A new drug education video series by Fallston UMC, which is now available to you and your congregation, enables local churches to make a difference in the opioid crisis facing our youth.
“We decided as a congregation that it was negligent to sit on the sidelines while other organizations tackle the problem,” said the Rev. Karin Walker, Fallston’s pastor.
The congregation developed a plan to help families learn about drug addiction. While local schools offer programs to train parents, few take advantage of it because participating may seem like an acknowledgment that there is a problem.
A key component of the plan is a series of video clips that were shown in worship over a period of weeks, each based on a different piece of the issue. The clips are approximately four to five minutes and include information from a variety of experts and youth. Walker said that the congregation responded well to the videos.
“They were glad to be in a safe place and hear pertinent information that always has a message of hope. Worship is a great way to briefly share information that is so relevant to a lot of families in a safe place.”
The impact has also been significant on the congregation. “We asked people to bring to the safe box any old medications or prescription drugs and we had a police officer coordinate disposal,” Walker said. “We had enough to fill two boxes.” Several young people and families have expressed appreciation that they can talk about the addiction issues in their families and have some resources for moving forward.
Fallston UMC has provided the links to these videos along with a brief synopsis of each, as well as their plan as a downloadable PDF. Walker said, “We are hopeful that the videos may help other congregations educate parents and grandparents so that together we can save lives.”
Chapter One: Prevention Begins at Home (4 min 31 sec)
Gavin Daily, Fallston UMC Drug Task Force Chair, introduces the drug education video series, which takes on the very real but solvable problem of drug and opioid use in our communities. Teens Giles and Connor discuss drugs commonly found in medicine cabinets today, and why teens and kids take these risks. They also share simple steps that everyone can take to prevent drug and alcohol abuse at home.
Chapter Two: Social Media and Electronic Communications (4 min 1 sec)
Kat talks about how kids and teens communicate about drugs in social media and text messages, and she’s joined by child and adolescent psychiatrists Dr. Emily Gavett-Liu and Dr. Anson Liu.
Chapter Three: Start Talking to Kids Early (4 min 31 sec)
How early should you talk to your kids about drugs? They know more than you think they do. This chapter discusses when, and how, to start this conversation with your kids and grandkids.
Chapter Four: What Does an Addict Look Like? (4 mins 47 sec)
Addiction may seem like something that happens only to other people. But it can happen to anyone, at any time, for any reason. Learn how to recognize the signs of drug use and experimentation.
Chapter Five: Engaging Teens in Conversation (4 mins 58 sec)
The Rev. Dr. Karin Walker talks about the reality of communicating with teens today, and offers tips for beginning to engage your teens in open, meaningful conversation as well as bringing up the topic of drugs.
Chapter Six: Why Do Kids Start Using? (4 mins 15 sec)
Kids and teens are not like adults. Learn about those differences, and why kids and teens start using drugs.
Chapter Seven: Just the Truth/There Is Hope! (5 mins 17 sec)
This final chapter separates fact from fiction on drug and opioid abuse. Learn about the facts and statistics behind today’s headlines. Learn what a drug overdose looks like, what to do if overdose happens, and how Narcan works.