ROARING DRUG EPIDEMIC IN OUR COMMUNITY: 3 Weeks, 32 Overdoses And Endless Tears

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(By: Zvi Gluck)

Let me be the first to admit that I am not a math person, yet, unfortunately, it seems that right now my life has been all about numbers.

For those of you who have been spared the pain that has devastated klal yisroel since mid-June, let me fill you in on what has been taking place in Jewish communities all over the United States. Over a three week period, drug overdoses killed nine of our own, with six more remaining in comas as I write these words. Another 17 overdoses had more positive outcomes, baruch Hashem, with Narcan successfully reviving those victims, but without proper treatment I can’t honestly tell you that any of those individuals are really out of the woods.

Without fail, every time I share statistics like this, I get flak from people who suggest that I am making a chilul Hashem by publicly acknowledging that there is a severe drug problem in the frum community. It should come as no surprise that those claims come from people who know little about the realities of abuse and addiction. I can tell you one thing – they definitely don’t come from the friends or loved ones of those whose lives were cut tragically short, who know all too well just how horrific and far reaching this plague really is.

Allow me to set the record straight for those who believe that discussing these deaths embarrasses the Jewish community. A June 2019 National Safety Council report estimated that at least 100 people die every day from drug overdoses, with other reports putting that number at 300. While the death rate in the Jewish community is significantly lower than national averages, we can’t exactly pat ourselves on the back and pretend we are doing okay while people continue to die and families are crying endless tears. The Torah mandate of lo saamod al dam reyecha makes it crystal clear that even one death is one too many and each and every one of us is halachically obligated to take action when Jewish lives are being lost.

There is no doubt that as a community we are true gomlei chesed. From Hatzolah to Bikur Cholim to Tomchei Shabbos and more, we have proven time and time again that we stand united and are there for those who need help. Millions of dollars in resources have been poured into these incredible organizations, as well as into our schools, shuls and other vital institutions and yet in certain areas we are still falling short. I cannot understand why we have embraced those who struggle with cancer while so many still turn a blind eye to those who struggle with mental illness, drug addiction, sexual abuse and suicidality. Are those people less a part of our community? Have we written them off completely because these problems make us feel uncomfortable? It pains me to no end to know that we have had to waitlist people who have reached out to us for help because without sufficient communal support we simply don’t have the resources to provide for them.

I’m willing to bet that you’d be surprised if you knew who the people who came to us were. For the most part, people assume that those who are struggling with drug addictions are the kind of individuals that make you want to cross the street when you see them coming down the block, or angry teenagers with chips on their shoulders, but that is far from true. I can’t even begin to count how many clients have come to us, hooked on painkillers that were legally prescribed to them after a medical procedure, or students who abused their prescription ADHD meds to get through a grueling finals schedule. Others are individuals who experienced some kind of trauma who are just looking to numb the pain so that they can get through life; I promise you the list goes on and on.

The fact remains that addiction is a disease, one that doesn’t discriminate between men and women, kids or grown ups, marrieds or singles and the nine people we just lost ranged in age from 16 to 64 – they were mothers and fathers, singles brimming with potential and yes, even grandparents. We need to face the reality that drug addiction is a far reaching plague and that tremendous resources and manpower are needed to get this deadly epidemic under control. It is ironic that people feel very free to tell me what I am doing wrong, yet those same individuals have no interest in stepping up to the plate and becoming part of the solution. And lest you think this is exclusively an Amudim problem, I have heard from all of my colleagues in the field that they too have gotten apathetic responses from the vast majority of the community when it comes to becoming involved. Critics? There are plenty of those out there. People who are interested in actually rolling up their sleeves and getting involved? Sadly, those are few and far between.

Over the past five years, Amudim has helped nearly 6,000 families, a number that represents just a small fraction of those who are trapped in never ending nightmares. Between our United States and Israel offices, we field 200 calls a day and have 30 to 40 new cases coming in under our comprehensive case management every week. With each weekly story that we send out, every PSA video that we release and every awareness event that we produce, we see with our own eyes that the naysayers are wrong because our lines keep ringing off the hook as people who have been suffering in silence realize that help is just a phone call away.

In addition to raising awareness, we have also been working hard on proactive solutions. We have done training sessions with schoolchildren so that they are better informed and can avoid potential pitfalls which could lead to trouble. We have done seminars with semicha students, rabbonim and rebbetzins so that they can be on the lookout for problems and catch them before they spiral out of control.

But no matter how far we have come and how many people we have helped, it isn’t enough as long as we continue to bury overdose victims. We saw 32 potentially fatal overdoses in just three weeks, and with nine people lost there are far too many milestones that will never be marked and simchos that will forever be marred by the gaping holes created by these deaths. It is incredibly painful to see so many lives forever changed and it is clear that we need to do more on a personal and a community level.

There is so much good going on at Amudim, but we cannot do it alone. My door, and Amudim’s doors, are always open for feedback, new ideas and to welcome new members and volunteers to our team. There are various roles that contribute to the Amudim team and each one is meaningful and valuable to the total picture. I welcome your emails at zgluck@amudim.org and while it may take me some time to respond, rest assured I will get back to you. There is always so much that needs to be done, whether it is helping clients who are having trouble paying for their care, helping Amudim financially so we can continue doing what we do, bringing awareness to our communities or even something as simple as sharing our resources on social media.

Let’s work together to save lives and build futures.

Zvi Gluck is the director of Amudim, an organization dedicated to helping abuse victims and those suffering with addiction within the Jewish community and has been heavily involved in crisis intervention and management for the past 19 years. For more information go to www.amudim.org.

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72 COMMENTS

  1. I understand from the article that Amudim helps (b’kitzur) 2 types of addicts: those who become hooked on prescription drugs without intending to, when they were trying to deal with a hopefully short-term issue; and those who intentionally use drugs to deal with deep-seated emotional issues without making any attempt to resolve the issues themselves. Obviously this is an over-simplification but it does have some truth to it.

    As regards the first group of people: Without an effective campaign to open people’s eyes to the very real dangers posed by the drugs their doctors prescribe them, there will be such limited success in dealing with the results of psychiatry that funds channeled through Amudim to deal with the victims are effectively wasted. And trying to get any MSM outlet to publicize the dangers of using tranquillizers, anti-depressants, sleeping pills, and all the rest, is going to prove almost if not entirely impossible. Consider the sheer numbers of people on mind-altering prescription drugs – some estimates run to 50% of the adult population. How many people know that coming off benzos cold-turkey can be fatal? Your GP won’t tell you that. But why should private funding be necessary to deal with problems caused by psychiatrists/GPs who did not tell the whole story to the people they got addicted? Do they tell young women how hard it is to get off benzos, and that they will not be able to have children until they get off the drugs? How many people even know what tapering is?

    As regards the second group of people: It’s not that we’re apathetic to their suffering and the need to help them. But, the frum world is absolutely overflowing with people who are suffering in one way or another, most of them through no fault of their own, and many of them could really, really do with financial help. So expect to find very little sympathy for channeling much-in-demand funding towards people who are perceived, rightly or wrongly, as having caused their own suffering.
    Also, I think it is disingenious of you to provide “shock” statistics derived from the second group and then try to gain support by telling us that you help people from the first group. The people in the first group by and large aren’t the ones featured in the headlines.

    When it comes to suffering, would you really claim that those addicted to drugs are a) more numerous or b) more deserving than any other segment of klal Yisrael? What about those who have heart attacks from financial stress? I think most of us know of at least a few people who were niftar before the age of 60 where lack of money for essentials played a huge part in their passing. One could even argue that supporting parents financially will have a drip-down effect on their teenage children, those most vulnerable to intentional drug addiction, and make them more sensitive to and give them more time for their children.

    In short, dealing with the consequences of various situations and failings in society seems like a waste of funds when the core issues should instead be addressed. Please don’t try to make people feel guilty for not wanting to donate to Amudim when as a community we give so generously to many worthy causes, and possibly quite accurately perceive the problems of drug addiction as less significant than many of the other problems we deal with.

  2. Well since you’re wondering why cancer gets more attention I’ll explain it to you in just a few words. Cancer is not self inflicted. And while apparently you do deal with addiction cases that are also not self inflicted the majority of them is self inflicted. Therefore the sympathy level just isn’t there

  3. We need the Pirchei and the Jep of the past to come back and save these unfortunates that are pulled by the excitement of getting high over these drugs. Go with the guitar to the places they pick to go high.
    Who is willing to come and save them before it is too late?

  4. I am so shocked at some of the previous comments that say the fact that drug addiction is self inflicted is why Amudim is not getting the support it deserves. Those who become addicted to drugs are people who have suffered from non “self inflicted” traumas and pain. Would you say that a child who was abused and then R’L becomes an addict is suffering from a self inflicted problem?! Most frum people would only reach out to drugs because they are in terrible pain. That is not self inflicted. Add to that the fact that many are kids or teens who can’t be totally responsible for their decisions, and you have a situation where people are suffering because of an overwhelmingly painful reality. I believe this suffering deserves our compassion as much as the suffering of poverty and illness, which other fantastic organizations address.
    Thank you Rabbi Gluck for bringing this problem to our attention and for stopping our community from sweeping it under the rug.

  5. Yehudah26 you very nicely distinguished between 2 types of users. However the problem is that the 1st type blends into 2nd type. When somone is addicted to pain killers there comes a time when his way of getting his pain killers gets cut off by his Dr when that happens do you think k they stop? They will either spend all their money on buying it illegally or they will turn to the cheaper and easier drug to get which is heroin. This will give them the drug they crave and will pull them down a rabbit hole where it’s either help or OD. So making this nice difference as if all Heroin users are just out tovget high and the pain killer addict is the bad person get your facts right. It’s not a black or white situation.

  6. Anon21 so according to you a smoker then gets lung cancer doesnt deserve help either? Or a guy that eats out of control and becomes obese and then has a heart attack or becomes diabetic should get help cuz its self inflicted as you call it. These people are Yiden and doesnt say anywhere that self inflicted wounds shouldn’t get helped.

  7. ANON21

    I have lost both of my grandmothers to cancer and I just buried my best friend last week from an overdose.
    A death he did not want.

    Do yourself a favor and get educated.

    Both are NOT self inflicted diseases.

    Just like you can’t say someone who’s out in the sun will get cancer so you cannot say that about someone who took an innocent hit of weed or got painkillers for post-op becomes and becomes an addict.
    These people DO NOT get to choose.
    Let me say that again
    These people DO NOT GET to choose.
    The disease chooses THEM.
    Whether it is cancer or the mental illness or the addiction, they suffer for the rest of their lives.
    I mean they really suffer.
    (Watch a video of someone detoxing if you want to see even a small dose of the physical pain… not just the voices and urges they have to control every day of their lives)
    Don’t ever, I mean ever, make a comment like that as that unless you know the facts and are educated.
    Pick up a book, watch a video, go to a seminar, or go to an AA meeting…. it is a disease.
    Have compassion.
    And get out of your comfort zone, open your eyes, stop with the judging? The prejudice, the labels- just stop
    We need to love and love and love and accept!

  8. All shuls must start creating programs for all youth members Recreation night, Family night. Programing is the key
    MARK MEYER APPEL

  9. If you are a person that can think a bit deeper than the surface, you might come to the realization that people don’t tend to bring opon themselves “self inflicted” problems because- ‘hey why not’!
    In every instance of addiction that I know of, a very deep pain was there that was so sharp, that unfortunately the only solution the person found was numbing it out.
    But the cause, the original unbarable pain- that was not self inflicted. Actually it is usually caused by; or at least exacerbated by others.
    I have yet to see someone that is healthy and happy wake up one day and decide- ‘isn’t today a great day to self afflict myself’

  10. R tzvi makes many valid points and it’s frightening to hear those numbers. As those numbers unfortunately increase amudim will become more and more vital to our community. I think a good comparison is the organization called Relief. As the community became aware of mental health/ adhd issues so did our dependency on that organization. May hashem give r tzvi the koach and financial help needed to continue in his life saving work

  11. The problem isn’t new. I recall Zvi Gluck’s father, Rabbi Edgar Gluck called my office almost 30 years ago seeking help for a young chasidish couple where the husband was a drug addict.

  12. yehuda26 and ANON21:

    Wrong on many counts. But it may not be your fault. You probably have no training or experience dealing with drug addiction. And you may not have had ample life experience dealing with them to understand more than you shared in your comment.

    Zvi was sharing the original issues that brought young people (or even older ones) into the addiction situation. It could have been a psychological cause, or it could have been a physical/medical cause. What you don’t recognize is that once the individual reaches that point, the phenomenon is the same. Just as each of us has preferences in foods, the addict has his/her preferences in what drug, how to use it, how to procure it, etc. There are those who purchase their poison from the street. Others shop doctors and hospitals and get it prescribed. And there are numerous levels in between.

    You describe something that sounds really logical, except that you miss the point. If one does not stop doctors from the over-prescribing, nothing will change. That is the equivalent of claiming that the way to fight the problem is the well known “war on drugs”. We lost that war. No, we did not stop locating drug dealers, confiscating their profits and materials, nor did we forget about interdiction of traffickers. But that does not stop it. For the right price, you can still get anything, anywhere. These activities do not save lives. Treatment does. And it only helps for those who avail themselves of services. One of the biggest obstacles to treatment is the ability to pay for it. Zvi is absolutely correct. You won’t solve the drug problem, but you will save a life.

