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Paying for Christian Drug Addiction Treatment: ACA, Sharing Plans & Your HSA

June 19th, 2017

What is the cost of Christian Drug Addiction Treatment?

In many cases, drug rehab and addiction treatment is at least partially covered under a health insurance plan. If treatment isn’t fully covered, though, you may be able to pay for some of the expenses with funds from a Health Savings Account, or HSA.

Coverage for addiction treatment under the ACA

If you are covered by an ACA-approved plan purchased via the state or federal marketplaces, then behavior health and substance abuse treatment benefits are a part of your plan. That doesn’t mean that your coverage will be 100 percent covered, and you should also raise questions about insurance coverage with admissions counselors to ensure you know the facts, but federal law doesn’t allow ACA-approved insurers to treat addiction treatment substantially different than it might treat medical treatment for illnesses such as cancer.

If you can’t afford an ACA-approved plan and need substance abuse treatment, your admission counselor may be able to help you start the application process for Medicaid. Medicaid coverage is available to individuals who fall below a certain income threshold and it does include substance abuse benefits.

What if you have a faith-based medical sharing plan?

Due to both the cost of traditional health care coverage and philosophical differences with ACA plan requirements, many Christians are opting instead to belong to a faith-based medical sharing plan. Such plans typically require members to belong to a church and profess Christian values, including a belief in God, the Holy Scriptures, and Jesus as the Son of God and Savior.

While medical sharing plans do satisfy coverage requirements for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties (as of 2017), they are not the same thing as insurance. Because of that, they don’t have to be regulated in the same way. Faith-based sharing programs typically don’t pay for certain types of treatment or preventative measures, such as birth control, and they often don’t include sharing allowances for mental health or substance abuse treatment.

If you have a medical sharing plan, review all the documents you received when you signed up or call the plan customer service line to find out whether addiction recovery expenses can be part of the sharing network. If your plan does allow sharing of addiction treatment bills, explain the plan to your admissions counselor and ask what type of discount is offered for self-pay patients, which is what you’re considered to be in such a situation. Your medical sharing plan can also often offer assistance with planning for invoices and appropriately settling bills following treatment.

Paying for Christian Addiction Treatment

Covering substance abuse treatment expenses with an HSA

Finally, whether you’re covered by an ACA plan, part of a medical sharing network or don’t have coverage at all, if you have a Health Savings Account, you can use those funds to cover certain costs associated with addiction recovery. An HSA account is funded with your money, and while there are some rules on how you can get reimbursed for medical costs from it, it’s not controlled by an insurance company or your employer. Allowable costs are automatically approved and reimbursed after you complete applicable paperwork and submit invoices or receipts.

Some things you can use HSA funds to cover might include:

  • Copayments or deductibles to licensed providers of addiction treatment services
  • Invoices and bills related to treatment in inpatient or outpatient programs or for individuals services from doctors or counselors
  • Medications — both over-the-counter and prescription — that are related to your recovery
  • Nontraditional treatments that are recommended or ordered by a medical provider, including, but not limited to,:
    • Acupuncture
    • Massage
    • Some recreational treatments
  • Travel costs incurred while attending treatment, NA/AA meetings or follow-up doctors and therapy appointments
  • Meal costs incurred while traveling or attending treatment

Each HSA may have it’s own processes and detailed rules, so ensure you understand what those are as you file for reimbursement.

Don’t put financial concerns before your own health

It’s important to note that financial worries should not be a reason that you completely forgo treatment for addiction or substance abuse. Putting off treatment because your worried about paying for it can make the situation much worse and lead to even more expensive treatment needs. Many options for treatment exist, and numerous assistance programs and billing options let providers work with you so you can get the help you need.

If you are dealing with substance abuse or addiction and you have coverage, gather your insurance cards or other documents and call The Road to Freedom now to find out about treatment. Even if you don’t have coverage, call us to speak with a caring, licensed admissions counselor who can help you understand your options and what steps to take next.

For anyone — of any income level and background — professional addiction treatment is often the best way to seek a sober, more positive future. Call Now for More Information  (844)402-3605 .

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How Do You Know that Professional Addiction Treatment Is the Right Choice?

June 12th, 2017

Is Professional Addiction Treatment right for you?

If you have underlying mental health issues that make it impossible for you to make a sound decision about addiction treatment, you can be involuntarily admitted to a treatment facility. In most other cases, addiction treatment begins because you make a choice to seek it. It’s true that many people enter rehab at the insistence of friends, family, employers or churches, and they aren’t always 100 percent on board with the concept immediately. While professional addiction treatment counselors are trained to work with individuals of all types, successful rehab is usually easier when you are fully engaged and working within the process.

