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Tennessee Looks To Add More Recovery Congregations In UC

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tennessee Looks To Add More Recovery Congregations In UC

Tennessee’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services are looking to connect with faith-based communities in the Upper Cumberland.

Coordinator Colby Lane said this outreach is about getting churches and other faith groups certified as recovery congregations. Lane said being listed as a Tennessee recovery congregation puts groups of faith into a statewide recovery support network.

“We’re going to meet them where they’re at, maybe they’ve already been dealing with it but they want to add more programs,” Lane said. “Maybe they know nothing about it and they just want some initial information or education. Whatever it is, especially with COVID, we’re geared to having to be resilient and adapt.”

Lane said faith communities can reach out to the Tennessee Office of Faith Based Initiatives to find a community coordinator. He said being certified allows someone in recovery to find a congregation that will accept their struggle.

“We want the church to be empowered and for lack of a better word, armed to fight the disease of addiction,” Lane said. “We offer suicide prevention training, we offer addictive brain training, we offer trauma informed care training. All sorts of stuff to give a better understanding of the person who struggles with the disease of addiction.”

He said a lot of questions come from a lack of understanding. Lane said from his experience in congregations, when people hear the science of addiction and meet people who made recovery work, it breaks the stigma of addiction.

“Often times when we don’t understand something and when something’s unfamiliar, we just avoid it,” Lane said. “Especially if it’s uncomfortable and so when people hear about the actual brain science. When they actually hear about or even see someone in recovery and they see that change if they knew that person. I’ve noticed that’s what usually sparks the interest to seek out information on it.”

Lane said breaking the stigma of people suffering from addiction can be the biggest hurdle. However, he said people should realize everyone is addicted to something.

“Even if you go outside the realm of drugs and alcohol, we’re all addicted to something,” Lane said. “Unfortunately, the byproducts of addiction have a lot of negative consequences that are not looked upon favorably. That’s what creates the stigma, but if people get really honest with themselves, we’re all addicted to something. We all need help, we all need each other and my message would be just to reach out and educate yourself, search out the truth.”

Any congregation interested in education or becoming certified can visit

Lane said in Tennessee there are 2,500 people of faith for every person lost to suicide and overdose. He said those people of faith could reach someone before they lose their life.


The post Tennessee Looks To Add More Recovery Congregations In UC appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.