    Your contrast with cancer is also ill conceived, if not ill willed. Have you ever met anyone that volunteered to become addicted? Many people dabble in drugs, and stop before they become addicted. No, it’s not okay to experiment. But the inner strength needed to stop is there. The addict lacks that, and the variety of reasons is vast. That’s not voluntary, and holding them responsible is simply cruel. Some who struggle with the dilemma of losing control reach out and get support to help them. With drugs, there are too many within our own circles that would sooner reject the one crying out for help. So the social support is limited.

    Lastly, the needs of Klal Yisroel are great. There are way too many issues that we confront, and many require charitable donations for support. A short list would still be long, and full of omissions. Try childless couples, psychiatric issues, singles, the spectrum of medical diseases, yeshivos and schools, kollelim, shuls, widows and orphans, couples struggling with shalom bayis, plus many, many others. Do you push away the person collecting for hachnosas kallah by challenging him that there are so many other worthy causes? Or do you just give what you can, and include a tefiloh the next time you daven that these needy people should receive some of HKB”H’s shefa? I assume and hope the latter. Zvi did not market Amudim to you that it is more important than organizations who support other causes. He did try to make you aware of it. And his point, especially in highlighting numbers is to help you understand that it is inaccurate to consider this issue less significant than others.

  13. Another article from you with numbers and drama and more but once again no practical advice. You keep saying we need to DO SOMETHING and keep failing to tell anyone what that something is. Indeed it is tragic and you being at the front lines and me being someone who knows people suffering from addiction, please do, by all means provide practical, meaningful helpful advice.

  14. The problem with youth and adults who fall victim to drug addiction is this. These people were never given the opportunity to reach out to others and make a difference to others and a difference in their own lives. Why aren’t parents and schools involved in more chessed projects?’Why arent kids being brought to visit the sick and elderly in hospitals , nursing homes and residences? Why do most kids today sit in boredom , in front of their electronic devices ultimately sulking in self pity out of loneliness? The same goes for adults. Both adults and children should reach out to the less fortunate. Believe me this will have an uplifting effect on them emotionally. Could you imagine the feeling of empowerment and satisfaction that a kid and an adult would get just doing acts of kindness for others. It would certainly erase the need to try drugs or self medicate. Its time that we take this direction to save the precious lives in our community.

  15. Rabbi Gluck has shared some uncomfortable truths that are holding our insulated society hostage. He is one of the few who talks about this situation however more importantly is proactive in harnessing multiple fronts to address & deal. It should be noted that our esteemed Rabbinic leadership whether collectively or individually has failed to take an open proactive stance to engage public opinion and seek solutions far reaching into the next generation. Our leadership needs to encourage, engage & actively supports all or any efforts to combat this epidemic. Parents need to be better trained in their role models, teachers in our schools more educated to recognize the symptoms here before the numbers grow out of proportion. The road of return is not an easy one here. Our generation has become to complacent. There will be the naysayers to my comments, I challenge you all to get off your high horses and find solutions, not more criticism. Spouting the holy Torah to justify your existence is well, sinful. H-shem, the creator of this world has commanded us to be responsible for our fellow Yidden. Be positive, think positive, do positive & in this merit Moshiach will come I”YH sooner than later. We live in desperate times, calls for desperate measures to help resolve this epidemic. Chazak Ve’ematz

  16. Yehuda26 you’re one of the very ignorant ppl (B”h, not your fault) when you say self afflicted abusers don’t have the sympathy that cancer patients have. When you’ll realize that mental illness is just as much as a medical illness as psychical illnesses it’ll open you up to a whole new mindset.

    I was once like you grow up and educate yourself a bit on the subject.

  17. Responders 1 and 2 – why the negativity?This is just an organization that obviously does tremendous chesed trying to raise money (and/or obtain other forms of help). If you can afford to give – then wonderful, if not – no problem/no guilt at all. But to criticize them or write negatively… hard to understand why someone would do that.

  18. To the first 2 commenters:

    What will it take for people to realize that taking drugs to numb pain that feels intolerable is a symptom, not a cause. You have NO idea the depth of pain and shame that some of our precious neshamos are carrying.

    I personally know that at least one of the most recent tragedies was a desperate survivor of incest. Are you calling the pain self-inflicted, or just the attempt to get away from a pain that eats a person alive?

    What Tzvi Gluck is advocating, is proper HELP, for those who live with the weight of UNBEARABLE pain 24/7. And community support – financial and SOCIAL – for those people, so that they will have the courage to get proper help. Instead, they have to hide their pain from people like you who will judge them for their inability to cope with a level of pain i am sure you don’t know exists.

    If you did, you would never have written what you wrote. Amudim is begging people to become informed, and you continue to spout incredibly insensitive and ignorant analyses of what is going on.

    Go to their website. Watch their videos. They were made for a purpose. And it wasn’t to become famous or popular. He’s trying to show you what daily hell looks and feels like for some people in our communities.

    If you don’t want to help, that’s your choice. But the need to discredit and/or minimize the urgency of this cause reveals either arrogance or cruelty.

    Or both.

    Hashem Yeracheim

  19. ANON21 drug addiction is also not self inflicted. It’s inflicted by a brutal society, difficult family situation, psychological disorders, chemical imbalances, abuse etc.

  20. I have heard from a Godil beYisroal -The Rimanov Rebbe shlit”a, a few years ago at the time when the big asifa at cityfield for combating the internet crises took place that only if the kinus would be for the sole purpose of “Tefila” to HASHEM to remove or ease the dangers of the internet then and only then Hashem would have listened to the prayers of such a large Tzibur and we would have been surely zocha to miracles and relief but when we have our agenda and relief programs and try to combat the test NYSOYIN without solely praying to Hashem as we see in Mesechtos Avoida Zara when the Sanheadrin asked and prayed to remove the Yetzer Hora of Avoida Zara then Hashem listened to them and a lion exited the temple and was killed by the Chachamim and the Yetzer Hara was removed from Klal Yisroel, I think the same should aplly to this drug epidemic in our communities let get together for a yom tefila at the Kotel Hamaravi and in the largest stadiums across the jewish communities in the world at the same time and Hashem will send us a miracle without our advice to him and remove this Nisayon from us.

  21. @ego unfortunately youre usually not going to get the advice youre looking for in the comment section…but today may be your lucky day…try picking up the phone and seeing how practical their advice can be.

    @anon@yehuda….as it has been boted you both are obviously not very educated in this matter so as a matter of practice try getting educated before offering your opinions…

    @momma while ypu are very well meaning but advice like that unfortunately is part of the problem a simple idea,of more chesed for the children,does not stop a child from getting molested or any of the other number of reasons….and its when communites think that the solution is so simple is when it gets overlooked until someone they know unfortunately runs into one of these issues and reality is wether you realize it or not you most probably know someone suffering even if they havent told you yet.

