C037 Call to Respond to Opioid Epidemic

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 79th General Convention call all dioceses and parishes in The Episcopal Church to respond to the opioid epidemic with training, pastoral care, advocacy, and liturgy; and be it further

Resolved, That dioceses and parishes be urged to: partner with First Responders and others in the medical community to host trainings on how to administer naloxone in the event of an overdose; partner with other faith communities and recovery programs in their local contexts to offer pastoral care to those affected by this epidemic; partner with other faith leaders to advocate with local and state government regarding policies and laws to promote healing and wholeness for those affected by this epidemic; and be it further

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention direct the Office of Government Relations of The Episcopal Church to advocate for the federal government of the United States to address this as public health crisis, affirming that opioid use disorder is a disease, which needs adequate resources for treatment options; and be it further

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to develop additional liturgical resources to address the needs and concerns of those whose lives have been profoundly affected by this epidemic; and be it further

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention concurrently acknowledge the purpose and value of prescription opioid medications in appropriately treating chronic, intractable, pain; or acute pain resulting from curable, short-term medical conditions; and affirm the work of the medical community to create established medical guidelines supporting people living with pain; and call all dioceses and parishes in The Episcopal Church to partner with the medical community and health nonprofit organizations to understand the realities, risks, and barriers to access to care and effective treatments and cures for people living with chronic conditions and otherwise untreated or undertreated pain; and be it further

Resolved, that the Church recognize that issues of substance use disorders, access to diagnosis and effective treatment, and lack of appropriate treatment for untreated or undertreated pain affect all communities, but especially those marginalized in poverty, racial, gender, and ethnic discrimination, persons with disabilities, and other minority communities; and be it further

Resolved, that congregations be urged to include in the Prayers of the People intercessions for patients, families, and communities affected by substance use disorders and also by untreated and undertreated pain and chronic diseases; and be it further

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention to authorize the Presiding Officers to create a task force to assist in the curation and creation of resources for education, prevention, pastoral care, recovery, advocacy, and partnering with community organizations to be use by dioceses and parishes for the purpose of responding to the opioid epidemic and substance use disorders; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance to consider a budget allocation of $30,000 for the implementation of this resolution; and be it further

Resolved, That the membership of this task force will be appointed by the Presiding Officers and consist of no fewer than 8 nor more than 14 members; and that the task force be made up of bishops, priests, deacons, and laity; and be it further

Resolved, That the task force will complete this work within two years.


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