Los Angeles Pastor Helps Korean Kids on Drugs
In some countries, states, or religious or ethnic communities, talking about drugs is verboten. You’re not supposed to take them and, if you do, you’re certainly not supposed to talk about it. Which, of course, means it’s almost impossible to get help.
There was a big situation with that in the Mormon Church for quite a while. The Church definitely does not approve of anyone taking drugs – except those used in an emergency. Nevertheless, prescription drug addiction was a huge problem within the Church. After all, members of the congregation have the same problems in life that everyone else has. But wives who used prescription painkillers, for example, to the point of abuse and addiction didn’t even tell their husbands. And they couldn’t speak to the Church elders about it because they were afraid they’d be thought less of and perhaps even forced to leave the Church.
There were lots of stories of people going to the Church elders to talk about their drug problem and get help and being told not to talk about it – not even to the person they went to for help.
Fortunately, some members of the Church recognized the extent of the problem and spoke out about it. Since that time, the Church has encouraged people to open up about it and has been very helpful.
Another group that keeps a lid on addiction is Koreans. If parents
A recent article on RYOT.org about a Young Ho Han, a pastor in Los Angeles who runs the Nanoom Christian Fellowship, a church that “doubles as a drug rehab for Korean Americans,” described the kind of situations Han runs into:
“There is the girl whose friends abandoned her in a trash bin after one ruinous binge. The high school debate champion who got addicted to meth within a month of trying pot. The college graduate whose boyfriend persuaded her to try heroin.”
In the Korean community, which tends to be very private no matter what the situation, one definitely doesn’t talk about drugs. Han says that parents who do find out their kids are on drugs, want to do something about it, and go to him for help, often park two blocks away so no one will know where they’re going.
According to the article, Asian Americans are half as likely to get treatment than whites. And they have a much higher rate of drug use.
Han attributes that largely to the kids being torn between their parents’ Korean culture and that of their American school friends. They don’t feel like they belong anywhere. And they turn to drugs.
Now that Han’s work is being covered in the media, there’s a chance that the Korean community might open up a little bit so more of the kids can get help – which is what happened with the Mormons.
I hope so. Drugs abuse is probably the biggest problem our young people are suffering from today – no matter what their ethic.
But if they can’t or won’t go to their family for help, or if their family is unable to openly seek help, there never going to get much of a chance to address the drug abuse, or the situations that motivate it.
If you need help for yourself or someone in your family, call us. We can help you find the help you need. And it’s strictly confidential.