Are you ready for drug or alcohol rehab or treatment?

That being said, you don’t have to be able to check off certain traits to be “ready” for addiction treatment. If drugs or alcohol are interfering with your life or putting yourself or loved ones at risk, then it’s time to seek treatment. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you lying, stealing or cheating in order to hide or fund your use of drugs or alcohol?
  • Are you engaging in illegal activity because of your use of drugs or alcohol?
  • Are you skipping work, social engagements or church to hide your intoxication from others?
  • Are you showing up at church, work or family events high or drunk?
  • Is alcohol or drug use getting in the way of other things you would like to do with your life?
  • Are you unable to say no to drugs or alcohol?
  • Do you drink at all times of the day or when you’re alone?
  • Do you have physical symptoms when you haven’t used drugs or alcohol in a while?
  • Do you require more and more drugs or alcohol to relieve physical symptoms or get drunk or high?

If you can answer yes to any one of these questions, then professional addiction treatment is likely the right choice for you.

Hands Praying

Why is now the right time for addiction treatment?

Now is the right time because when it comes to addiction, things usually only get worse. Without experienced intervention, the situation gets continually worse without getting better. Even if you believe you have your addiction in hand or that you can stop using drugs or alcohol anytime, if you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, then your life isn’t as controlled as you might believe.

As Christians, we often recognize the truth of the phrases “There go I but for the grace of God,” but even Christians who believe in and love Christ can find themselves facing serious consequences because of drugs or alcohol. Failing to make a decision now to seek help could result in:

  • Further use of substances that continue to degrade your physical and mental health
  • Ongoing and even permanent damage to organs or systems within the body
  • Legal troubles if you are caught with illicit drugs or driving under the influence
  • Loss of your job, which can happen if you are caught using drugs even if you are showing up every day and performing as required
  • Loss of relationships with friends or family members due to your behavior, especially if you are trying to hide your substance abuse from others

Reasons Christians might say no to treatment and why they shouldn’t

Many Christians avoid seeking treatment for drug or alcohol use until things get out of hand and some of the above consequences occur. They might believe that they have the situation under control or that because they are Christian, they have the strength to get through the issue alone. In truth, the Bible tells us that alone, we have no strength. Our strength comes from God. Sometimes, the strength God provides comes in the guise of others who can help us.

Addiction Treatment Help - Phone CallAnother common reason Christians don’t seek treatment for addiction is because they are too embarrassed about the circumstances and are worried that someone in their family, church or community might find out about it. While recovery professionals are bound by both ethical and legal codes to protect patient confidentiality, if you are involved in the community or church, it can be difficult to enter a rehab program without at least explaining your absence to a few key people.

You should never let your worry about what church members or others will say keep you from recovery. Christians are taught not to judge and to love each other, so you might be surprised by the support you receive when you let others know you are struggling.

Even if you don’t receive support — and being judged and outcast because you sought rehab is a sign that you might not be in the right church community to begin with — it’s still critical to turn to professional addiction treatment if you are struggling with addiction. Call Road to Freedom today to speak to a caring counselor for more information about how you can get the support and help you need from licensed providers. Call us Today (844)402-3605.

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What Does Scripture Say About Alcohol?

June 5th, 2017

What does scripture say about alcohol?

Alcohol: it’s a dividing liquid among many Christians. Some say God doesn’t want you to touch a drop of adult beverage. Others say “Even Jesus himself drank wine.” The debate about whether or not drinking alcohol is a sin has been held for centuries, but here are some facts about what Scripture says:

  • The Bible never forbids drinking alcohol in an absolute statement
  • The Bible steers clear of saying alcohol, itself, is wrong
  • Scripture does have a lot to say about overusing alcohol or getting drunk

All Things in Moderation, for Those That Can Moderate

Overall, the Bible seems to fall on the side of moderation. It treats wine as a beverage that should be consumed for a variety of reasons, including fellowship and health. Some theologians argue that the wine the Bible encourages isn’t something that wouldn’t get you drunk and that Jesus only drank mild sweet wine. However, there are passages in the Bible where the Pharisees and others accuse Jesus of drinking and eating with sinners — possibly with the implication that some people involved were getting drunk or a bit rowdy. Jewish tradition also called for drinking real wine in several celebrations, which meant wine itself was not the problem.

What does scripture say about alcohol - wineIn fact, Jesus’s first public miracle involved wine. He and some of his disciples were attending a wedding in his hometown, and the wine ran out — a grave faux pas for the host. Jesus’s mom asked him to address the problem, knowing he could; thus, the miracle of turning water into wine occurred. It wasn’t just any wine, either, it was the best.

