Rural Faith Leaders Workshop Series: Empowering Faith Leaders to Help Persons with Substance Use Disorder

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has organized a series of four workshops for rural faith leaders to come together to discuss, learn, and share information and resources to help individuals with substance use disorder (SUD). Each workshop will have a specific focus to assist all houses of worship to position themselves to be both first responders and communities of hope and support for people and families struggling with addiction.

The main objectives of the workshop series include:

  • Increasing faith leaders’ understanding of substance use disorder (SUD) and how to connect faith to prevention, treatment, and recovery.
  • Building capacity of faith leaders to take action by providing information to prepare and ready leaders and their congregants to provide the support needed to assist individuals with substance use disorder.
  • Helping faith leaders to find their lane and empower faith communities to put initiatives in place to help in the area(s) where they can make the most difference.

Workshop Details

Workshop 1: Substance Use Disorder and the Pandemic in Rural Communities
Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Duration: Approximately 90 minutes

This workshop focuses on:

  • Understanding the intersecting epidemics of opioid misuse/abuse and COVID-19 in rural areas
  • Economic impacts of substance use disorder on small communities before and during the pandemic
  • Using data to understand the problem in your community
  • Helping faith-based and community leaders bring hope and healing to our communities
  • Congregation readiness and preparing the faith community to help

Featured Speakers

  • James Carroll, Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • Betty-Ann Bryce, Special Advisor for Rural Affairs, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • Dr. Erin Winstanley, Associate Professor, West Virginia University, School of Medicine, Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry
  • Vanessa Lominac Haste, JD, Program Manager, Kentucky Access to Recovery Program, Fahe
  • Heidi Christensen, Public Affairs Specialist at the Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Pastor Greg Delaney, Outreach Coordinator, Woodhaven Residential Treatment Center, Dayton, OH
  • Dr. Monty Burks, Director of Special Projects and Faith-Based Initiatives with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services


Future Workshops in This Series

  • Workshop 2: Prevention Education and Connecting Faith to Prevention
    Tentatively scheduled for February 2021
  • Workshop 3: Understanding Treatment and Connecting Faith to Treatment
    Tentatively scheduled for March 2021
  • Workshop 4: Supporting Recovery and Connecting Faith to Recovery
    Tentatively scheduled for April 2021

Added: 11/16/2020