To increase understanding of the disease of addiction and decrease stigma by connecting individuals, families, and professionals across the Jewish spectrum in order to explore the intersection of Judaism and recovery, exchange resources, and support those in crisis.
Like most diseases, addiction impacts individuals, families, and communities across all geographic locations, demographics, incomes, cultures, and religions. The good news is: this disease is treatable. But first, it must be acknowledged and understood.
Although the professional medical community, including the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addictive Medicine, unequivocally defines addiction as a disease, widespread misunderstanding of addiction persists.
Here are a few facts about addiction:
A central part of JAAN’s mission is to increase the understanding that addiction is a disease, not a moral failure or simple lack of willpower, and a devastating struggle no one chooses to have to battle.
Jews are among the over 20 million people grappling with substance use disorder every hour of every day. Increasing numbers of Jewish families and individuals find themselves struggling to understand, confront, and live with this disease. At the same time, many of these families and individuals feel alone and isolated.
We can no longer allow a place for stigma, shame, or denial. As Jews, we can no longer deny that addiction impacts our lives just as it does others. We will not remain silent while families keep their struggles and grief to themselves.
Now more than ever, Jewish communities and congregations must come together to have an honest discussion about the addiction crisis devastating Jewish lives. We must acknowledge and support families and individuals battling substance use disorder and those in recovery, without judgment. We must embrace programs, services, and resources that help members of our community impacted by the disease of addiction. And we must provide safe places where those coping with addiction can come out of hiding to feel welcome, accepted, and loved.
Jewish Addiction Awareness Network (JAAN) is committed to bringing the disease of addiction into the light, while showing the power of Jewish practices and wisdom in addressing the issue. We also strive to connect Jewish communities, synagogues, organizations, individuals, and families to support and information about addiction and recovery.
Addiction is a Jewish issue. We’re working to address it.