An Evening of Education and Support on Addiction, sponsored by Recovery at the Crossroads and Lev Rochel Bikur Cholim of Lakewood was held this past Wednesday, June 27. Guest speakers included Rabbi Shlomo Gissinger Shlita and Lew Abrams, ACSW, LCSW, CASAC.
Those present were privileged to hear from some of the most acclaimed experts in the field of addiction, getting educated about addiction and receiving resources for recovery. There is a solution!
ADDICTION- The word addiction sends shivers down my spine, the reason being that I understand addiction very well; not from a clinical standpoint and not from a rabbinical standpoint but from an addict’s standpoint.
If you look up the definition of addiction you will find many different explanations; the most common being a disease of the brain with compulsive behaviors. I, however, have my own definition from my personal experience as a frum Jew who attended Yeshiva growing up. My definition of Addiction is the Malach HaMaves. That may sound harsh to some people, but I believe addiction is actually worse than the Malach HaMaves… the Malach HaMaves takes one individual at a time while addiction takes and destroys entire families at once.
That being said, the fact that I am writing this and that I am here today is not to talk about all the misery and destruction that goes along with addiction, but rather the freedom and happiness that comes along with recovery. I am so lucky and grateful to have had this experience. People who have suffered from this disease and are willing and able to put in the work and become honest with themselves and others, live lives that others cannot fathom or would never dream of.
Throughout my journey, I went to many treatment centers and through it all, I had no option of receiving treatment with other addicts coming from the same background. Today, however, we have options for both men and women at licensed facilities such as Recovery at the Crossroads… where men and women from the community have the opportunity to experience Shabbos and Yom Tov and all the other beautiful gifts of Judaism that I took for granted while receiving therapy and gaining skills necessary to stay clean and sober and live productive, happy and wholesome lives.