  22. Some of the people commenting suggest that to hold people responsible for their actions is “cruel.”
    Therefore they would presumably think it “compassionate” to look upon people as incapable of having good judgment.
    If people genuinely don’t know that they could get addicted to prescription drugs, then they need education, not a net spread out underneath them when they finally fall. If Amudim is taking on this project, then great. But this article (and their website too) is very lacking in detail. What do they actually do? Who knows.

    Addiction has been around for a very long time – and pretty much always for the same reasons (excluding recreational drug use for “fun”). Every since Noach decided to drown his emotional pain in wine. The Torah censures him for this. It doesn’t say, “Poor guy, of course you got drunk after all the terrible things you saw.” Noach was expected to reach out to Hashem rather than drown his sorrows.
    If we can’t teach ourselves and our children to do the same, then we’re in big trouble. Acting like chachmei Chelm and pretending that “all we can do is help them when they reach rock-bottom” is totally defeatist apart from stupid.

    This is a nation-wide problem, because addiction comes in many shapes and sizes that we don’t usually label as addiction. Maybe we could say OTD is also addiction – often, it’s drowning one’s sorrows in hedonistic practices, like movies and worse – keep the cheap pleasures coming so that we can postpone real thinking as long as possible. How about people who go from one novel/magazine to the next, and can’t face the idea of Shabbos without “heimish” reading material? That’s also escapism much of the time – anything rather than be alone with oneself – and Hashem.
    If we don’t address the root causes, they will spring up all around us in all kinds of forms.
    And if we absolve ourselves from responsibility, there’s no hope whatsoever.

  23. why is every issue a crisis and a shock. and why does every issue in the jewish community require another non for profit organization. maybe its time people pull their kids out of yeshiva for 20,000 dollars per kid, home school them, since the yeshivas do nothing for these kids anyway. the system is ridicioulous. there are over four thousand non for profits in the jewish community, everyone dealing with a crisis, perhaps the non for profit is the crisis

  24. Zvi Gluck hit the nail on the head and for that reason he will continue to be frustrated in his attempt to cure this problem. This Orthodox community has reached such a high level of denial that this attitude is killing and injuring hundreds of ours annually. Frum people think that frum people don’t commit suicide. Frum people think that frum people don’t steal from the govt and that it is permissible. Frum people don’t think that frum people hurt other frum people. Frum people don’t think that frum people engage in drugs and similar paraphernalia.

    Frum people live in a fantasy world are fools.
    Always sweeping this stuff under the rug. Zvi Gluck is here to tell you that you are fooling or deceiving nonone by sweeping all these shameful acts under the rug. Kudos to Zvi Gluck for telling you people how foolish you are.

    Unfortunately this problem will not get the appropriate and necessary communal support until such time that R”L a very prominent victim surfaces, lo alleinu. That is how it works in this demented community.

  25. My name is Chaim scharf. Ive struggled and struggle with addiction and if it wasn’t for Zvi and the real people in the Jewish community like him I don’t know if I’d be alive today. To think or say that the 9 people that died inflicted the overdose on them selves is cowardly. A wise man once told me don’t judge people just because they sin differently than you. If it wasn’t for the poor person the rich wouldn’t know what it feels like to give charity. I bet anyone who has something negative to say wouldn’t be saying it if it happened to there family or kid- God forbid. Some people have healthy outlets they were shown that when you need to take a break you make time for your self to do something like sports or cooking or shopping or hanging with friends but people get addicted too those things as well. To say that just because someone didn’t know how to express the pain they were in healthy manner or, didn’t know how to tell anyone because we can see from the comments that there are a lot of judgmental eyes out there. How do you tell a friend you got abused. How do you tell a parent your failing how do you ask for help when we’re all supposed to be so Righteous. No 2 people are alike we all have our shit but to walk around with a nose plug thinking the smell is only coming from other people who have so many problems is brain dead. It cost nothing to smile at someone, it means everything to a down or hurt person when you put your self in there shoes. The sad part is would you rather a an Addict write this article instead of Zvi?!?! Lol that would just grow the nose plug bigger. How can anyone argue when there are that many lost lives or lives to loose on the table. I have more then a handful of friends who have passed. And I know so many people who suffer from addiction again including my self. Obviously we wish this disease didn’t exists it’s not an easy battle but to have people in our corner is what ever person in this world wants. In closing, if we’re all on the same team to help one another than let’s call it a baseball team for a min. If your an amazing pitcher but your out field is struggling then your still gonna loose the game doesn’t matter how incredible you think you are life is a team sport one we can only win together. Thank you very much Zvi and the staff at Amudim Hashem should bless all of you guys with the same infinite support you show the world. 🙏

  26. Self inflicted or not depends how u look at it. If someone needs meds for ADD or post op pain, these are valid reasons. BUT there are ways to deal with those scenarios that dont involve addiction. Safer painkillers like cbd oil u can get everywhere now which very very effective painkiller. Plus, many herbal pills can be effective too. None are addictive. For ADD the problem may be fixable through diet and supplements and no meds will b necessary. I know whichever clients I work with are bh able to come off ADD/ADHD meds every time. Obviously it takes more work than just popping a pill but the benefits are huge. So in conclusion, while the need for meds are real…. The way to deal with it can be much safer.

  27. the poor guy is running an organization to help people that clearly dont garner sympathy from some quarters. You dont want to support him or his organization, then stay away and keep your mouth shut. no need for any negative comments.

  28. And let’s say that addiction is self inflicted (which it’s most definitely not). What about the family members of the addict? Do they deserve to suffer as well? They certainly didn’t “choose” to suffer from addiction. Why not just forget all the judgment and be thankful that you are obviously not suffering from addiction or related to someone who is.

    And to anyone who is wondering what the point of this article was if it’s not giving practical solutions, open your wallets and donate to Amudim so it can continue to do the amazing work that is vital to klal yisrael. That’s pretty practical, I’d say.

  29. whats amazing is that Zvi has a dynamic personality he could be a great salesman or be in business and be very successful
    instead he dedicates his life day and night
    he has no day and night and tries to help and make people aware of whats going on
    and the negative comments here are sick
    to Tzvi
    i say
    chazak vematz

  30. Yehuda26:

    You just don’t get it, and I fear you never will. I am responding to your comment to perhaps educate others.

    You point out that it is foolish to spread out a net to catch them when they fall, when we should be educating them earlier. There’s a micrograin of truth to that, but not more. There is a reality. The potentially addictive pain medications are used safely by most people, and are the best relievers known to medical science. Far better than your CBD oil, and light years better than any of the “natural” or herbal remedies.

    You next take a pot shot at wondering what Amudim does. Why don’t you investigate it yourself? Call them, ask others. So far, there is a huge following of rabbonim, many Gedolei Yisroel, and swarms of professionals who resoundingly endorse Amudim. This organization is not a PR stunt, and Zvi isn’t gleaning profits from this. If you don’t know, look it up. Throwing schmutz or insinuating there is anything less than an extreme of chesed is unbecoming of a Yid.

