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Is this why Rush got hooked on Oxy?

AmTaliban web newsrag AgapePress, as always, provides a stimulating item of the day – this time it’s advice and analysis of the burgeoning prescription drug abuse problem, courtesy of the Christian Medical & Dental Association.

[Psychiatrist Dr. Robert Rogan] observes, prescription drugs are extremely accessible to kids, whether they get them from their friends, from a neighbor down the street, or from their parents’ own medicine cabinet. And as alarming as the rise in abuse of these prescribed medications can be, he adds, the illegitimate ways some people acquire them can be even more shocking.

“We had one situation in one of the places where I worked,” the doctor recollects, “where a neighbor of this patient called in and said, ‘Hey, look — do you know that [likely Good Christian and Republican voter] Mrs. So-and-so is selling Xanax for five dollars a pill?’ Of course, we’re thinking Mrs. So-and-so just got her prescription filled here last week because she has all these panic attacks. And we realized we’d been deceived.”

But the higher rates of prescription drug abuse could also be related to a spiritual root cause, Rogan points out — namely, a lack of trust in God. “If you look at it from a spiritual point of view, people are trying to replace faith and God’s character-building experiences with a pill,” he says.

“I mean, one of the things in our lives that God uses to build character is trials and tribulations,” the Christian physician continues. “But if you can get hold of a pill to take away the anxiety-producing effect of trials and tribulations, you can get out of experiences that build character.”

Somehow, belief in God didn’t stop El Rushbo from doctor-shopping, internet surfing and sending his maid to do back alley deals for the 20,000 pills to satisfy his hillbilly heroin habit. He’s got plenty of self-induced legal trials and tribulations that he’ll need some extra special help with. I don’t think Rogan will be writing a prescription for him.

You have to wonder what kind of counseling patients get from doctors like Rogan? Does he tell people with depression to pray it away? What about panic attacks — should some just drop to their knees and trust it will all go away? The idea that a pill cannot solve everything is valid — alternative therapies should never be dismissed wholesale, but this article raises more questions about the kind of medical practice this guy is running, and what the Christian Medical & Dental Association does. Here is part of its statement on Sharing Faith in Practice:

As Christians we should share the good news of Jesus Christ. Christ has explicitly called us to make disciples.

As Christian physicians and dentists we seek the well-being of our patients in our covenantal relationship with them. Clinical studies have demonstrated the importance of spiritual health in physical well being. It is concern for the well-being of our patients that leads us to take a spiritual history from and share our faith with our patients.

As Christians we acknowledge the central role of the Holy Spirit in the process of evangelism. We rely on the discernment provided by the Holy Spirit to know when and how it is appropriate to share our faith. We recognize conversion is the Spirit’s work, not ours.

Our faith should be implicit in our actions. We should be prepared to share our faith with patients and colleagues when our actions and the Holy Spirit prompt them to ask us questions. We should readily accept invitations from our patients to pray with them. We should offer to pray with our patients when they have indicated a belief in God and a practice of prayer. Some physicians and dentists choose to make their faith manifest through their statements, attire, or their office environment. Such indicators are not inherently disrespectful of patients and have the beneficial effect of making them aware of their doctor’s faith perspective.

Well, there you go.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding