Description: TV SHOW, BLACK JOURNAL, WITH HOST LOU HOUSE, COVERAGE OF ISSUES CONCERNING BLACK AUDIENCE Initial Broadcast Date: December 28, 1971 30 minutes – Color Black Journal focuses on “Soul Saving Station,” a church of the Pentecostal faith in Harlem which curse drug addicts with faith and love. The program includes interviews with ex-addicts; Reverend Jess Winley, head of Soul Saving Station; and Dr. Paul Searcy, of New York’s Beth Israel, who feels medical treatment rather than spiritual, is the best tool against addiction. The program provides insight into the life of an addict, the deterioration of his soul and body, the illegal methods of supporting his habit and the struggle for mental and physical well-being. In the process it also presents first-hand reports on the methadone program by treated addicts. As Black Journal points out, the drug problem hits especially hard in the black community. Forty-nine percent of all drug addicts in the United States are non-white. Of the 100,000 addicts in New York City, 35,000 are in Harlem and 12,000 are children. Interviews with ex-addicts disclose that curiosity and peer group pressures are two strong reasons for involvement with drugs. One girl notes that it was her boyfriend that introduced her to drugs. But James Geter, successfully treated at the Soul Saving Station, believes that the drug problem is one of “being away from God.” On the subject of rehabilitation, many renounce methadone as just another drug. “I went into the hospital as a heroin addict and came out a methadone addict … I couldn’t get methadone, so I went back to heroin,” says one person. Another medical objection made by some is that “methadone gets into your bones.” For a medical point of view on the methadone treatment Black Journal turns to Dr. Searcy. Dr. Searcy says that methadone enables addicts to return to society as useful members. According to him, methadone is not a crutch and there is no medical evidence that it gets into the bone marrow. Yet many blacks, some addicted as many as ten years, testify to the failure of methadone and the success of religious faith. “Methadone reacts on your nervous system,” says one woman who has been cured by the Soul Saving Station after being on everything from “goof balls to shooting up” for ten years. According to Reverend Winley, the cure is accomplished through “love, understanding and faith in the power of God … presented to the addicts through the Gospel.” The church does not seek nor receive any medical or financial assistance from outside organizations; it is supported by contributions from the congregation. Says the Reverend: “We want to be free in presenting the Word of God.” “Black Journal” is a production of NET Division, Educational Broadcasting Corporation Executive producer: Tony Brown
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