alcohol is a problem everywhere I've ever lived.

And I'm SURELY not going to get into the issue of whether or not a church could help! Depends on the religion, the denomination, and the community.

But (as a former librarian) I'd like to strongly recommend that you read this book:


Methland : the death and life of an American small town
by Nick Reding
Book
Language: English
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2009.
Thanks for the suggestion. I bought the kindle version. I spent a good portion of the weekend reading it. It was very interesting. Great insight into the issues.



To everyone, thanks for the suggestions. In addition to the users themselves, I think the church will always be able to do something to help those that are affected by it as innocent bystanders. I appreciate the good feedback given and will be able to use a lot of it in my paper.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:34 AM
 
7,100 posts, read 24,747,617 times
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A church, and it's minister, can do a lot for the community by looking at what's needed outside of the church. That usually means some kind of volunteer community service. It doesn't have to be church oriented.

Join civic clubs. Show by example what can be done. Too often, churches expect people to come to them, rather than the church going out to the people. Be active and helpful outside of the church.

I once belonged to a fairly large church. There was something going on every night of the week. If the members joined everything that they could, they would not have many nights together at home as a family. I could not convince myself that this was good. The minister said that my problem was that I didn't join enough of the church activities. I wanted to be home with my children. Who was right?
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