The Corner

Culture

Ten Things that Caught My Eye Today (August 21, 2018)

1. R.I.P.

2. Christian Science Monitor: A champion of foster children in need of permanent families

3. Ericka Andersen on fighting the opioid crisis:

People don’t stop using drugs because doctors and pharmacists curb prescriptions or because police step up enforcement. They stop using drugs because they find a greater purpose, a supportive community, and a reason to live beyond the high.

Projects like Back on My Feet, where I was a volunteer leader for several years, use running as a means to help recovering addicts overcome. I remain friends with at least one man from the program who has retained his sobriety for more then 7 years now.

Another example is The Phoenix, a gym whose only membership requirement is 48 straight hours of sobriety and offers a vital community aspect so many addicts are missing in their lives. Studies show that regular exercise may help in preventing drug addiction, due to the natural release of dopamine that is similar to that of a manufactured high.

You can also look to things like local YMCAs and community centers, which foster community engagement in a healthy way that promotes friendship, camaraderie and purpose. Additionally, new churches in small communities attract individuals who had never attended church or hadn’t attended in many years. It’s clear there is a strong desire for this kind of life support, and yet it won’t ever be the main focus for combating addiction in the media or on Capitol Hill.

Policymakers should prioritize funding these types of programs and promote more personalized kinds of help that has a lasting impact and addresses the root of the issue, rather than one of access and regulation. Empowerment of local communities to help their citizens where they are is a far better way than national regulations that consider all victims of addiction to require the same solutions.

Government efforts to regulate opioid prescription may even exacerbate the epidemic by forcing those in pain onto the black market to use far more dangerous and unregulated opioids. “The focus on prescription painkillers is especially misguided now that the vast majority of opioid-related deaths actually involve illegally produced drugs,” said veteran journalist on the issue, Jacob Sullum.

4. There are no words.

5. Lumma Simms has a plea to Catholic bishops in First Things.

6. A novena for the abuse crisis (starts Thursday).

7. There’s a holy hour for victims of sex abuse at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York Wednesday.

8. Knights (of Columbus) step up to the plate.

9. Can sociology acknowledge certain essential, universal truths about the human person … truths that transcend the measurable and economic categories that most sociologists rely on to do their work? – an encouraging what-I-did-on-my-summer-vacation kinda report

10. A church looks to meet local needs and makes some teachers very happy.

PLUS: Fr. Thomas Berg, the author of the book Hurting in the Church, talks about moving forward.

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