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Addiction Recovery Supported By Faith Forums
Alabama's Attorney General held a Faith Forum to discuss ways in which churches can assist persons in addiction recovery for substance use disorders.
During the event, Marshall emphasized his and the audience's connectedness as Christians. He said that his role as a Christian and a government official were one in the same — to promote justice and help people in society.
God wants us to help people, Marshall said.
Shannon Royce, the director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, also addressed the opioid crisis' effects in the state.
Royce said that medication-assisted treatment, especially methadone, has been effective in treating persons with substance use disorders. She also noted how naloxone distribution has saved many lives in the state.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported that Alabama had 756 drug overdose deaths in 2016.
Last year, government officials created the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council. In January, it released an Opioid Action Plan to address the opioid crisis. The plan included provisions on increasing naloxone distribution, creating additional drug awareness programs and updating the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.
Royce suggested that churches can welcome persons with substance use disorders into their community and perhaps host a substance abuse meeting, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Marshall has planned more Faith Forums this month in various cities. He also hopes to implement outreach and awareness events later this year.