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Addiction’s Impact on Children: Seeking Recovery for the Entire Family

May 22nd, 2017

The impact of addiction on the whole family

A recent Road to Freedom blog post covered some topics related to addiction’s impact on family and family relationships. Addiction, like any other chronic condition, has a lifetime affect on families, including your spouse, your parents or siblings and even less immediate relatives. Drug or alcohol use and all the behaviors and pitfalls associated with that can also have a powerful, negative impact on the lives of your children — now and in the future.

Drugs and alcohol can leave children without parents

The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System notes that more than 85,000 minors ended up in foster care in 2015 related to one or both parents using drugs. In fact, addiction to drugs is the second leading factor in the removal of children from homes; the leading factor is child neglect, which can sometimes be associated with drug or alcohol abuse.

In some cases, parents are able to reunite with their children following recovery, but the temporary loss can be devastating to children. Even more frightening is that continued drug or alcohol use could lead to a permanent loss, either because children are removed from the home permanently or because their parent dies because of a drug or alcohol overdose or risky actions related to use.

Addiction creates a chasm in relationship

Addiction can create a gap in your relationship with your children. As a parent, if you are struggling with drug or alcohol use, then you are probably not fully present in your child’s life. You could be missing important events, forgetting about things they told you or generally ignoring them because you are struggling so much with your own issues. It’s even possible that you are neglecting them — even if you are still able to provide food, clothing and shelter, if you’re constantly thinking about drugs or alcohol or coming home drunk or high, it’s a good chance you aren’t attending to the mental, spiritual and emotional needs of children.

Continued drug abuse puts your child’s future and faith at risk

Not only does drug abuse put your children’s earthly future at risk, but it could also put their faith in danger — a grave concern for Christian parents.

When parents abuse drugs or alcohol, studies have shown that children are more likely to engage in similar behavior as teens or adults. Letting addiction get to a point that children are completely aware of it can send mixed messages, and kids who don’t know any other way of living might not even realize the dangers of drugs and alcohol until it’s too late.

Addiction can also put children’s futures at risk in financial and other ways. Parents who are struggling with addiction can be pushed by withdrawals and other factors into make decisions they would never make otherwise, such as selling family heirlooms or necessary items to pay for drugs or dipping into children’s or college savings accounts for the same purpose.

However addiction is impacting your family — and if you are dealing with chemical dependency, it’s certain that your family is suffering too — your children’s faith might be at risk. Parents who are struggling with addiction might be less likely to get involved with church or attend on a regular basis, which means children don’t either. Your actions can also cause discouragement, resentment and anger in children, all of which can lead to spiritual problems down the road.

Impact on the family

Paul talks about the importance of setting good examples and not provoking children in several of his epistles. In Colossians 3:21, he writes, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, less they become discouraged.” He repeats this message in Ephesians 6:4, saying “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” The message isn’t just about drug use, but it does apply: parents should avoid engaging in action that could set their children on the wrong path. If you’re already caught in the cycle of such action, seek help and look for assistance in ensuring your children also get help.

Recovery for the entire family

The Road to Freedom isn’t just for you — it can be for your entire family. The Psalmist said, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb.” God has provided people for us to love and cherish, just has he loves and cherishes us.

For someone caught in addiction, one of the best ways to love and cherish your family is to seek help. Often, children want nothing more than having mom or dad healthy and whole again, and letting them see you taking those steps can be a big move in the direction of reconciliation and recovery for everyone. For more information about how you can seek recovery through rehab and involve your children and family in the process, call us today. (844)402-3605.

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Is Your Job Forfeit if You Go to Rehab

May 17th, 2017

Can I keep my job during rehab?

One reason many people struggle with an addiction alone is because they believe that entering rehab could have negative consequences on their life. Even if they do get sober, they believe they might come out of rehab without a job or having lost connections with friends and family.

In truth, friends or family members who desert you simply because you admitted to a problem and attempted to seek a healthy, legal and even Christian resolution to it aren’t always someone you want around anyway. When it comes to a career, though, it might seem understandable if an employer has to replace you with someone new if you’ll be gone a few weeks or even months due to rehab. Fortunately, the law might be on your side in protecting your job.

Federal acts that might protect your job during rehab

Both the federal Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act provide some protection against discrimination for individuals who are in recovery for drug treatment. To that end, covered employees can’t be let go from their jobs simply because they entered a recovery program. To be eligible for this protection under the ADA, you must work for:

  • A federal government agency
  • A state or local government agency
  • A private company with at least 15 employees

The Rehabilitation Act only applies to federal employers or any other employer who receives revenue or financial support in the form of federal money, such as through a grant, aid or government contract.

Will I lose my job at rehab?Because the ADA requires that employers provide reasonable accommodation to support someone who has a disability, some employers will hold a job space for individuals going through rehab. This is because, in some cases, chronic addiction is seen as impairing a person’s ability to function in an otherwise normal manner.

