Addictions to various drugs is still a major concern in most communities. See www.strentheningfamiliesprogram.org to order this resource. The Strengthening Families Program provides a low-cost Home Use DVD for ages 7-17 developed by Dr. Karol Kumpfer and Jaynie Brown. It costs $5.00. It has been used as part of the Middle School Health Class curriculum with parent-child Homework assignments and helped lower 8th grade binge drinking 50% in one year.
In some communities, the addiction ladder has stepped up to drugs of much higher potency, particularly heroin. Overdose deaths are much too frequent, now outnumbering car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.
Narcan, a nasal spray made by Adapt Pharma, is as easy to use as a nasal spray for allergies to revive an overdosed heroin victim. FDA approval was in late 2015. The product’s shelf life is 2 years. The company is trying to place Narcan in every place a potentially fatal overdose could be reversed, such as private homes, with police cars, hospitals, emergency rooms, ambulances, rehab clinics, jails and prisons. Some public interest groups receive a 40% discount off the price of $125. If you or your organization needs to have this on hand, check with your doctor or local pharmacy on how to get it. “The Resurrection Drug,” Bloomberg Businessweek, (Nov. 14, 2016), pp 42-44.
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups have been very helpful along with treatment centers for addictions.
Recognizing that the “war on drugs” has failed, some areas in the U.S. are taking a new approach to addiction. Fifty police departments have offered heroin users, if they bring their paraphernalia to the station, to be taken to a treatment center rather than being punished. Over 200 treatment centers have signed on to the programs.
The Mayor of Ithaca, New York, Svante Myrick, is proposing a drug policy reform similar to the Insite program in Vancover, Canada. It is a do no harm policy that even provides a medically supervised, safe place for drug use and offers treatment to those who desire it. The Insite program and change in U.S. approach is described in The Christian Century September 14, 2016, article by Alexander E. Sharp titled, “After the war on drugs: A public health approach to addiction.”
Life is precarious in prison. “Faces of Change,” a photography exhibit by Nick Vedros, highlights inmates who have become changed through a program called “Reaching Out From Within.” SuEllen Fried, a 1978 visiting speaker on “Stopping the Violence” was given a list of topics by Greg Musselman, an inmate of Lansing Correctional Facility who wanted his time in prison to be meaningful. From presentations on the topics, Musselman started a course for inmates. One of them took notes and a BlueBook began taking form which is printed by the Kansas Department of Corrections. When group members are transferred to other facilities, they take their Blue Book and start another group (www catholicdioceseofwichita.org/feature-articles/20868).
In 2004, the Pew study on recidivism within 3 years of release was over forty percent. For inmates who attended 20 to 40 meetings, recidivism has dropped by half (23%) that of non-attenders who are released. Those who attended 60 meetings have only an eight percent rate of recidivism. Their success is somewhat dependent on the degree of acceptance and mentoring they experience.
The program is in every prison in Kansas and has the goal of being in every state in the U.S. (www.huggintonpost.com/2013/09/16 suellen-freid_n_3895084.html).
This is an excerpt from the upcoming print version of At Eden’s Gate Whole Health and Well-Being, Third Edition. Feel free to forward this material as widely as you wish.
Addictions are Still a Major Concern