An excerpt from Tom Shachtman’s book titled, To Be or Not To Be Amish:
Once the young ladies hit the cars, and the cars have pulled away from the homestead, appearances and behaviors begin to change. While riding along, each Amish girl performs at least one of many actions that have been forbidden to her throughout her childhood: lights up a cigarette, grabs a beer, switches on the rock and rap music on the car radio or CD player, converses loudly and in a flirtatious manner with members of the opposite sex.
Leanne, a character from “Orange is the New Black”, grew up in an Amish community and started using meth during her Rumspringa. Outside of her character, this issue is a major concern in the United States today. According to Amish America, Rumspringa or “running around” is “a term used to describe the period of adolescence Amish experience starting at around age 16. Rumspringa seems to have caused an epidemic of addiction among the Amish community; last year, approximately 70 people – many of them youth – were arrested at an Amish party. Fox 59 reported more than 1000 people were expected to attend from Ohio and the Interstate before the party was shut down.
Addiction does not discriminate. Individuals of the Amish community face the same demons the rest of us face, including addiction. According to NPR.org, Rumspringa is a time where adolescents of the Amish community can “test” out the modern world to determine if they would like to continue their path within the community. At age 16, the adolescents have not yet been baptized, so they are not officially considered members of the church yet. Many youths are encouraged to explore movie theatres, driving, malls and more – but some, with this feeling of freedom, take part in unhealthy behaviors that lead to addiction.
Alcoholism, meth, heroin, and opioid addiction all impact the Amish community, just like any other community. The dangers are ever more real to Amish youth because, with this form of freedom, they are likely to take drastic action in a similar fashion people first entering college might take. At any age and in any community, addiction can occur.
If you have an addiction and are ready to take back control over your life, call us today at 855-464-7849. Avalon Malibu provides individualized treatment plans to restore your mind, body, and spirit. We believe in holistic, integrative treatment – meaning that we will incorporate several different components to work best with your overall health and well-being. You deserve to have your life back. Call us for a consultation.