The Rev. Charles Christian Adams served as the presiding pastor at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church for 11 years before becoming a co-pastor of the congregation alongside his father, Dr. Charles G. Adams.
In addition to his preaching and teaching ministry, Adams has traveled the world, ministering in Geneva, Switzerland, for the World Council of Churches; Harare, Zimbabwe, for the Baptist World Alliance Youth Conference; and Johannesburg, South Africa, for the American Baptist Churches.
In April 2013, Adams received the prestigious honor of being inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College. He also regularly conducts behavioral health seminars at churches, schools, prisons, treatment facilities and anywhere else he may be needed.
Adams will be one of the featured speakers at the Detroit Recovery Project’s Black Men’s Healing Conference: Solutions to the Opioid Epidemic on Friday, Sept. 14, in Detroit.
Before the conference, he spoke with rolling out about the opioid crisis and Black men’s health.
Why is the men’s healing conference important when it comes to healing men in the Black community?
This conference is important because it highlights African American male health in a comprehensive fashion. While there will be information, inspiration and resources relating to the opioid epidemic, there will be workshops covering many issues that affect well-being.
How would you describe the opioid addiction epidemic’s impact on the Black community?
It has been a very tricky and an adaptive enemy to our individual and collective health. When one thinks of opioids, they are categorized as “street” or illicit drugs affecting primarily economically and educationally disadvantaged people. Now we think of opioids in a broader sense, such as prescription drug abuse targeting mostly affluent communities. As a result, opioids have resurfaced in the communities that our ancestors sacrificed for us to enter.
What can health professionals do to provide education through community organizations about health and the opioid epidemic?
Health professionals must receive and report information and data to grassroots community groups. However, they must see the importance of funding and including them in their treatment plans as well. The therapeutic value of one addict to another is unparalleled.
How does economics play a role in the opioid addiction epidemic?
Community stabilization and equal opportunity go a long way in stemming the tide of addiction. The availability of mental health resources is much more accessible and desirable in a healthy community. In “at-risk” communities that have high poverty rates, community mental health resources are either underfunded, invisible or stigmatized. We are hoping that this conference will bring attention to this and move us towards solutions for providers and patients.
What is the emotional language that men should be aware of and communicate better?
When it comes to men’s vulnerability, it is often an emotional impediment to healthy living, especially when it comes to mental health. Addictions are a symptom of a greater malady. Many of us have found out that we were addicts before we picked up our first drink or drug. Many more were related to the dysfunction that unresolved issues can cause even in the absence of a substance abuse problem.
What recommendation do you have for health checkups and developing better health regimens for Black men?
Treat yourself like you treat everything else in your life. You accept that you must clean your gutters so that you won’t have problems at home. We accept that we must change our oil in our vehicles so that we won’t have problems in the community. Maintaining physical and mental health is no different from maintaining your home or your automobile. Preventive maintenance will go a long way toward assisting productivity and peace of mind in all things. We must not wait until problems become apparent. We are much more valuable than any material thing we desire or possess. If we think it’s important to keep them running smoothly, how much more important are our bodies and minds?