Another federal law that might help protect your job if you enter a rehab program is the Family and Medical Leave Act. It affords covered employees the ability to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period if a serious health condition requires treatment. Substance abuse is covered under FMLA. Depending on your employer’s policies, you might also be able to use accrued paid time off or vacation time to cover some of the leave, ensuring you or your family is still paid.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides a free, downloadable booklet detailing the rights many works have under federal laws with regard to taking time for rehab.

Other factors in job loss due to drug or alcohol addiction

It is important to note that drug and alcohol addiction doesn’t get you off the hook for being let go for other reasons, and testing positive for drugs at work is often a reason for immediate termination as listed in human resource policies. If your employer finds you engaged in any illegal activity on the job, they also usually have the right to fire you.

Other reasons that you might be let go that could relate to drug or alcohol use include:

  • Being constantly late or absent from work because you are using
  • A drop in work performance related to chemical use or withdrawals
  • Aggressive or other inappropriate behavior in the workplace related to your drug or alcohol use

Once you cross certain lines with your employer, it can be more difficult to make a case for returning to work after rehab. This is one reason that it’s often better to confront the problem sooner rather than later. You might be worried about losing your job if you go to rehab, but an even bigger worry should be losing your job if you remain in the cycle of addiction.

Choosing sobriety over career success

Many people make the choice to chase career success over sobriety. At The Road to Freedom, we believe this is a mistake for many reasons. First, it puts you in the position of battling addiction alone, which is a good way to lose that battle. You might find success initially, but eventually you’ll be found out or something will go wrong, and at that point, you’ll only have more to lose.

For Christians, this path is especially bad because it involves acting in so many ways that goes against Scripture and Christian beliefs. To hold onto success while abusing drugs and alcohol, you may have to lie. Eventually, you could find yourself cheating, stealing or mistreating others just to get the next high and hide your addiction.

At Road to Freedom, we work with you to find a path back to sobriety so you can pick up career pieces or move into a completely new — and drug free — phase of life. You might be surprised how many employers are willing to help you make such a step, especially if you make it a point to seek help before things get too bad.

No matter where you are in addiction, though, or what has gone wrong, it’s never too late. Call us today for more information on our rehab program. (844) 402-3605.

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A Look at Drug and Alcohol Prevalence in America

May 8th, 2017

A look at Drug and Alcohol prevalence in America

Many people don’t realize how prevalent drug and alcohol abuse is in America. If there is little or no substance abuse in someone’s social circle or family, it might be hard for him or her to understand how often teens and adults do use substances — both legal and illegal — and how quickly addiction can be a problem.

For Christians especially, unconscious blinders can be a problem. Drug and alcohol struggles aren’t always verbalized in church circles, and when they are, fellow congregants can rush to judgment even when they don’t mean to be harsh. Judgment or misunderstanding leads to isolation, which means those struggling with substance abuse disorders or addictions become less likely to discuss the matter with people at church.

By understanding the numbers with regard to drug and alcohol use in America, though, Christians can begin to see just how wide the issues stretch. Addiction, like other chronic illnesses, doesn’t respect boundaries such as social, economic or religious lines. Anyone — from the long-term deacon to the pastor himself — can struggle with chemical dependency. When Christians understand this truth, they are able to admit their own addictions or help each other through recovery.

Alcohol Use By the Numbers

Whiskey on counterThe National Survey of Drug Use and Health is conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse each year. It illustrates trends in the prevalence of substances in the nation over time, including alcohol.

According to the 2015 NSDUH, 82 percent of adults over the age of 18 had used alcohol within their lifetimes. Approximately 75 percent of Americans used alcohol within the year prior to the survey and 58 percent within the previous month. Adults weren’t the only ones using alcohol, though; 22 percent of kids age 12 through 17 said they had tried alcohol at least once in the previous year.

These numbers speak for themselves. With over 80 percent of the adult population using alcohol, there’s definitely a crossover with the percentage of people who consider themselves Christian. Certainly, all 80 percent weren’t necessarily abusing alcohol or addicted, but it’s likely that a portion of them were.

Illicit Drug Use Percentages

Many people might not be surprised by the numbers regarding alcohol. Plenty of people enjoy a beer with pizza or a glass of wine with conversation — though it’s important to note that control and awareness are critical to keep occasional sipping from becoming substance abuse. What might be surprising, however, is the prevalence of illicit drug use in the nation.

For all participants — including those age 12 and older — close to 18 percent said they had used illicit drugs in the past year. Almost half had tried illegal drugs in some fashion within their lifetimes. For adults aged 18 and up, the number climbs to 57.5 percent using within their lifetimes and 36 percent having used illicit drugs the past year.

