Engaging Faith-Based Communities

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Engaging Faith-Based Communities in the Opioid Epidemic

Multiple Pathways to Recovery

Everyone has their own pathway towards healing.

Mind, Body, Spirit and Community

Recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit and community. There are a growing number of ways people are approaching recovery from opioid use disorders, including: medical, public health, faith and social support. Recovery may begin in a doctor’s office, treatment center, church, mosque, synagogue, prison, peer support meeting or in one’s own home. For many, religious faith is critical to their recovery.  

Access, Knowledge, Trust

Understanding addiction creates a culture of acceptance and support. Faith-based communities can be responsive and respectful to individual’s health beliefs, practices and cultural needs – they play an important role in helping people who suffer from opioid use disorder. By taking a knowledgeable stand on the issue of opioid use, faith-based communities and leaders can help bring healing to individuals and families in their communities.

Additionally, faith leaders are in a unique position where people may come to them for help before anyone else. They have built trusted relationships with the individuals they serve, and that trust plays an important role in connecting people to the help they need.

Mobilize and Take Action

Faith-based communities can partner with local expertise (public health offices, treatment facilities, hospitals or nonprofit service providers) to help raise awareness, prevent addiction and save lives.

Leaders in faith and community organizations can take action by:

Faith-Based Community Action Stories:

The stories featured on this page show examples of how you can partner with faith-based communities throughout Minnesota.

Muslim Faith Leaders Response to the Opioid Crisis
The Minnesota Department of Health completed a series of trainings with Imams in the Twin Cities. This project is a replicable model of how to partner with faith-based communities in the opioid epidemic response, and in understanding substance use disorder, mental health and trauma more broadly. Read the full story.

Muslim Faith Leaders Share Ideas & Action Steps
After the Imam Substance Use Disorder Training, Muslim faith leaders shared ideas and action steps they’d like to implement in their communities to help combat the opioid epidemic. Watch the videos below and share their important messages:

Share Your Story

We want to hear how faith-based and community partners across Minnesota are working together to bring hope and healing to their communities! What initiatives are you working on? What have you accomplished? What kind of impact have you seen? Share your story with us by emailing kate.erickson@state.mn.us.

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Please visit the Opioid Dashboard for more information on opioid overdose death, nonfatal overdose, use, misuse, substance use disorder, prescribing practices, supply, diversion, harm reduction, co-occurring conditions, and social determinants of health.