    You speak of Noach. If you examine the psukim, you will discover that there is no basis to label Noach as an alcoholic or an addict. There was a drunken episode. Sort of like the experience of Purim for too many. That is a different problem, and should not contaminate this thread.

    Your defeatism statement about waiting for rock bottom is quite silly, and based on a hefty dose of ignorance. The only health professionals that can impose change on a person are those performing surgical procedures. In mental health, that is impossible, and the partnering with the patient/client is central to the process. The challenge is that the addict is controlled by another force, and lacks the motivation to make things different. It is a multifaceted problem, and your idea of shoving education at them is useless.

    There is a valid point, not stated as clearly as needed, that there are core issues that affect the entire community, addiction notwithstanding. The deficit of a true connection to Hashem, the failure we have as parents and yeshivos and schools to impart the needed messages about Ahavas Hashem, render everything possible. In that vein, I will ask you to share with us here in the CR what you have done to bring members of Klal Yisroel closer to Hashem. Now, tell us how you will package this message in a manner that will impress the entire community. It needs to be done, and I suggest, quite painfully, that we are failing at accomplishing that.

  31. People people I’m not saying they don’t deserve help. Everyone deserves help. And of course I’m all for helping out as much as humanly possible. I was commenting on his shock as to why there is less sympathy than cancer. And I stand by my comments. No one asked or forced this person to take an injection. It was a decision he made. And a bad one too. So by definition it’s self inflicted. You can make all the excuses in the world some may be valid but most aren’t. The reality doesn’t change that he decided to take drugs at some point and go down a path that is very difficult to come off of. So if you’re talking about help yea help whatever you can do. But if your talking about prevention then stop making and validating excuses for these people and teach them to make better life decisions. Until you go that route unfortunately this problem will persist. Mark my words.

  32. Red nails, I happen to unfortunately know first hand that you are correct about why people get into drugs and the trauma that usually precedes it. But I disagree with you about 2 points. #1 even though in the majority and probably even the overwhelming majority of cases this may be the case, that doesn’t mean that is the circumstance that caused every single drug user. #2 Telling someone not to ever ever say something is censorship. If you really believe that you’re correct, argue using the facts and it is not necessary to insist that others be censored. In other words don’t ever ever tell someone not to say something just because you don’t like what he/she is saying. Also could someone please enlighten me about what amudim does for survivors of trauma and drug users because I know people who are crying out for financial help for all of the therapies and rehabs necessary in these cases and they haven’t been successful in getting any of that help.

  33. momma, visiting nursery homes won’t cure or stop the disease of addiction. From you post it’s evident that people need to learn a bit more about this disease. That means your Drs need to explore new modalities of pain control that don’t use addictive substances, hypnosis, electronic stimulation, physical therapy, and therapeutic massage. For those that choose to self medicate to mask their own internal psychological pain, teachers and parents need to learn how to recognize these issues before self medication takes place. Schools need to have up to date addiction education as well as teaching our youth how to handle stress and internal pain. The disease of addiction is complex and will not be solved simply because you guilt Abie into visiting a nursing home. Learn to listen to your children without judgement, educate yourselves, your children, your teachers and rabbis. Learn about detox and abstinence programs that have measurable results. Consider voting for candidates that promote funding of public health initiatives that support substance abuse treatment and prevention programs. Show love and compassion for those that suffer from this disease,not guilt and condemnation.

  34. There is a lot to say on this subject matter. To be honest, the only way we can really solve this issue is a full US Jewish infrastructure reset (especially in the tristate area). The yeshiva system is a major failure (don’t bring me public school education numbers to compare, this is not an educational thing, nor is a public school a school system you want to compare yours with.). The main reason why the yeshiva system is a major failure is because of who is leading them; Rabbis who are severely not appropriate for the job. Knowing some halacha should not be the qualification process to be considered a rabbi. Rabbis are community leaders first and foremost and should be chosen mostly based on their character than anything else. Anyone can know halacha, it’s pretty much all written down for us to read and learn. Its time to take our leaders and rabbis to task for their poor and ignorant leadership. I am 27 years old, I have suffered much at the hands of rabbis, community members, and a terribly run school system (of course there are other aspects to it, but these are heavy factors to my pain that I wake up with daily, walk with daily, and attempt to sleep with daily.). I did not choose what they did, or how they did, yet I carry the result of it daily, and yes I see a therapist for my pain, and it helps somewhat, but some days are an actual living hell. I have buried too many friends who all bore the same types of pain like me. Majority of that pain came straight from the rabbis who are supposed to be leading and educating us; yet instead, they are misleading, misinforming, molesting, and attempting to control our children. Do we continue on this path? are we willing to risk what we’ve built here over our insistent need to deny problems we don’t like? or problems we don’t understand because they are “modern problems”? Our leaders are doing a terrible job, their ignorance is killing many of our young people, do we continue to let the future die for the qualms of a dead past? Until our “great” Rabbis open their ignorant eyes, the lives of these young people are on their head, and Hashem will punish them severely for this. Its time the Jewish community drops old standards and realizes a new path, a path of togetherness, a path of unity, a path where it doesn’t matter where your grandparents are from, or what minhagim they kept in their small little towns. It is time to end the ignorance, the separation, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER 2000 YEARS WE HAVE ALL DIFFERENT JEWS OF DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS ALL LIVING WITHIN 200 SQ MI OF EACH OTHER, YET WE ARE ALL SEPARATE? and we wonder why we have so many issues, its time to drop what we’ve picked up the past 2000+ years and return to our glory days. Its time to lose sephardi, ashkenazi, chassidus. We are one, we need to start acting and living like it. We are living in dangerous times, how we approach our community growth and structure over the next 10-15 years will determine the long term health of this community (US Orthodox community). We should have all our really (unfortunately this is a very small number) great rabbis/leaders (rabbis cannot continue to lead on their own any longer as they have proven ignorant to the advancements of modern times and the new challenges and threats they provide us) come together to 1. build/design a new community structure – yeshiva system and educational structure – as well as other necessary social/educational community organizations 2. pass down halachot and minhagim that we all keep the same way, so essentially we would be more together, and furthermore more inclined to be together more. Its time we stop judging based on where someone is from but based on who they are. Also, regarding our education system; I think it would be a good idea for the beginning of a child’s education, that we teach them basic Judaism (so they have an identity) as well as mannerisms, it is important we give the correct tools to our young ones for when they reach real life. It is even more important to send out well mannered, well educated, and well-rounded people into our communities and the general population than ever before. Its time we start aligning ourselves with each other more, instead of finding new reasons why you and he are different. We have a chance to make a real change, but we have to drop politics. We need to start finding how we are similar instead of how we are different (what country we are from (we temporarily stayed in all these countries anyway so why the heavy loyalty to it and its customs?) what minhag you keep or not (minhagim are not a reason to keep ourselves separated, most minhagim came about from forced situations from our captors or due to an extraneous situation, we are not currently experiencing these so why keep the minhag? I can’t believe that Hashem likes the fact that these menial reasons are the ones keeping us apart when we are closer than ever before. how can it be? why do we continue to sleep on this? Its time for a major change brethren. Its time to be one, Tekah b’shofar is already happening, let’s grab the opportunity it brings, together, and enter a new era! using the education system mentioned (obviously kinks have to be worked out) and the elimination of menial minhagim as well as counter-productive halachot, we can not only have a united Jewish community, but we also largely eliminate issues such as the one brought up in this article (due to a more united community), and furthermore issues like the shidduch crisis. It’s our choice, we can choose to be the same and head down the same path we have done for millennia (one filled with pain, sorrow, loss, and much more as we all know), or we pull our heads out of our a***** and look at the big picture.
    We could be one people with one goal, we have always had the same goal, now lets become one people. regarding certain perversions that have crept into our yeshiva system and overall community, we can address these people by solely having people who have been vetted thoroughly and as well have strong character teach our young children.I understand the costs of this will be huge, however, our rich community members should be doing a lot more to support the overall community. building a house on 5 properties or throwing a 25 million dollar international wedding is not how they should be spending the god given the money they have. He gave it for a reason, REALIZE THAT REASON, STOP PLEADING IGNORANCE. As I said earlier, the direction of our overall community over the next 10-15 years will have a strong influence on our overall future (history can repeat itself if we continue to). I truly believe I will see Moshiach in my lifetime, however, I also believe we control when that celebrated event arrives to our salvation.

