Action-items for faith based organizations
- Articulate and display a statement (in your lobby, on your website etc.) describing how your faith-based organization promotes healing and provides a safe haven for those impacted by addiction.
- Preach about addiction and integrate stories of recovery and hope into devotional content in order to remove stigma and create an inclusive environment where people feel comfortable sharing their stories. Resist stereotypes of people impacted by drug use by using non-stigmatizing language. Use your sacred text as a supporting book for preaching about recovery and hope.
- Utilize your organization’s property to collaborate with partner organizations who may work in addiction and recovery (such 12-step programs, mental health support groups, outpatient treatment providers).
- Strengthen relationships with community organizations and local service providers who work in addiction and recovery (treatment providers etc.). Use these relationships to build referral networks.
- Manage an up-to-date referral list for prevention, treatment, and recovery options at all levels of pay (free, insurance, self-pay). Make this information available to staff and congregants. Consider adding an addiction resource page to your website.
- Host educational events to share information about addiction, prevention, treatment and recovery with your community.
- Build capacity of staff to recognize and respond to mental health and substance use concerns. This may include offering educational opportunities including Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment), Mental Health First Aid, and trauma specific interventions.
- Commit staff or community members to volunteer positions that address addiction (e.g., counseling, peer support etc.).
- Make educational and self-help resources (12-step literature etc.) accessible to your staff and community.
- Stock naloxone and establish a plan for overdose response in your place of worship. Train staff how to recognize overdose symptoms and administer naloxone.
- Organize community members to advocate for just, equitable and inclusive drug treatment and prevention policies (e.g., sign-on letters, marches etc.)
- Participate in the DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Event which happens twice each year in April and October. Promote the event, educate about safe storage and disposal, and collaborate with local police departments to use your organization as a Take Back Site.
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