We are continuing our series for things pastors need to be educated on with awareness as we go through this time of coronavirus. We full expect as we move out of shelter-in-place that several areas of life may be impacted. We previously talked about hidden abuse with child abuse or domestic violence.
The next topic of substance misuse is when people use substances outside of their original intended use or causes significant problems to their lives, whether legally, financially, socially, medically, or psychological/emotionally. There is no shame in admitting that you need treatment for drug use; doing so can be life-saving. When a full-blown substance-use disorder (SUD) develops, it can be extremely difficult to stop using drugs without professional treatment.
Substance misuse, whether alcohol, an addiction to prescribed medications, or use of illicit substances impacts everyone from all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, genders, or any disabilities.
- Bloodshot or glazed eyes.
- Dilated or constricted pupils.
- Abrupt weight changes.
- Changes in hygiene.
- Dental issues.
- Skin changes.
- Problems sleeping or sleeping too much.
- Increased aggression or irritability.
- Changes in attitude/personality.
- Sudden changes in a social network.
- Dramatic changes in habits and/or priorities.
- Involvement in criminal activity.
If you are worried about a congregation member or a family member of someone in your congregation comes to you for help and you want to connect them with a professional counselor, we have a guide in what pastors need to know when referring someone to counseling. There are also other resources on our site, including:
- Is drinking a sin?
- A different view of addiction
- Two posts for youth pastors on marijuana and vaping
- Education on having a drug free church
- Information on the opioid crisis
Let us know what resources you love and what resources you have not yet found that you need in the comments below.