By Rev. Alexander E. Sharp Every day in Vancouver, Canada, 600 to 1,000 drug addicts enter a non-descript, box-like building to inject themselves under medical supervision with whatever drugs they have brought with them, usually heroin, cocaine, or meth. They are participants in InSite, the only legal supervised-injection site in North America.
By Rev. Alexander E. Sharp Nearly 25 years ago, a nurse named Liz Evans in Vancouver, Canada, was told that unless addicts stopped using their drugs, nothing could be done. They might as well be left to die. She refused to accept this view. Instead, she resolved to use the hotel she was managing to house people who were unwelcome elsewhere and to provide humane care for drug addicts, whether they changed or not.
By Rev. Alexander E. Sharp Rev. Edwin Sanders, the iconic African American pastor in Nashville, Tennessee, became well-known many years ago for distributing clean needles to drug addicts so that they would not become infected with HIV-AIDS and other diseases. “How can you, as a pastor, do something that encourages drug use?” he was asked. “I can’t save people’s souls if they are dead,” he would answer.
By Rev. Kathryn Ray The season of Lent has fallen upon us once more, a time when many Christians call to mind the forty days Jesus spent facing temptation in the desert. Some of us may choose to symbolically sojourn with Jesus through this time by taking on a Lenten discipline. This season of fasting gives us an opportunity to consider the plight of those struggling with substance abuse through the lens of our own addictions.
By Rev. Alexander E. Sharp The program CNDP helped to initiate recently in Rhode Island — “Ending the Drug War, Healing Our Communities: Cops, Docs, and Clergy Speaking with One Voice” — is becoming increasingly visible. On Saturday, February 13, I went to Austin, Texas to join a district judge and an addiction psychiatrist on a panel before Republican Liberty Caucus State Convention, as well as at a gathering of Texans for Accountable Government. Common themes were that the War on Drugs has failed and is more harmful to individual lives than the marijuana use it seeks to prohibit. Here are excerpts.