As of a 2015 Gallup poll, 75 percent of Americans reported that they identified with a Christian religion. That means a minimum 25 percent crossover in individuals who identify as Christian and individuals who have used illegal drugs before.

Prescription Drug Use Statistics

Prescription Pills on counterWhile many people use prescription drugs as part of a medical regimen, the numbers presented in this section correlate to individuals using prescription drugs outside of medical care — which is illegal as well as a common road to addiction. The NSDUH documents these numbers by pain relievers, sedatives and stimulants.

  • Approximately 8.5 percent of adults used pain relievers outside of medical care in the year prior to the survey.
  • Around 1 percent of adults abused sedatives in the year prior to the survey.
  • A bit over 7 percent of adults abused stimulants in the 12 months before the survey was taken.

Seeking Help with Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Experimenting when you were younger or enjoying a drink occasionally with friends isn’t the same thing as addiction. If you are unable to stop drinking or you drink outside of traditional occasions, then you might have an alcohol abuse problem. This is especially true if you are going to lengths to hide your drinking from friends and family.

Any use of illegal substances can be a risk — you’re risking your career, relationships, standing in the community or church and your freedom each time you use illegal drugs. If you can’t stop using drugs or you are taking risks to get drugs, then those are signs that you need help to overcome your addiction.

At The Christian Treatment Center, we offer faith-based, clinically proven addiction treatment to help you step away from drugs and find the path to sobriety. We believe that coupling experienced counselors with your own spiritual growth strengthens you and helps ensure a longer, more stable recovery from drugs or alcohol. Call us today at (844) 402-3605 for more information.

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The Consequences of Drug Use on Family

May 1st, 2017

As a Christian, coming face to face with addiction can be one of the most challenging trials you’ll ever endure. With consequences to your relationship with God and your perceptions of self, a substance abuse problem is a remarkable mountain you will have to scale to make it back to the greener pastures of sobriety.

Despite the secrecy and shame many Christians face while working through an addiction to drugs and alcohol, you may be hurting more people than you realize. In reality, more than your faith is at risk when you are actively using and abusing illicit substances.

Drug use can destroy your life, but it can also destroy the lives of those who love you. The consequences of addiction on your family and your loved ones can be great indeed, threatening to take away the things that matter most to you in life.

Loss of Relationship

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” – Ephesians 5:25

When you choose to make drugs a priority, you risk losing relationships with the members of your family.

While many Christians are devoted to the tenets of family support, seeing the shocking signs of drug addiction can strain the ties within even a loving marriage or family unit. Your spouse may see you as a different person, especially as you continue to choose drugs over caring for your family. This can lead to a permanent loss of relationship as over 7% of divorces are due to substance abuse and addiction problems – a sin in the eyes of the Lord. Despite the seriousness of ending a marriage, this is a tragic reality many substance abusers face each and every day.

Loss of Trust

“But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.” – Jeremiah 7:8

Trust is a big part of a family relationship, but drug use can often break these important bonds. The process may start slowly, with forgotten commitments and skipped appointments, and accelerate to more serious issues, like harm to those around you.

No matter how much your family loves you, consistent substance abuse often leads to a complete loss of trust, both in you and in each other. When you let down the people who count on you, the pain can be deep and eternal, ruining the bonds of love in your life and the ways others see you. If drugs prevent you from following Christ’s example, you risk turning your family away from you forever.

Loss of Integrity

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” – Proverbs 10:9

The teachings of God provide a strong moral center for Christians to follow, helping believers to walk in His footsteps and live by His examples. Unfortunately, drug use means deviating from this center.

When your family sees you struggling with sinful behavior, it can be hard to reconcile actions with faith. This is especially true when drug use leads to other sins, like stealing, breaking the law, and hurting others. As you fall deeper into the cycle of addiction, your family may no longer see you as a pillar of integrity, and may even lose faith in your moral compass. This can be a devastating change to your perception with loved ones, altering the positive dynamic you have spent so many years cultivating.

The Consequences of addiction on the family

Loss of Financial Support

“For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” – Timothy 3:5

As a financial provider for your family, your role within the household is sacrosanct. When drugs begin to interfere with your ability to put food on the table, pay the rent or mortgage, and make car payments and insurance payments, you may be harming your family more than you realize.

Your responsibilities at home have a great impact on your spouse, parents, relatives, and children, and drugs can make it hard to fulfill your role. If addiction stands in the way of keeping work, earning a paycheck, and taking care of those who count on you, you have hurt your family’s ability to live in a safe, stable environment.

Loss of Faith

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

Faith is among the pinnacles of Christianity, bringing you as close as possible to Christ and his works. However, when drug use takes over, losing faith isn’t uncommon. In fact, many addicts feel as though God is working against them and keeping them bound to a sinful life of substance abuse.