  35. I am a recovered alcoholic and drug addict. My clean date is January 4, 1986. I have been in the Jewish helping recovery world since that time also. Including being President of JACS (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent persons, and their Significant others) a program of JBFCS. As well as Co-Executive Director of Rodfei Shalom, a now defunct organization that put on recovery events for Jews.

    I have seen and heard almost all the concerns and challenges when it comes to understanding alcoholism and addiction. I have had meeting thrown out of Shules. I have been refused meeting space in Shules. And I have watched the denial of our Rabbeim and community.

    I think that a discussion as to what the disease of addiction and alcoholism is and why its considered a disease is more in order. It would take a Megillah to write, much less understand. The simplest way to describe addiction is there is no thermometer for addiction and therefore no one knows when it really begins. Addiction is manifested with the phenomena of craving and an obsessive mind that causes the uses to crave more of the substance and a mind that says its okay to use no matter what the consequences may be. And, as the case is with most users, they don’t think that they will have any serious consequences. That’s called denial.

    Once this cycle kicks into gear, a person’s addiction is alive and well. The cravings can never be fulfilled and the mind doesn’t allow it to. Simply saying stop or no, is as difficult as getting air into your lungs when your head is in a plastic bag.

    Yes, personality and environment play a part. But none of that would matter if the two components didn’t exist within the individual.

    That said, as a professional in the Recovery world, I think we need more to keep bringing hope to the community with the understanding that an addiction is not a choice anymore then cancer is a choice. Or visa versa.

    I think we need a more conscious effort into education as to the disease concept, more open-mindedness and more hope showing that addiction does not have to be given up on.

    Our children, our peers and our families are dying because we refuse to accept addiction for what it truly is.

    I am a NYS Certified Peer Advocate Recovery Coach/Counselor. I am here to help. I am here because I am one of the lucky ones to be alive. I am here because my brother died because we were told by the Jewish community that he was the black sheep of the family. I am here because I know recovery is possible.

    Arnie Goldfein
    917-776-7574

  36. I’m sorry YWN but this long winded rant from this abe is laced with kefira and stupidity. You need to be smarter before you let such comments through

  37. I will point this out again. The YWN is read by many people who are not frum and/or are not Jewish, including many Evangelical Protestants with their negative views of human nature and their harsh attitudes to anyone seen as “transgressors” or “unworthy.” I wonder how many of the posters here whose opinions are so negative and so much lack compassion are really Jewish?

    Yes, it’s time we realize we have a problem. (We had it back in 2000, when already 4 young people died of overdoses in Brooklyn, but that of course was not publicized.) It’s past time we did something, and yashir koach to YWN for publishing this article. I would also suggest that we think carefully about the yichus of the people who are posting such hateful comments about others who have not been so fortunate.IN addition I would suggest that we keep our own negative comments within the style and lashon that we would not be embarrassed to express in front of our Rav. Sometimes negativity is called for, but it should be expressed with proper language.

  38. I think this discussion got off the rails because some posters tried to JUSTIFY the stigma associated with drug overdose / suicide instead of pointing out that there JUST IS stigma associated with overdose / suicide and no stigma associated with cancer. Maybe there should be a discussion about how to lessen/eliminate the stigma associated with mental health/ drug addiction / overdose / suicide.
    Maybe when someone dies of suicide / drug overdose instead of obscuring what happened or in addition to publicizing this person’s ma’alos there is also frank conversation about their struggles. ESPECIALLY when they come from a “choshive” family. Maybe more poor mothers / fathers / siblings find the strength to overcome the shame and despair and talk through the pain. One such father did a few years ago. For me he humanized his daughter and drug addiction like nothing else before. How many stories would people need to hear before most feel pity, sympathy, empathy and hopefully motivation to help instead of indifference?

  39. I thought ADHD meds were nonaddictive and thus perfectly safe to prescribe to nearly every boy in our yeshivos who cant learn for ten hours straight! Who wouldve thought….

  40. As a non-Jew, I am very surprised by the attitude some commenters have towards the problem of addiction (considering most Jews’ attitudes towards charity, and empathy for others).

    Addiction can take hold of almost anybody, at any time. Opiate addiction is a horrible affliction that can take a great, honest, and wonderful person, and turn them into a dishonest, thieving criminal, in a very short amount of time.

    Most addicts do not want to be addicted, but quitting is not as easy as it sounds, and this has a lot to do with how opiate-class drugs interact with brain chemistry, and the fact that it can take a long time for a recovering addict to feel “normal” again.

    Organizations like Mr. Gluck’s Amudim should be commended and supported for trying to do something positive to combat this problem which affects Jews, non-Jews, and everyone in between.

  41. “our rich community members should be doing a lot more to support the overall community.”
    Please educate us, how much money do our “rich community members” currently give? how much more should they give? Please first tell us, how do you define “rich”?

    “building a house on 5 properties or throwing a 25 million dollar international wedding is not how they should be spending the god given the money they have. He gave it for a reason”

    Who said it isnt? Did g-d tell you the reason? If he did, why dont you knock on the doors of all these rich people and reveal to them your g-d given revelation.

