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Old 07-05-2011, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Padgett2 View Post
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?
I think a church should be a family. If all you do is come on Sunday, and maybe a mid-week small group that may or may not be a Bible study, are you really growing together and getting to know each other? If someone in your congregation has a need, and all you ever see them is for 1 hour a week....can you really do a lot to help them?

I agree with you though, that if we spend 6 days a week locked up in a church, we aren't doing a lot of good and we aren't reaching anyone. We might as well go live in a cave and be a hermit if we do that.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:05 AM
Location: In a state of mind
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I think drugs and alcohol abuse is prevalent everywhere. I think it is possibly more visible in rural areas and smaller towns because the news tends to report more local events that would otherwise be ignored in larger cities (where there are perhaps dozens of drug arrests each day).

Two people just died in a car accident in our town, 4:30 am Friday, empty and partial bottles of booze found all around the vehicle, which went off a cliff.

I think a lot has to do with income and education levels too. I live p/t in a very wealthy part of SoCal, there is little visible drug or alcohol abuse. There is of course social drinking, cocktail party type, but no beer guzzling, pot smoking, meth lab types. (That I am aware of anyway, who knows what happens behind closed doors.)

I also own a home and rental properties in AZ. There it seems there is quite a large drug problem. Lower income, not much for kids or poor people to do (like jobs) a lot of households on assistance. There seems to be quite a bit of meth, though the police have made inroads on it. But per capita it is probably about the same levels as in LA and crime overall is much lower, though it seems like it's rampant because if someone throws a plate at their spouse it's in the newspaper.

I don't know what our local churches do, but I definitely think churches that are equipped to help would be useful. I think referrals to places where people could obtain help is a way to start. For more money, churches could help fund rehab and social programs (AA), etc. Possibly if there is a way to work with the police to help divert people with substance problems. Also, things for kids to do that don't lead to abuse. I remember as a teenager, we lived in a small mountain town. The only thing for kids to do was steal beer, smoke pot, and go shooting, or have sex. It's amazing that nobody got seriously shot (only one fellow, by accident, just a flesh wound, in the behind... his dad was the local doctor - LOL.)

Regarding the off-topic church discussion - I am not a believer in a deity, however I find that church people are usually the kind of folks I'd rather have as neighbors. I agree that some churches perhaps desire too much participation from members and that is probably not a good thing. There is a distinction between immersion and participation. But I think at every church there is room for people of varying interest and ability. Some people were destined to be ministers, others to just go on Sunday and every level in between.

Anyway, hope this insight helps the OP.
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Old 07-16-2011, 04:22 AM
Location: Meggett, SC
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My husband's small town in West Virginia has a major problem with drugs nowadays. His town is around 700 people. While he no longer lives there, we've had discussions about this issue in his hometown. His belief, and I agree, is that there is a somewhat no hope type of attitude there. There are little to no jobs and the kids really aren't educated on the opportunities that exist post-high school there. My husband chose the Marine Corps and thank goodness for that. But, he never knew there were other options such as college because he figured he would either never get in or be able to afford it.

I think a church could help a lot by helping kids see there is something out there for them, some opportunities for them that are truly attainable. Besides offering just activities, offer them concrete hope in the form of job assistance, college options (e.g. financial aid, scholarship opportunities, assistance with college apps), and technical schools. Form groups to visit colleges, have people from that small town let them know how they succeeded, offer tutoring sessions, etc. Personally, I think if kids have the idea that they can and will be successful, they generally have a goal to work towards and will stay away from drugs, alcohol, and the like.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:35 AM
Location: Middle America
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I think it is complete bullsh*t that if you're a kid and live in a small town, the only thing to do is abuse substances. I, all my siblings, and all my friends grew up rurally, and it was a common refrain, but not one we found any truth in.

It's an excuse to experiment with stuff you just want to experiment with. Whether or not you have other things to do (and we always had other things we could do), if you want to drink and do drugs as a teen, you're going to drink and do drugs. It's not about "Oh my God, I'm so bored...guess I'll do drugs." Kids who decide to abuse substances make lame choices because they're curious, want to, and lack the maturity/foresight to consider consequences.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:57 AM
Location: Texas
1,326 posts, read 1,381,989 times
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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
Exactly, the same in the area where I live. You feel like an outsider if you are not an older pillar of the community and their kids are some of the boozer,druggers but because Mom, Pop and the Grandparent's are in the loop they are given a pass. You will not see their names in the smalltown paper or who got arrested...
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:44 AM
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Thanks to all the answers I got, guys. I ended up getting an A on the paper and an A- for the class.
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Calvinist View Post
Doing some research for a Seminary paper. Anyone live in an small town/rural area with a drug/alcohol problem?
i did, yes. it was next to impossible to find drugs, or a decent place to grab a beer.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:41 PM
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
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Originally Posted by le roi View Post
i did, yes. it was next to impossible to find drugs, or a decent place to grab a beer.
Well, if a town is small enough, there's no place available, which sells beer.
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:55 PM
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i live in asmall town haft the people at my school are getting drunk or high my church tries too help but no one seems too care
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:22 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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From my experience (in Hermantown, MN - technically a suburb of Duluth, which isn't that large of a city itself), both are problems in small towns, but I think "alcohol" needs to be separated from "drugs". Drinking is socially accepted here, even to intoxication (but not necessarily falling off the bar stool!) As for underage drinking, yes, it's very common.

In fact, I think it might be even more common than in large cities and their suburbs. There are simply more places for kids to drink without supervision here. Dead end roads sometimes end in trails to gravel pits, power line clearings, etc. which are common places for high school-aged youth to drink in the summer. In addition, some of their parents either look the other way or are complicit in their alcohol consumption. A little over a year ago, one of the participants was driving a girl back to her home when he crashed his truck, resulting in the girl being severely injured. The father was called and the two simply dropped her off at her house to allegedly "conceal" the accident. An editorial was ran in the following week's small-town newspaper condemning drunk driving but taking a much more complacent stance towards "pit parties" as they are called locally. As you can see, people around here have a much more liberal stance towards underage drinking than they do elsewhere.

Drugs, on the other hand, are not at all accepted by "local society", but still rather commonplace. Marijuana probably takes the place as the drug of choice among youth, with perhaps a majority of local kids having tried it, but tends to not to addict or be consumed regularly by any given user. Rather, prescription painkillers and methamphetamines are the "problem" drugs locally and in small towns and cities across the country. Having lived with a (recovering) prescription drug addict, I know how addicted users can become and what they will do to obtain money for their addiction. The latest craze is Opana; formerly, Oxycontin was the drug of choice. Users will not only chew them, but find ways to extract the contents, put it in rolling papers, and smoke it. Many Oxycontin addicts have switched to Heroin after they have become less available in the community.

Meth addiction is a grave problem in many small towns and rural areas and attracts a more lower-class demographic than prescription drugs. Meth "cooks" (as the producers of the drugs are known) often set up shop in the middle of nowhere - even people's hunting shacks are not exempt - and synthesize drugs using materials commonly found in rural areas (fertilizer, for example) and then proceed to sell them to "wholesalers", who in turn re-sell them to a distribution chain.

As for churches, I think they play a much larger role in deterring drug problems than a lot of posters here give them credit for. One way is by scheduling fun activities that will actually attract youth. Nevertheless, kids generally begin using drugs and alcohol (from my experience) as part of a peer group. They usually don't start experimenting or drinking on their own or in their family (except if it's a really bad family). It might be called "peer pressure", but these "cliques" have a mind of their own. If the participant is completely willing, can it be called "peer pressure"? Churches and parents are not the foremost influences in teenagers' lives; their peer group is.
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