Drugs are part of creation. Some are produced by natural means, others manufactured by chemical processes. The human mind which has developed these processes is also part of creation. God has offered these gifts and expects human beings to exercise responsibility and stewardship in their use.
- So what is the Methodist Church's view of drugs?
Drugs should be employed in ways which promote health and healing. Many people are living full and active lives who, but for medically prescribed drugs, would be incapacitated or dead.
- What about illegal drugs?
Many people find recreation and excitement in using illicit drugs. A minority become drug dependent.
Although most of the most dangerous drugs are illegal, it must also be recognised that legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco can be highly addictive and, occasionally, as harmful as destructive addiction to illegal drugs.
The Methodist Church's concern is to reduce the harm and havoc that such drug use can cause.
- What can the Church do to help?
The Methodist Church should do everything it can to encourage well-informed, open debate on the effects of different drugs on people's physical and mental and health, The agenda will include:
- what constitutes healthy living.
- understanding the different reasons why some people are driven to harmful patterns of drug use
- information about drugs of all kinds, and skill in differentiating between them.
- the frequent mismatch between what we know and how we behave (for example smoking in spite of the known health hazards)
- the impact of social conditions on health and behaviour.
There is a special concern for family life and support for communities and groups in the Church's work. This will be important, in partnership with other agencies, in fostering healthy life-styles in society, building self-confidence and self-esteem in young and old, and enabling young people to capture a vision of a drug-free life.
- What is the Church's attitude towards drug abusers?
The Church, when inspired by God's Spirit, offers hospitality, affirmation and respect to the damaged, deprived, drug-dependent and broken people of our society. Judgemental attitudes are wholly inappropriate. Refuge, support, patience and hopefulness are fundamental elements in the Church's ministry.
The Non-Medical Use of Drugs', A Declaration of the Methodist Church, 1974
'Substances of Abuse: Getting a Perspective', 1995
For further information the first point of contact is your local church where the minister can discuss your questions with you.