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Dr. Jenkins

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson
The Truth Network Radio
December 2, 2022 7:00 pm

Dr. Jenkins

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson

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December 2, 2022 7:00 pm

Guest Host Pastor Jeff Johnson interviews a leader of the mental health space, Dr. Jenkins

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This is Sam from the Mask on Journey Podcast, and our goal with the podcast has helped you to try to find your way in this difficult world. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network. And equipped to encourage others who are struggling, especially this time of year. So stay tuned and be encouraged in this next segment of Truth Talk. Welcome to the 2022 AACC Mega National Christian Counseling Conference. I've signed up for this for this conference and I am going through a whole kind of series with the addiction, substance abuse and compulsive behavior.

This is fascinating stuff that I think we know, but we really don't know. But the one of the first presenters was Dr. David Jenkins, and he made this staggering statement that between alcohol, tobacco overdose, overdose and obesity, it is killing over 60% of Americans. 60% of Americans are dying from alcohol, tobacco, overdose and obesity. To me, this is absolutely fascinating, but so tragic. Why? Over a million deaths.

Can this be stopped? How would you respond to this Dr. David Jenkins? Well, it's when you add them all together, and then you look at their involvement in other conditions that also are part of the death statistics. You look at suicide, which is in certain age groups, the number one calls of death.

Overall, it's the number two. So when you add all these things together, just the broad area of addiction related problems in our country, and you look at it according to health problems, legal problems, financial problems, employment productivity, criminal justice. When you add all these things up, it's the number one health problem in the United States. We basically are bleeding out annually, and so we get focused on, and rightfully so, about the opioid crisis and now especially with this fentanyl curse that we're dealing with. But behind the scenes, 107,000 overdose deaths annually, most of those being from opioids and most of those being fentanyl. Well, deaths from tobacco are four times that rate.

Deaths from alcohol are double that rate. I mean, so it really is something where we get so used to it, we get numb to it, and then when you really just sit down and look at the numbers, we got some work to do. Serving as a pastor in Greensboro, North Carolina, I don't know how in the world you can get numb to it when you hear all these people that are killing themselves from fentanyl to all the way down. One of the fascinating things that I was listening to Dr. David Jenkins do is he talked about the stages of the addiction process. These stages, it just starts with experimenting, and then it becomes kind of social and dependence, and then it becomes to being addictive.

It starts somewhere. Dr. Jenkins, respond to this. Yeah, and so we got to keep in mind that most people don't progress to full addiction, but there's so many people that use and do these things, we end up with these huge, massive numbers. So on the encouraging side, 30% of the adult population, for example, in the United States, don't use alcohol whatsoever, ever.

Of those that do use, 70% of them typically aren't going to have problems, or if they do, it's really episodic. But the stages of the addictive process help us understand that not everybody ends up at addiction, but it's hard for us to pick on the front end who ends up there and who doesn't. So what we end up with is we have to cover this entire spectrum.

So think not just treatment, think also prevention, and think early intervention, and things like that. So when we think in a continuum type of way about all of this, it gives us more places that we can intervene, more places that we can conduct ourselves in such a way that we produce less of these things. So that's important from a hope perspective. Not everybody, nobody can do all of this. It's very rare that one person or church or facility can do the entire continuum of care, right? So it takes all of us working together from kind of a similar perspective. If we're going to actually make some change in our culture, we have to approach this differently.

And that stages of the addictive process is one helpful way that we can kind of speak the same language. You know, I've always felt that America is only as strong as our churches. And one of the things that you said is you said that healthy religious communities, healthy religious communities, there's no better place to help those that are struggling than healthy religious communities.

Speak on this. Yeah, one of the most robust findings in all of the behavioral sciences over several decades is the importance of, you know, healthy spirituality well lived out in a religious community. And I'm speaking broadly now, right? So just generally we know that that's helpful and see it shows up in the peer reviewed journals and things like that. So even folks that may particularly not have any particular spiritual or religious commitment when they objectively look at the data, especially when it comes to areas of prevention and things like that, they know that these healthy religious communities are the best place to get this work done.

And so part of our function, part of our role in our duty, not just before our culture and before each other, but our duty before God is to do what we know works best for most. And so equipping the church to come alongside as peers, as coaches, as pastors, as licensed professionals to help equip the church to do this work is one of the most vital things that people can engage in. Yes, I'm here with Dr. David Jenkins. He has been a professor at Liberty University for over 20 something years. Amazing, amazing. When he made the comment that we are bleeding out in addictions. This is on the first day of the mega national Christian counseling conference in Dallas, Texas.

Any final words to all our listeners all over the country? Just that you don't have to be degreed. You don't have to be licensed to be an effective people heifer.

You do need to be equipped at whatever level. I encourage people to think through three questions. What's God call you to do? Who's he called you to do it with? And what's the setting he's called you to do it in?

Those three questions help guide your decision making about how where where you can serve and just show up. Listen, if nothing, I don't want to even say if nothing else. The first thing we need to do is pray. We we if you have no other involvement in addressing addictive difficulties, pray.

Everybody can do that one. And we have to have it. We we truly are one aspect that doesn't get talked about much.

But certainly in our context here, we're talking spiritual warfare at massive levels. We need prayer. We need cover. And the people need the help. And I just encourage people to get involved. Dr. Jenkins, if somebody wanted to reach out to you, how could they reach you? Well, probably my Liberty University email address would be D Jenkins at Liberty dot edu.

That's probably the best way. Thank you. America is bleeding out. An addiction. Dr. Jeff Johnson to Truth Network. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-02 20:21:32 / 2022-12-02 20:24:49 / 3

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