Pastors in central Ohio have been challenged with helping to tackle the epidemic of substance abuse in their communities. The Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board (ADAMH) of Franklin County is asking for the help, in light of recent cuts in the state funding.
“Just because service capacity is cut due to state budget reductions, it doesn’t mean the needs are any less in a community,” said David Royer, the ADAMH board’s director. “Many times, people will seek out their church or synagogue or mosque for the support necessary.”
Aimee Shadwick, spokeswoman for the ADAMH board, said that because of budget cuts, 3,500 people in the area who need help will not receive it because there is no money in the system.
The pastor were excited about the ADAMH board’s initiative, but cautious that people will rely too much on churches for help.
“We have fewer dollars as well,” said Rev. Michael Reeves of Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church. “Everyone wants us to do it for free. We can’t do it for free. We have lights, utilities and expenses like everyone else.”