As you fall deeper into the web of addiction, you may begin to doubt your own faith. Unfortunately, as you fall, your family may begin to lose faith in you as well as their own faith in the Lord. Watching the pains of addiction is overwhelming and harrowing, and even those strong in their faith may find themselves doubting the Bible and its message.

Seeking Help

The consequences of drug use are vast, from your faith to your family. If you are ready to cast your sins aside and return to the embrace of the Lord, Christian Treatment Center is here for you. As a leading resource for individuals seeking a faith-based resource through which to break free of the bonds of addiction, we are here and we are ready. With our help, you can use the power of prayer, worship, and Bible study in conjunction with proven medical science to see the changes you deserve.

Contact us today at (844) 402-3605 to walk in the footprints of the Lord once more. We are available 24/7 and all consultations are strictly confidential.

Sources:

https://www.health-street.net/blog-drug-testing/divorcing-a-drug-addict/

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And the Greatest of These is Love

April 26th, 2017

The Greatest of These is Love

I read an article the other day about a young female student who had become a Chaplain for a local hospice in her first year of study in a theological seminary.  Her professor asked the class how they were applying their biblical education to the people they had been helping.  When it was her turn the new chaplain reported, “I just sit with them, and listen to them share about their families.”

The professor laughed condescendingly and retorted, “Do you really think that people on their deathbeds want to chit chat with a first year seminary student about their personal lives?”  He went on to list to the rest of the class the spiritually significant elements of life and death that should be pondered and discussed when ministering to individuals facing the end of their lives.

The article reports that this young woman went on to serve as a Chaplain for hospice care for thirteen more years after graduating from seminary.  She explained that what she learned over a decade of ministry to people on their deathbeds has affirmed and validated her initial experience back when she had first started.  “People who are dying don’t care to debate theology or receive sermons about the significance of religion in their last days on earth,” she said.  “For the most part, they talk about their loved ones-who they will miss and with whom they wish that they had spent more time.  They share about the love they didn’t receive that they wish they had, and even those they hoped to see in the afterlife.  They tell me about who in their lives became like family to them, and who they wished they had loved on more without reservation.  Overall, what I have observed is that my knowledge of God is not as important to people, it seems, as my ability to love on them as God would if He were sitting by their side.”

This article should challenge us to consider—what will our last conversations on earth be like?  What will be our main concerns?  About whom will we think, and what stories will we tell?  Will we have any regrets?  What will we feel good about that we have done?  Will anyone even be there when the time comes?

What are you doing to show love?

If these are questions that pull on your heart-strings, chances are there are areas of your life that could use some restoration, revision, and re-direction.  The Bible records Paul of Ephesus encouraging the Romans by his conviction that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love; neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38 NLT).  Who in your life is worth the effort it would take to show unconditional love with this kind of passion and zeal?  In what ways do you wish you could feel this kind of love, and what will it take to become someone who is able to receive it?  What can you do today that will bring you closer to answering those questions with the comfort of certainty and joy?

When asked which was the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus replied, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:36-40, NIV).  You might have faith that the answers to those questions will come in the future, or even hope one day you will answer them how you imagine yourself doing so…but what are you doing to show and receive love today?

“Three things will last forever-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)

Tara Milstein - Road to Freedom

by Pastor Tara H. Milstein Pastor Tara is an Assistant Pastor/Worship Leader at Road to Freedom.

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More Than Conquerors: Turning to Scripture to Subdue Panic Attacks

April 24th, 2017

Using Scripture against Anxiety

Panic attacks can be a serious concern for anyone going through recovery. Anxiety, fear and panic could have been what triggered drug or alcohol use and driven you into addiction, but panic can also be a response to attempts at sobriety.

In some cases, when your body has become physically dependent on a substance, such as heroin or prescription pain killers, it doesn’t know what to do when it stops getting that substance. Withdrawals can trigger numerous physical, mental and emotional reactions, including panic attacks.

What many people who have never experienced a panic attack don’t realize is that it’s usually a combination of all three: you don’t just feel anxious; your body can lock up and make it difficult to function or even breathe. Other panic attack symptoms can include:

  • Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Experiencing chest pain
  • Feeling as if you are being smothered
  • Experiencing unrealistic sensations
  • Dizziness or feeling like the room is spinning
  • Fear that you will lose control or be unable to return to a normal state of mind

The fear inherent in a panic attack can grow, making the attack worse and worse. Luckily, there are proven methods for dealing with and reducing panic attacks. At The Christian Treatment Center, our professional, experienced counselors work with you in group and individual therapy as well as through recreational activities so that you can learn appropriate coping skills to help get through panic attacks.

What does the Bible say about panic attacks?

We believe that faith and studying the Scriptures, alongside proven clinical approaches, can help those in recovery. That includes helping you deal with panic attacks. Here are several Bible verses that you can turn to during times of worry, fear or anxiety to help you keep panic from taking over.

The Armor of God

The Armor of God section of Ephesians begins, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

The section goes on to discuss the spiritual protection that God provides for all his children by using an armor metaphor. It says that your struggle isn’t with flesh and blood: you aren’t putting on physical armor and taking up a physical sword to vanquish your enemy. Those who are battling addiction and dealing with panic — which attacks the body, mind and soul — know this first hand. The armor you need is mental, emotional and spiritual, and the words from Ephesians provide you a formula for equipping yourself.

  • Begin with the belt of truth: be honest about your situation, your mistakes and your needs
  • Add the breastplate of righteousness: make a commitment to follow and obey God and put him — not panic — in control
  • Cover your feet in the readiness of the gospel, so you are able to move when God directs
  • Take up the shield of faith, relying on Christ to help you instead of relying on your own decision-making
  • Choose the helmet of salvation through your belief in Christ
  • And study the Scriptures, so you are able to use them as a sword to battle addiction and panic

A Spirit of Power

In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul advises his young charge that God has not provided him a Spirit of fear. Instead, he says, we have a spirit of “power, love and self-discipline.” It’s up to us to make the choice to use the Spirit God has given us, and through Christian counseling and addiction treatment, you can learn to turn to that Spirit instead of turning to drugs or alcohol at a time of stress or panic.

More than Conquerors

Finally, Paul gives us a Christian battle cry in Romans 8:31-39. He writes that nothing can separate a person who loves Christ from the love and grace that God provides through his Son. That includes addiction, depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Paul says God is for us, so who — or what — can stand against us. “Nothing,” he says.

A comprehensive approach to treating panic attacks

Leaning on these Scriptures and God’s promise for your life doesn’t just make addiction or panic attacks magically disappear. The same is true for someone with a chronic illness such as cancer: prayer and Bible study doesn’t always cure it. That’s simply not the way the world works.

Incorporating an understanding of Scripture and relying on God’s Word for advice and comfort can help you battle addiction and recovery. At The Christian Treatment Center, we believe that a comprehensive approach that invokes best clinical practices and faith can treat your mind and soul, making it more likely you’ll attain success and long-term sobriety.

If you are dealing with addiction or panic attacks and don’t know where to turn, call us today. Our counselors are available to take your call at (844) 402-3605.

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I Do? – A Marital Struggle with Addiction

April 17th, 2017

Married Couples Struggling With Addiction

Addiction and Marriage Statistics

Increase in Addiction Occurrences

Drug and alcohol addiction has seen a steady increase year over year in the past decade. Approximately 21.5 million American adults struggled with a substance use disorder in the year of 2014 (National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH, 2014). Of those 21.5 million Americans, almost 80% are dealing with an alcohol use disorder (NSDUH, 2014). The counselors at The Christian Treatment Center can help those currently dealing with a substance addiction.
The United States is currently in an addiction epidemic. Drugs and alcohol are easier to come by and people are dealing with overwhelming amounts of stress with substance abuse. Turning that stress over to a higher power can actually reduce the desire to use. In fact, according to MDPI (2014), extensive research shows that a strong affiliation within a religious community actually protects from addiction. It is also a key part in the successful treatment of a substance abuse problem.

Decrease in Divorce Statistics

Despite significant increases in those dealing with a substance addiction, divorce rates have slowly declined over the last decade. In 2006, over 10 years ago, approximately 2,193,000 per 294,077,247 divorces occurred, making it 7.5 per 1000 (Divorcestatistics.org, 2014). In 2016, the United States is down to 6.9 divorces per 1,000 total populations (CDC.gov, 2016).
The slow decrease in divorce rates per population is an indicator that married couples are sticking it out more often, despite tough situations. Married couples struggling with ‘for worse’ situations, such as addiction, are seeking out help, turning to religion, and working toward the recovery of their marriage. Hand your addiction and marriage problems to a higher power. If divorce seems like the only option in this difficult addiction cycle, the counselors at The Christian Treatment Center can be reached at (844) 402-3605, 24 hours a day. Help is confidential and there is no pressure to do anything more than call.

Addiction and How it Affects the Marriage

Christian Meaning of Marriage

The two words “I do” have a significant meaning behind them. They create a connection between you, your spouse, and God for life. These words mean that you accept one another for better and for worse. Although the good times are usually very good, the bad times are generally very difficult. Even when times get terribly hard, you have made a commitment to be there for your spouse. Above everything, love one another earnestly, because love covers over many sins (1 Peter 4:8). If you are finding it difficult to remember your Christian vows in the face of addiction, The Christian Treatment Center counselors can help with a free and confidential consultation.

Signs and Symptoms that Addiction May Be Affecting Your Marriage

Addiction is one of the most destructive and damaging things that a marriage can go through. Learning to navigate the marriage while one spouse is struggling with addiction takes a lot of work and dedication. It tests out the religious strength of your marriage. It pushes you to the ‘for worse’ limits. It can sometimes be difficult to identify the specific areas that addiction is ruining in your marriage. Identifying these struggles is often the first step to addiction recovery.
A few problems that are common in marital discord when addiction is involved include:
Enabling: Enabling is when one spouse essentially covers for the other. They may call into work for them or take care of them when they are under the influence. Enabling becomes especially destructive when it also affects the enabler’s life.
Abnormal argument styles: When drugs or alcohol change the way you argue, there may be a problem present. It affects the ability to effectively work through disagreements, putting additional strain on the marriage.
Poor financial situations: This occurs when one spouse depletes savings accounts or makes poor or secretive financial decisions to fund the addiction problem.
Domestic violence: Domestic violence caused by alcohol or drugs is never an excuse.

Do not be misled. Remember that bad company corrupts good character. 1 Corinthians 15:33. If you or your spouse is dealing with any of these tell-tale signs, consider getting in touch with a Christian counselor at The Christian Treatment Center for a free and confidential consultation.

Christian Based Addiction Help

Services Offered

You may choose to seek a counselor for marital help. You also might see a counselor for addiction treatment. When the two problems become one, however, it takes a specialized treatment counselor who is familiar with the Christian bonds of marriage being tested with addiction. Counseling may entail many different forms of treatment, including individual addiction counseling for the suffering spouse, individual counseling for the supporting spouse, couples counseling surrounding the addiction recovery, and marriage couples counseling. A few of the services you might receive from counselors at The Christian Treatment Center include:

Turning to religion has strongly been associated with positive addiction related outcomes (PMC National Institute of Health, 2014). Many empirically backed studies have shown that working specifically with a Christian based addiction treatment center can provide you with the background needed to understand and recover from addiction.

Additional Services

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13-14). For an additional and complete list of available services at The Christian Treatment Center, contact one of our professional and confidential counselors at (844) 402-3605. They are familiar with the struggles of addiction in a religious aspect.

Is Divorce an Option?

When Children Are Involved

Marriages tend to struggle in many areas during time of addiction. Adding in children tends to complicate the situation even more. When children are involved, the steps taken will depend on their age and awareness of the situation. They may have a lot of questions about the outcome of the marriage or the person that is struggling with addiction. Failing to handle this communication in a positive and open manner can affect the family structure.

When Divorce May be an Option

Despite strong Christian beliefs, divorce may have crossed your mind a time or two during particularly difficult situations. Perhaps you are the spouse who has been mixed into the destructive patterns of a substance user. Maybe you are the person who is struggling with addiction and you feel guilt surrounding your actions. Many Christians wonder if divorce is ever an option in a Christian marriage. It depends where you look. Matthew 19:6 states that, so they are no longer two, but one. No human being must separate, then, what God has joined together. God intends for your marriage to be forever. However, Moses states two reasons for an allowed divorce.
• Adultery
• Abandonment
Adultery reduces trust and involves deception, two characteristics that go against your Christian marital vows. Some would compare the cycle of addiction to both deception and abandonment. If you feel lost in your marriage and are struggling with thoughts of divorce, our Christian counselors at The Christian Treatment Center can provide you with a free consultation.

Final Thoughts

There is a light at the end of what seems like an extremely long and dark tunnel. There is a possibility of recovery, both in an addiction and in your marriage. If your marriage can make it through this incredibly difficult time, imagine what you can accomplish together. Your marriage bond with each other, and with God, will be stronger than ever. Remember the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast (1 Peter 5:10). All it takes is the courage to make that initial call for help at The Christian Treatment Center at (844) 402-3605.

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How to Handle Anger in Recovery

April 10th, 2017

What the scripture says about anger for those in recovery

Anger is a natural part of the recovery process for many people. Whether you’re dealing with chronic addiction and frustrated with yourself or your situation, or you’re dealing with misunderstandings and conflict after time spent in rehab, anger can be both a helpful and harmful emotion. When you react with anger and are aware of it, your emotions can help you understand the situation and discover triggers that lead to drug abuse. When you let anger get the better of you, though, you can hurt yourself and others and might put yourself at risk for relapse.

The Bible offers us many words of wisdom about anger; let’s take a look at five pieces of Scripture that provide direction for us in times of anger.

1. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20

James writes about the type of anger that causes us to take action — the wrong type of action. The Bible repeatedly tells us that God can be wrathful and act on that wrath, but we aren’t God. When we act with anger as the leader, we usually don’t make righteous decisions. Instead, we lash out at others or ourselves. For someone in recovery, anger and hurting can lead to a return to drug abuse either to numb those emotions of anger, the regret, or to take something out on ourselves or others.

James reminds us of lessons many were taught in grade school. When you feel angry, he says, take a breath. Count to ten. Listen first and wait until you are calm to speak. Human anger isn’t going to get you very far, he says.