  42. Dr mom cbd can be as addictive as marijauna is…not everything is about physically being addictive…and you claiming to be a dr and have clients should probably get more educated in the matter….a book can also be addictive and yet there are no withdrawels
    …..torah can also be addictive….it doesnt need to be heroin to be considered addiction.

  43. Perhaps Yehuda26’s point might also be, what’s the data showing that throwing lots of money at group 2 people will change their long-term outcomes and should therefore be a high priority for our tzeddaka money?

    Amudim: Anecdotes about individuals who have been saved are certainly moving, but what are the statistics in general for group 2 individuals, who serially pursue all kinds of very high-risk behavior and have multitudes of other issues? How many months will it be before they are back to doing what they’d done before? My understanding is that it’s a never-ending cycle.

    Amudim, please give us some data.

  44. I don’t like the condescending tone of these articles. the “letter” (or ad) isn’t a plea, its a lecture. I dislike it so much that I can’t even hear what he’s saying. what a turn off. so many are dealing with this in a personal and deep way – I say lower the heat and turn down the volume – with all due respect – you’re not the only messiah in town

  45. Amudim -“Another 17 overdoses had more positive outcomes, baruch Hashem, with Narcan successfully reviving those victims, but without proper treatment”

    I’ve had training in Addicition along with regular medicine. Number 1 – Narcan isn’t a cure!
    Number 2 – There are ways to get off being an addict, but most addicts are Not getting the help they need Worldwide. Number 3 – Methadone programs Don’t Work!
    Also Don’t vote Democrat, if in your state they are for legalising Pot. Pot is known as a Gateway for other abusive Drugs!

  46. It’s a crisis. In midwood there’s a known Jewish drug dealer who won’t be put away. Our Place gives refuge to drug dealers. Go to Ave M at night.

  47. Baalei batim are not stupid they no that addiction for many is taavos each nefesh that was niftar had family and close people who spent big bucks or at least offered mayb not on the addicts terms many of these lost souls are Post rehab tehei misssam kapara

  48. Thank you to TheJewishFriend for pointing out something that is so obvious. We have become so affected by the values outside our camp – especially those espoused by some of our political “allies” – that some of us are no longer thinking like Jews. And you also show that not all non-Jews reading the YWN hold by negative views of human nature. A good heart for people is something that can be found in every group.

  49. @A_concerned_Jew pick me! It’s been vision of mine to create a program shabbos afternoon for these boy so they dont have to hang out, do drugs, get drunk, and be mechalel Shabbos! But I don’t have a place or resources!

  50. Wow. It’s seriously hard to believe some of these comments, if someone you loved was addicted to drugs , would you still the same attitude ??

  51. Thank you Tzvi Gluck for spreading this much needed awareness. There have been many comments, but I’m responding to one in particular which stated that mental illness is a choice. Mental illness is NOT a choice. It is a Chemical imbalance in the brain that can be treated with certain medications which gives the brain what it’s missing. Like Tzvi Gluck mentioned, it’s high time that we all recognize and understand the truths about what mental illness really is and discard myths from misunderstandings. Mental illness is as real as high blood pressure and deserves the same respect and care as physical conditions do. No one chooses to have a mental illness. It is a test from Hashem. All those who are (silently) bravely battling it, should be awarded and not shunned. Would We ever tell someone who has a broken leg to just “walk it off?” Absolutely not. This is the same for those who are battling mental illness. Just like you can’t “walk off” a broke leg, you can’t “walk off” Depression, Anxiety and other illnesses that are a result of a chemical imbalance.
    I remember getting a handout from a high school teacher of mine. It went that this: Gd didn’t create junk. This is a test and all part of His Masterplan.

  52. Some interesting information is available here:

    1 Leslie DL, Kobre RA, Richmand BJ, Guloksuz SA, and Leckman JF. Temporal Association of Certain Neuropsychiatric Disorders Following Vaccination of Children and Adolescents: A Pilot Case–Control Study. Frontiers in Psychiatry (NCBI) Jan. 19, 2017.
    2 Erickson A. Yale University Study Finds Link Between Vaccines & Multiple Brain Disorders. Collective Evolution Feb. 15, 2017
    3 Wang K. Vaccines linked to mental disorders by Yale study. Yale News Feb. 21, 2017.

  53. Thank you Mr. Gluck for bringing to attention this huge problem in our community. Thank you for the hard work you do to help our fellow brothers and sisters and bring addiction into the spot light.

    There is a high link between mental health and substance abuse disorders and a history of abuse. I think we can all agree abuse is not the fault of the innocent victim. People who say that addicts are responsible for their situation clearly do not work in healthcare with those addicted to drugs or have a friend/family member who is addicted. Blaming the victim of this mental illness is not the way to spread love and heal people. Once addiction takes hold of the body (which can happen very quickly especially in a person who is already vulnerable from negative life circumstances which are no fault of his own), without a lot of support (including from organizations like Amudim) it is next to impossible to “get clean” alone. This is why it takes addicts multiple attempts to get clean before it actually happens. It’s like beating any other deadly disease. It takes multiple rounds of chemo at times to go into remission. These are our brothers and sisters and they only deserve our love and support! Hashem loves us all the same, so we shouldn’t differentiate. Blaming the victims is no way to save lives.

    P.S. treating drug addiction with cannabis is just replacing one drug with another. The underlying problems need to be addressed in therapy, counseling, and with non addictive medications to help with anxiety and other mental health issues. Everyone knows someone with depression, anxiety, trauma, history of abuse etc. We should all stop pretending that mental health problems are rare.

  54. Lots of people make irresponsible decisions: some financial, some marital, others recreational. Well since it’s all their fault, let them wallow in their personal problems. It’s a good thing I have a Torah to teach me otherwise.

  55. When a comment calls for “the elimination of menial minhagim as well as counter-productive halachot,” I think the mods have missed a spot.

  56. knaf:

    Sorry, but your comment takes idiocy to a new level. You are not only wrong about facts, but your sense of morality and care for another Yid is seriously deficient.

    Let’s say this fellow was crossing the street and got hit ch”v by a car running a red light. Would you refuse to consider him deserving of help because he chose to cross the street? That’s the absurdity you displayed in your ridiculous comment. You cannot hold people responsible for choices made when there was no bechirah. And the situations that led to that loss of choice were not self-inflicted. If you wish to blame the victim, you have an even more serious moral problem. I am glad you are not my child or sibling.

  57. Apushata Yid & Random:
    I am not pushing for a reform style of change. I am pushing for a more general set of halachot and minhagim that we all keep the same. the reason is so we can become more united instead of using some rabbis BS to stay apart. You either have an open mind or you can stay in your archaic community and way of life. I cant believe that Hashem is ok with us being separate over the teachings of a rabbi. There is a bigger picture here than your shtetl. Its time to realize it, and start making moves that bring us more together instead of keeping us apart (minhagim!). There is no way Hashem is ok with you choosing to stay away from me because of your minhag/minhagim. they are customs and rightfully so, customs can change as needed, they are unimportant unless its for an identity. What is that identity? the identity of your grandparent’s shtetl? That is not a reason to stay away from each other. if you think it is, then you are highly misled. I am not advocating to change halachot or delete them, i am advocating uniting them so we can have less reason to be separate. in doing so we will eliminate a few of the social issues affecting our community as a whole. we all have the same problem, yet no one has a solution. maybe its time to try something new, it’s not as if we haven’t been changing things as we need over the years. If we have done it we can do it again. once again, i am not advocating for deleting parts of the torah from our community, just uniting the differentiating laws into one so we all keep it (one example is Bet Yosef meat vs glatt kosher meat).
    regarding the rich men, idk what they give, but when they are spending on themselves the way they are and there are thousands of people suffering from a variety of problems all around them, then i am saying they are being irresponsible with what God gave them. It’s obvious living a super lavish lifestyle is frowned upon by the Torah. There are a few Rich people who actually live up to their position. all i am saying is that its time the rest do so too.

  58. “then i am saying they are being irresponsible with what God gave them. It’s obvious living a super lavish lifestyle is frowned upon by the Torah. ”

    This is a ridiculous statement. If it wasnt so sad (and dumb) I would laugh.

  59. As crazy as he sounds and as much as ApocoliticAbe’s comments have nothing to do with this story: I kind of agree with much of what he says.

  60. @health…nothing of what you said contradicted what tzvi said so not sure what the point of your post was…were u just agreeing with him then?

  61. Realisticguy – My point is the way the world fights Drug Addiction is way off. I was trained with a partial solution – which is Not commonly used!

  62. @health that doesnt make any sense tk what you said

    You posted:(my comments IN parentheses)

    Amudim -“Another 17 overdoses had more positive outcomes, baruch Hashem, with Narcan successfully reviving those victims, but without proper treatment”

    I’ve had training in Addicition along with regular medicine. Number 1 – Narcan isn’t a cure! ( nobody said it was)
    Number 2 – There are ways to get off being an addict, but most addicts are Not getting the help they need Worldwide.(he rights that in the qoute you posted)

    Number 3 – Methadone programs Don’t Work!(ok so?)

    Also Don’t vote Democrat, if in your state they are for legalising Pot. Pot is known as a Gateway for other abusive Drugs!

    Nothing of what you said was a point that wasnt already made i the article and amudim knows and runs its organization with the focus that people need therapy to sokve the issues behind the drugs not just getting them through the withdrawel process. So again what exactly is your point? If you have some solution that you think noone has heard of then share it please.

  63. Believing-
    “Mental illness is NOT a choice. It is a Chemical imbalance in the brain that can be treated with certain medications which gives the brain what it’s missing… Mental illness is as real as high blood pressure and deserves the same respect and care as physical conditions do.”
    Just going to give my opinion here coming from a different angle. As someone in the health field helping many with physical and mental issues, I approach it naturally with diet and here’s why it works. High Blood pressure as u mentioned is “very real” but completely fixable with diet and lifestyle change. I’ve never not been able to get someone off bp meds before. So I do agree that mental health is just “as real” and can usually be helped the same way. Obviously not all cases are the same so I’m NOT referring to a situation where someone suffered a loss or trauma etc that put them in their situation needing counseling. I’m referring to what u mentioned where it’s “a chemical imbalance in the brain and there are drugs to fix it”. This is usually the case for someone who did NOT suffer any loss or trauma and doesnt know why they feel the way they do…. Depressed or anxious. The reason diet applies here too is because serotonin is what’s missing here. Most ppl dont knkw that most (abt 80%) of our serotonin is produced in the gut and taken up by a nerve straight to the hypathalumas in the brain where its utilized. If someone has digestive issues, the serotonin is not being produced or not getting to the brain effectively. The MOST efffective treatment in this case is working on a diet that helps with this and plenty of exercise, water, sun, sleep etc.
    Im just posting this in case someone out there can benefit from trying it as it’s worked for all my clients and they were able to come off meds and felt so much better bh. This is NOT a rant putting down anyone who still takes meds, prescribes meds, needs meds etc. No need to reply abt all the ppl who need them… I completely understand. Just sharing another healing modality that can work.

  64. To the Moderator: Do you even read the comments before posting them? There are a number of comments that promote outright kefirah and disparagement of our Rabbonim. There are also a number of highly inappropiate words used by some commenters which I’m shocked to see on a frum forum.

    Specifically the comment by ApocalypticAbe. Don’t you realize that many impressionable children and teenagers read this site and were exposed to the filth being spewed by the aforementioned commenter?

    To ApocalypticAbe, our yeshiva system has many areas which need improvement, and it’s clear that you feel very strongly about the issues you raised, but this is not the appropiate forum to discuss those issues. It would be appreciated if you were more sensitive to the general readership who find your comments highly offensive, as it’s clear the moderators have no intention to censor comments that offend our community.

  65. So what I see here are some blind people who just follow a rabbi because somehow someway in his life he got smicha. Our standards have fallen tremendously, and from the comments of apushatayid, and ayeshivishguy (such obvious names for ignorant people) it’s apparent why those standards have fallen. Just because someone is a rabbi does not mean you can’t challenge them, the fact that you don’t is why we are here. Rabbis need to be doing more leading than pandering to the likes of you and your minhagim. Oh and your garbage yeshiva system needs MAJOR changes, not some small ones. another point about smicha, it is so easy to obtain. the fact that it is is why the quality if our leaders/rabbis is so low. DEMAND BETTER FROM YOUR LEADERS, OR CONTINUE BEING SHEEP. Your choice. And how is this not a good forum? where else to share an idea with my brethren whom i don’t know, then here?

    @ besalel, what I am saying is how you can eliminate problems like addiction from the start. (not every case obviously, as some are more due to the home environment.). What i am saying has other good effects as well, and I’ve highlighted them even though they have nothing to do with this. I am not trying to solve one issue. I am trying to solve many. I think we can do it, but not with guys like ayeshivishguy and a pashutayid having anything to do with it, they can stay wherever they are and not progress with the rest of us. Fact of life; God wants us to understand that life is about constant improvements on one’s personal self, that includes our communities, community leaders (YES RABBIS TOO, THEY CAN ALSO IMPROVE, THEY ARE JUST AS HUMAN AS YOU AND I), and community members.

  66. I would also point out that i am not attacking any specific rabbi or his teachings. So your claims are unfounded. I find what you are saying to be reprehensible, it’s ignorant and lacks any sort of vision. We need leaders who are the exact opposite of you and whomever you follow.