After many years in the missions field as addiction and recovery specialists, in 2012, GOAL made its home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to address addiction in our backyard. The United States was experiencing one of its worst drug crisis: overdose deaths involving opioids increased six-fold since 1999. In 2017, opioid overdoses killed more than forty-seven thousand people. In 2020 there were 93,331 reported deaths from overdoses, up from 70,980 the year before, marking the largest annual increase in at least 50 years, said officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Pennsylvania alone, opioid deaths surged more than 44 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This was the biggest jump in any state except Florida, and it left the Commonwealth with the fourth-highest rate of overdose deaths in the country. More than 5,200 people died of overdoses in 2017, according to provisional estimates. South Central Pennsylvania experienced a 305% increase in heroin overdose hospitalization. In Lancaster, PA, overdose deaths in 2020 increased by 40% from the previous year.
GOAL’s mission is to prepare and support the community to address the challenges of addiction and recovery. GOAL provides professional training teams both locally and internationally that include:
- Conducting training on the disease of addiction;
- Developing curriculum which can be used in local and regional settings;
- Working collaboratively with a variety of organizations to assist in the building of courses and curricula that combines faith sensitivity and expert science;
- Providing assistance to congregations to develop sustainable team ministries in prevention and recovery support;
- Initiating 12-step recovery/support groups where they do not exist;
- Providing training for those persons going to international mission locations.
More specifically, GOAL Project supports the model of recovery which is both healing and a miracle: compassion and not punishment is the key that unlocks recovery. As such, the F.A.I.T.H. Initiatives Program (Face Addiction with Intervention and Training for Healing) provides state of the art, certified, evidence-based training to faith leaders so that transformational healing and prevention programs/ministries are provided to parishioners who are afflicted by addictions or by the debilitating effects of loved ones struggling with addiction.