Effort underway to involve faith-based organizations in battle against addiction

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – There is an effort underway to get more faith-based organizations involved in the battle against addiction.

It’s a statewide fight, but locals are also involved in the recovery network hoping to make a positive change in the Northeast Tennessee region.

As a ministry leader for celebrate recovery, Jane Ann Carico helps guide people through the troubling times of addiction.

But now, she has a greater network to turn to thanks to a statewide initiative.

“I have that network now, the resources now that I can go to and be able to reach out and have correct answers for those that are seeking help,” Carico said.

It’s called the Faith Based Recovery Network.

The goal is to link faith-based organizations across the state, and according to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, an opportunity for places of worship to support families by offering recovery programs.

“A large part of the problem of recovery is stigma, so the more people that we can train to understand that and to change their attitudes about people with substance abuse disorders,” said Director of the Sullivan County Anti Drug Coalition, Alice McCaffrey.

McCaffrey said the effort began in July of 2015 and the Northeast Tennessee region took local action a little less than a year ago.

“We just figure like so many things if you can bring it nearer to where somebody is the likelihood of them turning out to learn about it is going to be more successful,” McCaffrey said.

So far she and other anti-drug coalitions have held three meetings in different counties around the area.

“We’ve invited churches to come and learn more about it, learn what addiction is, learn some of the things that they could be doing,” said McCaffrey.

McCaffrey and ministry leaders like Carico agree the discussion is important.

“Addiction is a disease of no hope, and when you look at faith-based, what does it bring to anybody when you talk about your faith? It’s hope,” said McCaffrey.

The next Faith Based Recovery Network event will be held in Carter County in March or April. The providing church hasn’t yet been identified.Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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