Churches can learn to help battle the nation's number one health problem

September 02, 2007

Millions of Americans, 63 percent of the country, say addiction to alcohol or other drugs has impacted them, whether it was the addiction of a friend or family member or their own personal addiction. That statistic is according to a Washington, D.C. research firm studying recovery. It is also a fact that churches in California-Nevada Annual Conference have been empowered to change.


Following passage of a resolution (Item 28) at the June Annual Conference Session churches are now being offered leadership training in the Cal-Nevada Conference to help create faith based responses to the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction.


A special one day event October 25, 2007 in Reno, Nevada is being sponsored by the United Methodist Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence (SPSARV). That program is a general church initiative housed at the General Board of Global Ministries. Together with the Alcohol and Drug Ministry of the Cal-Nevada Conference, they will provide congregational training on prevention, recovery/treatment and advocacy ministries to respond to alcoholism and substance addiction.


The October 25 event will be held at South Reno UMC. The cost will be $80 for each United Methodist Church and $99 for non-UM congregations. Lunch will be $15 per person.


A second leadership training event will be held at South Reno UMC in March, 2008.


To register for the October event, contact Margery Marshall, (775) 885-7334; E-mail Registration info will be sent to you, or you may download a registration form at


September has been designated nationally as Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. A new HBO documentary, Addiction, has been made available to each Conference through the Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence. The documentary describes the science behind addiction, its genetic and psychosocial causes and evidence-based medical and behavioral treatments.


The DVD is available for loan from the Conference by contacting the Ecumenical Resource Center, located at Campbell United Methodist Church in San Jose. Phone: (408) 378-2532; Fax: (408) 378-2652; Email: