Tag Archives: Addictions

The Blessing of: Addictions

Breaking Free
Source: KRISTUS TELAH MEMERDEKAKAN KITA

My personal One Word for 2014: Blessing 

oneword365.com

myoneword.org

 

This past week I spent time training for my position of employment that involves working for an agency that provides services for people facing barriers in meeting their needs for survival. I enjoy working in positions where I get to serve and assist people who are in need of a variety of resources for living. A large number of the patrons who rely on this agency have substance abuse issues.

Addictions create a number of problems for people wanting to maintain consistent employment, attend training programs, or find permanent accommodation. Opposite of this are the many people with additions who are able to maintain their employment and provide for their own cost of living.

I wish I had the answer to poverty and addictions, but I don’t. If there is anyone out there that has a solution for ending these two problems for humanity once and for all, please let every level of government in North America know your secret. I would love to sing along with Andre Crouch and say, “Jesus is the answer for all the world today…”, but it doesn’t quite work that way. I would never force my religious beliefs on anyone, especially those who are most in need and marginalized within our society.

Addressing substance abuse without contradicting my spiritual beliefs can sometimes be a challenge. I have been asked a number of times why I would work within a Harm Reduction facility as a Christian and to this question, I say, ‘I’m not offering people illegal substances and I’m not pouring alcohol or Listerine down people’s throats.’ There are no contradictions with my beliefs in the job duties that I perform.

Source: Stepstorecovery
Source: Stepstorecovery

When addressing addictions, our provincial government promotes and practices what they refer to as Harm Reduction.

What is Harm Reduction?

“Harm Reduction refers to policies, programs and practices that aim to reduce the negative health, social and economic consequences that may ensue from the use of legal and illegal psychoactive drugs, without necessarily reducing drug use. Its cornerstones are public health, human rights and social justice. It benefits people who use drugs, families and communities.

Harm Reduction is underpinned with the knowledge that many drug-related problems are not the result of the drugs themselves; rather they are the consequences of the unregulated manufacture and trade of drugs and the enduring commitment to failed policies and ill-thought-out and inequitably applied laws.

Finally, Harm Reduction ensures that people who use psychoactive substances are treated with respect and without stigma, and that substance-related problems and issues are addressed systemically.” (Source: http://canadianharmreduction.com)

I don’t support illegal drug use and I don’t support the misuse of prescription drugs.

I can’t speak for other cities across North America, but our province has made note of many positive outcomes resulting from the use of the harm reduction model. I am happy to hear there are positive outcomes for those using a Harm Reduction approach, but I will say this; as believers we must have faith that we can overcome any addiction that we have.

An addiction is an addiction. I won’t get into any discussion about which substances are more difficult to withdraw from. The most important point that I want to make is that it doesn’t matter what the substance is, we have been given the strength and the power to overcome any addiction that has held us in bondage. Until there is scientific evidence that clearly shows that there are human beings who are incapable of ending their addictions, I will continue to believe what I believe.

I won’t say that one method works better than another method because I believe that people with addictions have a variety of factors that will influence the type of treatment method that is best for them. What has been a life saver for one person might not be a suitable or realistic option for another person.

Judging those with addictions does not help them recover, it only makes their recovery a more difficult process. I’m not here to judge or offer the ultimate solution to everyone’s problems, but I do want to let people who are struggling to be free of their addiction know: yes, you can overcome your addiction! It is not a onetime event, instead, it is one day at a time. For those who are believers, don’t forget what Jesus asked “Do you wish to get well? (John 5: 6).” Jesus reminded us who He came to earth to serve, “… Jesus said to them, ‘It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ (Mark 2:17)” We are all in need of the great physician.

Steps to recovery

Jesus was a healer, God is still a healer. Folks, we CAN be healed of any addiction, but you must believe you can be free. It is the belief in your freedom that will help you to: attend medical appointments, maintain participation in whatever treatment you choose, face the pain that had driven you to addiction, and it is your belief in your ability to be healed that will keep you returning to God day after day in asking Him to be with you during your life long process of healing.

God doesn’t judge you where you are at, He loves you where you are at.

God’s love is powerful enough to transform us; it is not a type of love that meets you where you are and then leaves you there. No one who has accepted God’s offer of healing has ever been left the same. Never. Isn’t that exciting? Thank you LORD, your love has healing power.

