Fiddler on the Roofie –
April 20, 2018 – Drug addiction is a taboo topic that is rarely discussed in the Orthodox community, where family reputations are everything, and many fear that the stigma of an addict in the family may hamper marriage prospects, yeshiva acceptances and social status. In North Jersey, psychiatrist Jeffrey Berman says, young Orthodox people have died of overdoses, but their families refused to acknowledge the deaths were drug-related. Berman runs a support group for parents of addicts at the Kaplen JCC. The silence can make it harder for victims and their families to get help. That was the frustration of Elana’s parents. When Lianne and Etiel Forman first discovered their daughter had a drug problem, they felt isolated: They asked around, opening up to their rabbi, close friends and relatives. But they could not find anyone in their community who would admit that they, too, had experienced similar heartbreak.