SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–God and money are the two things that faith-based leaders say can help combat the opioid crisis.
Several faith-based recovery program leaders from Missouri discussed their ideas Wednesday with Health and Human Services Regional Director, Jeff Kahrs.
Kahrs sat in for U.S. Surgeon General, Jerome Adams during a roundtable discussion.
“If we don’t get tough on the drug dealers, we’re wasting our time, just remember that, we’re wasting our time and that toughness includes the death penalty,” says President Donald Trump.
While the president has his ideas on how to combat the opioid crisis, members from seven faith-based recovery programs across western Missouri have their own; starting with effective recovery so addicts don’t relapse.
“We know that if you don’t get in some type of long-term support group fellowship, that your recovery, the chances go down,” says Michael Rogers of Higher Ground Recovery Center.
Rogers is the founder of Higher Ground Recovery Center in Springfield where the roundtable took place. He says a greater power can overcome any drug addiction.
“There’s no high like the most high,” says Rogers.
With that being said, Rogers says there’s a price tag for recovery services.
“We’re people of faith, but this is a business as well. The best way to help is to get funding where the funding is needed the most,” says Rogers.
He wants renewed federal dollars to go towards a type of grant called Access to Recovery. The money is provided through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration- which is an agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“You just can’t take it away and not feel the effects,” says a faith leader.
Health and Human Services Regional Director, Jeff Kahrs says the president has proposed spending $10 billion to address the opioid crisis over the next two years, but faith leaders want to make sure the money is spent in the right area.
“So if recovery support is an intricate part of this whole paradigm and this whole continuum than it has to be guaranteed that it gets its portion to do its work,” says a faith leader.
According to the New York Times, Congress has already allotted $6 billion to address the opioid epidemic over the next two years.