2. “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” Proverbs 29:11

James isn’t unique in his message. Being slow to anger and trying to manage your fury is something taught throughout the Bible. Proverbs tells us that only fools let their rage fully vent. That doesn’t mean you should keep your emotions inside, bottled up where they might explode. It means that you should be wise and calm in how you communicate with others, and when you need to vent or discuss a situation, seek an impartial, calm and trustworthy ear.

Here, you might see one value of counseling throughout the recovery process. By talking things through with a professional, you can avoid saving up anger and lashing out inappropriately at others or at yourself. Keeping rage from building also reduces drug abuse triggers related to unresolved emotions.

3. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

In this second selection from Proverbs, the Bible reminds us of another reason not to lash out in anger. It’s the old “more flies with honey” situation, and it’s true. Gentle, calm communication is often more effective than yelling. As someone in recovery, when you can communicate your needs, fears and goals to your loved ones in a calm way, they are more likely to be able to help you seek sobriety. As a loved one to someone in recovery, when you can avoid angry outbursts, you’re more likely to get through to or be able to support your family member.

4. “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” Colossians 3:8

You might have rid your body of drugs through detox, but your journey is far from done. You probably know that drug addiction is a chronic condition that you could struggle with the rest of your life; so is the human condition. Humans are flawed creatures, and if you are Christian, then those flaws are something you might be working on for the rest of your existence in this earthly realm. Colossians reminds us that we have to always strive to get rid of the things that are ungodly if we have any hope to make slow improvements as we grow.

5. “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27

Finally, Ephesians lets us know that we can be angry without sinning, which opens the door for those dealing with drug addiction and substance abuse to process emotions and situations in a very normal, healthy way. Instead of hiding from your anger, make sure you feel it and work with professional counselors to deal with the issues that are causing you frustration.

Don’t let the sun go down on your anger or fears; reach out to loved ones, professionals or the Christian Treatment center for help today. You can call our counselors anytime, day or night, to find out about treatment options if you are dealing with anger that led to drug abuse and addiction.

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Taking Heart in the Easter Message: Rising from Addiction

April 3rd, 2017

Easter Message - Rising from Addiction

Easter — and springtime in general — is a time of revival. That’s true spiritually as well as physically. In the world around us, life is blossoming again after winter; even in southern climates that remain fairly lush through winter months, spring brings baby animals, Easter flowers and garden planting. All of these things remind us of hope and new beginnings — and the redemption that was granted, to every person willing to accept it, by a Savior more than 2,000 years ago.

For those struggling with drug addiction, springtime can be a time of renewal. It’s also a time to reflect on the Easter message and how that grace and miracle plays out in our lives on a daily basis. Here are three ways the Easter story is relevant to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

Even those who fall away are granted forgiveness

One of the elements of the Easter story that is often overlooked is how Jesus was abandoned by his closest friends as his hour of need approached. During the last supper, he predicts that it’s going to happen. After telling the disciples that one of them will betray him, he adds that they will all fall away. “Not I,” says Peter. “I’ll never do it!” Jesus tells him that before the rooster crows the next morning, Peter will have denied Christ three times; much to Peter’s horror, that does happen.

Despite the lack of support and the fact that his friends run and hide once he’s arrested, Jesus offers them grace and forgiveness. There’s a two-prong lesson in this part of the story for those in recovery. First, whether you are just seeking Christ for the first time in your life or you have fallen away from him through addiction, know that he will receive you back openly if you simply ask.

The second lesson is about forgiving others and seeking forgiveness. Often, the people who are closest to you fall away as you fall deeper into an addiction cycle. Even entering recovery can seem to drive some friends or family away, and it’s natural to be frustrated or angry with them. Seeking to follow Jesus means taking his lead in these things, though, and Jesus would forgive. Work with your counselors and other recovery professionals to understand when you should simply forgive and when it may be healthy to seek reconciliation.

Nothing has defeated the light that is Christ

Another lesson from the Easter story is that nothing has defeated Jesus. Not even the devil — not even death — could put out his light or stop his message. The Bible says that the light — which is Christ — has come into the world, and the darkness has not overcome it. For anyone who accepts Jesus into their heart, that statement can be made more personal. The light has come into you, and the darkness has not overcome it. Even in what might seem like the darkest hours of addiction or recovery, if you are walking with Jesus, there is light — there is hope.

Inside Tomb - Easter

Faith in unseen outcomes is essential

Finally, the Easter story points us to the need to have faith in God’s plan even when we can’t see the outcome. After he rises from the tomb, Jesus visits his disciples. Thomas, ever known from this point on as the doubter, won’t believe it’s Jesus until he sees the wounds on his hands and sides. Jesus tells them that they are lucky; they’ve walked with him and seen miracles, and it’s easy for them to believe. Much harder, says Jesus, for all the people who have not personally seen these things to believe — and yet they do.