Pray for those WITH addictions and alcoholism

I will continue to work in an environment that supports and practices a Harm Reduction model, but I will never believe that any human being on this planet is not able to overcome their addiction. I will be there for them and help them as best as I am able to at whatever pace they are going at; and do so in a way that places no blame and judgement on them or their circumstances. For those who do not believe they can ever overcome their own addictions, please know that I believe you can, and most importantly there is a God who knows that you can be healed. He knows this because He is the healer.


 

For more information on the topic of addictions recovery, please read below.

Public Policy Statement: Definition of Addiction (http://www.asam.org/for-the-public/definition-of-addiction)

Short Definition of Addiction:

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death. (Source: American Society for Addiction Medicine)

 

RESOURCES:

Life’s Healing Choices – From Saddleback Church

Life's Healing Choices

Celebrate Recovery

http://www.celebraterecovery.com/

http://www.celebraterecovery.ca/

National Association for Christian Recovery

http://www.nacr.org/referral-center/finding-a-group

Resource site with links to a variety of programs and information

http://12step.org/

 

I am a Sugar Monster

Sugar-Addiction CycleSugar Cocaine

 

I’m a Sugar Monster

If sugar were illegal I’d be sentenced to life in prison. I wish I could say that I actually love sugar, but I don’t. In reality I’ve finally accepted that I’m addicted to this stuff. I can’t think of a day when I’ve intentionally gone without some source of manmade sugar.

Sugary products are the first thing I consume when I wake up and the last thing in my mouth before I head to bed. There was a time when I was eating at least one bag of jelly beans or gummy bears per day.  I went so far as to have a bag on my nightstand; I’d wake up in the middle of the night and without fail I’d roll over, grab a handful of candy and go back to sleep.

I began working as an Addictions Worker part-time and was continuously amazed at the grip addictions had over the lives of those with substance abuse problems. I had to admit that my inability to go without my daily sugar fix was no different than those who drank alcohol and consumed illegal drugs every day. I was just as much of an addict as they were, the only difference is that my addiction is legal and there’s isn’t. I caution Christians; don’t allow the plank in your eye to blind you from seeing any addictions or dependencies of your own.

Judging at the gym

I once tried a sugar detox program; however, I only lasted three days. Irritability, anxiety, headaches, and fatigue set in. I’m a sugar monster who can only be tamed with sugar. As I started this weight loss and fitness journey I realized that I must surrender my love of man made sweets to God. Anything in our lives that is an addiction places a barrier between our self and God. He wants nothing on this earth to have control over our life. Even healthy habits can become an obsession and an addiction.

Ask Seek Knock

Our quest to be physically fit and eat healthy is a godly pursuit, but we are human and there is always the risk that our endeavours can become spiritually unhealthy. Do you skip church to go for Sunday morning runs, do you spend more time at the gym than you do with your spouse, friends or family; do you think about food and calories all day long? These are only small examples of ways our healthy pursuits can become problems.

If your physical fitness is a means for feeding an aching spirit, turn to God. Jesus tells us that our Father is there for us.

Ask Him: if we ask, He will give us an answer as to why we are hurting.

Seek Him: God always knows where we are, He never loses sight of us. We are the ones who have to seek Him. We’ve been seeking other worthy, yet mundane pursuits, when instead; we should have been seeking God to heal our hurts.

Knock: You know where He is, let Him know that you’re there (knocking). He will always invite you in; He will never close the door on you. The opened door is God saying, “Come on in! Have a seat and let’s talk.”

Jeremiah 33:1-3, 6-8
Jeremiah 33:1-3, 6-8
Jpg Credit: ephesianswife.blogspot.ca

 

Application:

We certainly don’t have to give up our healthy goals and habits, but be sure to do some self-reflection and consider if or how your health and fitness beliefs are affecting your Christian walk. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Do I believe that I will not be beautiful/good looking until I meet my goal weight/increase muscle mass?
  • Am I constantly thinking about my fitness and diet regime?
  • Is my diet so restrictive that it interferes with my social life and causes tension in my family household?
  • Do I judge others who don’t follow the same dietary plan as myself (e.g. Paleo, Raw Food, Vegetarian, Meat Lover, Gluten Free, etc.)?
  • Do I believe that losing weight will solve all my problems?
  • Do I use exercise (Running, cycling, strength training) as a way to forget about and avoid problems? How can these activities be used as an aide to healing rather than an avoidance or hindrance to healing?

Application 2:

Sit in silence for 1 minute or more and let God’s Spirit open your mind to receiving his revelation. The answer might not come to you today, but continue to Ask, Seek, and Knock and God will fulfill his promise to produce healing in your life.

Blessings!