As a Christian, homelessness bothers me. I feel we should help those in need and there are many places where the bible tells us to help the poor and that we will want to do “good works” as the fruit of being good Christians who truly believe. The fruit of the Spirit brings about the kindness and goodness of the Lord’s Holy Spirit:
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.– Galatians 5:19-25
So I was thinking the other day while I drove around Seattle’s East Side working a temporary, part-time “gig” job about how the drug treatment offered by the nonprofits I have worked for do not truly address the issue of addiction which I believe is an outgrowth of a person who has lived in sin and has become trapped with an addiction of one sort or another.
Many drug addicts have found themselves addicted to pain medication and have gone on to become heroin addicts once their prescriptions to pain medications have been stopped or tapered off. They can’t stop the pain in their bodies with over-the-counter pain medications because they are not strong enough, and they may turn to marijuana to help curb their pain.
Not all drug addicted persons have become addicted to heroin this way; they may have used other drugs first and then turned to heroin which often then leads to fentanyl which easily kills people because it is a powerful opiod, many times stronger than heroin.
My concern as having been a chemical dependency counselor is that treatment programs for these heroin addicts have not provided adequate services, and they are short-term “fixes” that don’t really do anything that addresses the “addiction process”. Too often then use heroin again, some overdose and die thinking they can use the same amount as they did “pre-treatment”, or they buy heroin, but fentanyl is mixed in which causes all too many drug-overdose deaths.
My thoughts were about forming a treatment facility where heroin addicts can come into a residential treatment program and stay a year or two; with follow-up care for another two years that is Christian-based. People can know in advance that this is a Christian based recovery program so they aren’t surprised.
While they are in treatment they would receive the Word of God and get grounded in God’s Word. This is an important part of Christian based treatment with unwavering persons who facilitate groups, individual counseling and job training services, among other solid ground a person would be provided before leaving the program.
I would be very interested to know what programs provide Christian services only to the homeless where they must abide by Christianity and receive biblical lessons and attend church services. I want to explain further in another blog post more about why I think Christian services is a better way to offer drug and alcohol treatment.