Friday, March 13, 2009

"Jews Do Use: Addiction in the Jewish Community"

This Shabbat morning at our V0lunteer Recognition service will be Rabbinic Pastor David Daniel Klipper, who will speak about Jews and addiction. The title of his presentation will be "Jews Do Use." A day-long conference on Jews and addiction will be held in our community on April 26, with a keynote address being given by Rabbi Richard Eisenberg.

Addiction is a topic that people would rather speak about. Jews especially tend to stick our heads in the sand. But daily it is destroying families and taking lives. Our youth all know how prevalent drinking is in the schools (we nearly lost a teen last year from an accident following a beer party) and drugs are readily available and cheap. I hope teens will make a special effort to come tomorrow to hear David.

But this problem effects adults as well. Read about this issue in greater detail at the USCJ website, along with this essay, "Everyone Knows Jews Don't Drink, and other Myths."

Yes Jews do use, and they bet and eat compuslively and display other forms of addictive behavior.

One expert wrote,

There is a misconception in the general public that alcoholism and addiction are not medical diseases, but rather a question of moral character and will power. This idea has helped to reinforce the widely held cultural belief that Jews are immune to the ravages of this deadly affliction. Addiction is a disease that can be diagnosed by the disease model criteria held by the AMA (American Medical Association). It is not the addict or alcoholics fault that they have this disease (the same way diabetics are not to blame for their ailment), yet it absolutely the addicts obligation to recover. Alcoholism and addiction like diabetes is an incurable, eventually terminal disease that can be treated, and with vigilance be arrested for a lifetime. Click here for more.

Here you can find a Jewish version of the Twelve Step Program:

Step One:
A. Self Diagnosis, symptom identification and admission.
B. Powerlessness and free-will choice.
C. What is meant by the idea of the insanity of addiction/alcoholism?
D. Unmanageability.
E. Five mistakes that lead to relapse.
F. The nature of denial and how to break it.

Step Two:
A. Coming to believe, the nature of faith.
B. Why a Higher Power, and is that Power only G-d?
C. Identifying the solution, basic concepts of the Creator.

Step Three:
A. Self-will and the actor.
B. The nature of the decision, and the meaning of the third step prayer.

Step Four:
A. The intent of the inventory and what is searching and fearless?
B. General structure and process of the inventory.
C. The roots of fear and resentments.
D. Removing resentments and fear and understanding the sex inventory.

Step Five:
A. What is confession and what is to be accomplished?
B. What is different now, and what does the exact nature of our wrongs mean?
C. Who should hear the confession?

Step Six:
A. Willingness.
B. Developing a vision for the future.

Step Seven:
A. What is humility?
B. Seventh Step Prayer and intent .

Step Eight:
A. The concepts behind amends and forgiveness.
B. Definitions of harm.

Step Nine:
A. Making Amends to those we love.
B. Making Financial Amends.
C. Amends to those we can’t contact including the dead.
D. Amends to society.
E. The wrong way to do it.

Step Ten:
A. What’s different from the fourth step inventory?
B. Truth and honesty.
C. Motives.

Step Eleven:
A. What is prayer?
B. Why pray, doesn’t G-d already know?
C. Types of meditation.
D. Why do we stand in prayer?
E. Selflessness.
D. Intuition and the mind.
E. Love, Worship and Awe of G-d
F. What is meant by light and spirit?
G. The five levels of the soul.;
H. The five supernal universes.

Step Twelve:
A. Helping Others.
B. Practicing the principles.
C. What is the spiritual awakening?
D. The group experience in carrying the message.
E. Sponsorship.
F. Making the Approach to the newcomer.
G. Taking others through the steps.

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