Christian Living


Overcoming Addictions



Imagine your favorite food. Would it be chocolate, ice cream, bread or pasta? Then imagine you have a never-ending urge for that food all day -- every day. That’s what it’s like for Mitch and Sara. They are recovering heroin addicts.

If Mitch was your son or Sara was your granddaughter, where would you turn? Who would you seek to get help? Would you have $36,000 to pay for a month of treatment in Florida?

A 60 Minutes report shared that there were 2 million meth users in our country last year and 210 million opiate prescriptions filled. That’s enough for 24 hours of medication for every American for a month. Fifteen thousand people died from opiate overdoses last year.

What alternatives do we have available for the Mitch’s and Sara’s of our society? Would medication be the answer? Could self-help groups rescue them? Perhaps professional counseling might help? The truth is, each of these seek to bring a sense of peace or serenity to the struggling addict. They are trying to calm down the brain.

• Ben has two years of peace.
• Marvin has five years of peace.
• Jim and April have eight years of peace.
• Ben and Tracey have 11 years of peace.
• Mark has 10 years of peace.
• Mike has 11 years of peace.
• Adrin has 15 years of peace.

Does this mean that they never struggle or have issues? No, but they have found peace and made it their home base. So how have they done it? What have been the secrets of these “peace-seekers?”

1. They identified their “powerless factor.” Ben finally admitted that he was powerless to alcohol. After DUI’s and all the shame and embarrassment, he came to accept the fact that he has an allergy to alcohol. Mitch and Sara came to peace with the fact that heroin was not manageable and it did nothing to manage the pain and stress of their lives. Nothing really happens until we admit our need and hopelessness. The Apostle Paul lived this model. He knew that a monster lived within him and that only the Spirit of God could tame it. “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature, because I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Romans 7:18

2. They trace the source of their cravings. Once these friends came to agree that they could not win the battle with the person and/or substance, they sought the root-sources of their struggles. They found that most often the root of their problem was not the addiction itself. There was a sense of woundedness in their struggles - whether it be sexual abuse, having been bullied, abusive parents or simply having succumbed to the peer pressure of the culture. They learned that beliefs like, “I’ll never be good enough,” and “I’m an addict and will always be an addict” create a false self that drives their behavior. Jesus tells the Church in the book of Revelation, “Remember where you have fallen, repent of your sin and return to doing your first good works.” Revelation 2:5

3. They became solutions-focused. Rather than live in the past and constantly bring up “war stories” and recount “the good old days,” these people have learned to live in the here and now. They constantly adapt and work with whatever life may bring their way by developing alternatives and solutions.

4. They put Jesus in the very center of their struggles. They invited Jesus to do what He does. He forgives sin. He heals broken hearts. He transforms lives. They learned to become consistent in inviting Him into every struggle and every situation. As they gave Him access to every part of their hearts, they were transformed from the inside out! Jesus said in Revelation 3:20, “I stand at the door and knock; if you will let me in, I will come in and we will be friends!”

5. They joined a healing community. In order to develop accountability and continue the path of discipleship, each of them attended recovery meetings for a period of time. Most were there for several years in order to seal their newfound way of living and experience a community sense of understanding. 

Becoming a peace-seeker gives a person stability and hope that they never had in their world of chaos. What do you need to do to get that peace for yourself?

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