When you’re dealing with life-altering addiction and substance abuse disorders, it can be difficult to see past the current problems to have faith that God has an ultimate plan for you. It’s hard, sometimes, to have that kind of faith when you aren’t able to actively see it impacting your immediate need. Some people ask, “If God has a plan for me, why doesn’t he get rid of my addiction right now?”

Unfortunately, we live in a broken and troubled world, and disease and struggle is part of that. Addiction, like other chronic illnesses, isn’t something God always chooses to heal with a sudden miraculous event. Sometimes, his plan involves another way and another path. The Easter story — and Christ’s devotion to the path his Father set out for him — provides us with an illustration of how to have faith in the unseen and how to follow God’s path through trials and tribulations.

During this season of revival and renewal, take time to talk to Jesus about what you need to revive in your life. Consider taking one action around Easter to revive yourself, your commitment to sobriety or your relationships with others.

If you or a loved one are seeking immediate help for substance addiction or abuse, reach out to a counselor today, we are available 24/7 for guidance.(844) 402-3605

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The Link Between Aggression Disorder and Substance Abuse

March 14th, 2017

Substance Abuse - Aggression Disorder can be a link

As Christians, we are instructed by Scripture — and often by each other — to guard the actions of our tongues and bodies. While we’re supposed to speak truth, we aren’t supposed to lash out in anger in ways that might hurt others. Physical or verbal outbursts because of our emotional state are usually frowned upon if they are aggressive and intent solely on wounding another.

If you grew up in any church, you surely heard this message, and if you’re new to Christianity, you probably still heard the Golden Rule as you grew up: treat others the way you want to be treated. Jesus says it like this: love your neighbor as yourself.

But what happens if poor social or emotional behavior isn’t a choice or a bad habit you picked up over the years? Aggression and poor impulse control is often linked with substance abuse disorder; chronic addiction can make you act in ways you never would otherwise. Researchers are also finding that aggression itself can be a mental health issue in those with a condition called intermittent explosive disorder, or IED. IED, says research published in Feb. 2017 by the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, can also be a major risk factor for substance abuse disorder.

What is intermittent explosive disorder?

IED is a mental health disorder that impacts the way individuals respond to certain situations or manage their anger or aggression. As with many mental health issues, medical professionals aren’t yet certain exactly what causes IED, but they do note that it most often begins in childhood and is noted more in people under the age of 40 than over that age. IED might also be linked to genetic factors, brain chemistry and a person’s environment, particularly if childhood environments were traumatic or abusive.

Someone with intermittent explosive disorder is prone to repeated and sudden episodes of extreme anger, verbal outbursts or physical aggression; usually, the reaction is out of proportion with the situation. At young ages, the outbursts might be associated with temper tantrums or adolescent mood swings, but they usually go beyond what is normal in these situations.

Like addiction, IED is a chronic disorder and it can continue for years. Lack of treatment can lead to an increase in severity of the symptoms over the years. In a Christian environment, someone with IED might be told to “let go and let God,” or “temper their actions with love.” The person might try to do these things and be unable to do so because they can’t control their IED symptoms. Treatment options can include psychotherapy, ongoing counseling and medication.

How does IED relate to substance abuse?

IED impacts a surprising number of Americans. As many as 16 million people in the country deal with this disorder, which is more than the number of people diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder combined. IED is also a major factor in the development of substance abuse disorder. According to research from Emil Coccaro, MD, and his associates, in 92.5 percent of cases where someone developed both IED and substance abuse disorder, IED came first.

Abusing drugs or alcohol can lead to aggressive behavior in some people, especially when they are high or are trying to get drugs to deal with withdrawal symptoms. However, the new research, which leveraged data from the National Comorbity Survey, suggests that chronic aggressive behavior might actually lead to substance abuse the vast majority of the time.

What does this mean for Christians suffering from IED or chronic addiction?

For anyone suffering IED, awareness of the increased risks of substance abuse can help mitigate those risks. Someone working with counselors or medical professionals to treat IED can ask about how to spot early signs of substance abuse or work with professionals to understand how to avoid triggers that could lead to addiction.

For Christians, both IED and chronic addiction can be difficult diagnoses to face. If you’ve learned that you should treat your body as a temple, follow God’s will in your life and treat others with patience, kindness and love, admitting that you have a medical condition that seems to make those actions impossible can be hard.

In reality, nothing is impossible with God, and he has made a way for any Christian to come to him and try each day to follow his will. For someone with addiction or a mental health condition such as IED, that way might look like professional treatment. If you’re struggling with an addiction or feel at risk for substance abuse disorder because of your mental health condition, don’t be afraid to reach out for help today.

At the Road to Freedom, we help people find a way back to God’s will and a sober lifestyle through proven medical and therapeutic approaches coupled with Christian counseling. Call us today to find out more about your treatment options.

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