Churches and Drug Addiction


About 10 years ago, when I was running a local group to help make people aware of the dangers of drug addiction I approached some local Churches. I was fairly confident that they would be supportive of the work I was doing and would want to learn more. I could not have been more wrong. I was told, kindly but firmly that “We do not have a drug problem”. Only one local Church made any effort to become involved.

Today I spoke with an old colleague that I had worked with years ago. She is also working on addiction issues. I mentioned to her the lack of concern shown by the Churches and she laughed and said that she had encountered the same thing. The slight difference was that in her case, she was trying to work on domestic abuse. She was given to understand that the Churches did not have issues with domestic abuse!

To both of these situations I say GARBAGE! Everyone is affected by drug use and many also by domestic abuse. The sad part here is that these people do not realize just how much they are affected.

In the county where I live, our Sheriff told me some years ago that 80 – 90% of all crime was drug related. 80 – 90%!! Crime costs all of us. It is taxpayer money that bears the main burden of crime. That, along with insurance companies, who merely raise the rates for the rest of us when hit by unreasonable payouts due to crime.

Drug users can cause havoc regardless of whether it is a drugged driver in the car behind us who rear-ends us and has no insurance, or the petty thief who steals a new bike or the crack smoking addict who sets fire to an apartment complex. All costs money and you can be sure it does not come from the addict themselves. It also costs to either incarcerate them (taxpayer expense) or send them to rehab (taxpayers again pay up).  Every day the courts and police departments are spending thousands of dollars dealing with the results of drug users, not to mention the health care system, as few drug addicts have any health insurance. Addicts are not big on insurance at any time, so once again the burden falls on the rest of us.

The ‘rest of us’ must include Church-goers. These are the people who ‘do not have a drug problem’! Actually they do, but until they step forward and are willing to learn just how big of a problem there is with drug use, it will continue to get worse.  Remember, All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Even though this saying cannot be definitively attributed to Edmund Burke, the principal is correct. While our Churches continue to do nothing, and consider themselves above both drug addiction or domestic abuse, both will continue to flourish.

I know that there must be Churches who do acknowledge addiction and who take steps to help deal with the problem. Sadly, I have not found any.