Ecclesiastes 9:7 says, “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.” It seems that enjoying fellowship and time with other people, particularly when you’re living in the Spirit, is something that pleases God — even if you also enjoy a single glass of wine or other adult beverage at the time.

Even in Biblical times, people knew that alcohol had some health benefits. In 1 Timothy 5:23, Paul tells his young apprentice: “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illness.”

The problems of alcohol, says the Bible, aren’t in sipping an occasional social drink or having a glass of wine in the evening for health. The problem comes when you step outside of moderation or are unable to moderate yourself. Ephesians 5:18 says, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

Don’t Put Alcohol Before Yourself, Your Family, Your God

Alcohol itself isn’t the sin, but putting it before yourself, your family and your God is a sin. That’s why many Christians draw the line between enjoying a beverage and drunkenness. Addiction is a chronic condition — with treatment needs much like a physical illness. Addiction, like alcohol, isn’t a sin in itself, but when you elevate your addiction above all else, serving it instead of serving God and others, then you might be falling into sin.

Proverbs 20:1 says that “wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” It’s clear that, while the Bible seems okay with an occasional drink now and then, it’s not okay with alcohol being the leading force in any life. Proverbs 23:31 even says not to look at wine if it’s enchanting you! “Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!

The message: turn away from alcohol if you can’t keep it in a place where it belongs. Scripture seems to think that place is in a healthy lifestyle that puts God first, followed by others and yourself.

Just Because You Can Drink Doesn’t Mean You Should

The conclusion here is that, even though alcohol itself might not be a sin, you shouldn’t drink at all if you know alcohol might take over your life. And even if you can imbibe with moderation, that doesn’t always mean you should. 1 Corinthians 10:23 says, “I have the right to do anything,” you say — but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” — but not everything is constructive.

For each adult Christian, whether or not to enjoy an alcoholic beverage from time to time is a personal choice that needs to be made after understanding yourself and God’s plan in your life. If you feel like the decision is out of your control and you can’t say no to alcohol — or if alcohol has taken the leading role in your life — you might be dealing with a substance abuse disorder or addiction. For information on getting treatment and removing alcohol as a factor in your life, contact The Road to Freedom, (844)402-3605.

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Speaking Grace into Addiction: What to Do if a Loved One is Struggling with Drugs or Alcohol

May 29th, 2017

What to do if a loved one is struggling with addiciton

When someone you love is struggling with drugs or alcohol, the situation can be stressful and paralyzing. In some cases, family and friends fall into traps such as ignoring the problem or secretly hoping that it’s not as serious as it might seem. Loved ones might even make the same excuses for someone’s substance abuse that the person using drugs or alcohol makes for himself or herself: they’re dealing with stress and it’s a temporary thing, they only drink when they’re in social environments or they are controlling it themselves and still able to function at work.

Engaging in such denial isn’t helpful for your loved one or yourself, and can actually put the person in addiction — and his or her close friends and family — at greater risk. For Christians who see someone struggling with substance abuse or addiction, there are even more reasons to speak up: the Bible tells us that we shouldn’t let our brothers and sisters be caught in sin.

Don’t let someone struggle with addiction alone

Galatians 6:1-2 says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

While enjoying a beer with friends isn’t necessarily a sin, turning away from the life God provided and turning instead to drugs or alcohol can be a sin. When someone is caught in addiction, they often create an idol out of what they crave, which is a sin in itself. Add to that the actions many people take when seeking or using drugs, and sin is definitely involved in the equation.

By standing aside — whether out of denial or discomfort in approaching the situation — Christian friends and family let someone remain in sin and don’t open potential doors for the person to be restored in the Spirit and return to Christ.

The Matthew 18 Confrontation

The Bible is very clear about the difference between confronting a brother and sister in Christ about sin and being judgmental of others. For Christians, this means treading carefully both when approaching someone who isn’t Christian and when confronting a fellow Christian about addiction. It can be a good idea to follow the Matthew 18 example when you want to talk to a loved one who is Christian about their substance abuse. In the passage from 18:15-17, Jesus is actually talking about people who sin against each other in the church, but the advice is applicable in addiction situations too.

Jesus gives us a sort of technical manual to follow in these cases. First, he says, go to the person in private to discuss the matter. In the case of substance abuse, if you have reason to fear the safety of you or the person in question should you approach the matter alone, plan ahead with another loved one or a church, substance abuse, medical or mental health professional.

Loved one with addiciton

If that doesn’t work, Jesus says to return to the person, this time with a few more trustworthy people. In the substance abuse world, that might look like a small intervention, with friends and family reaching out together in love.

Jesus says next bring the matter to the entire church, but remember that he was speaking about a matter within the church. When dealing with addiction, the equivalent step might be seeking outside professional help for your loved one, especially if they are also struggling with mental health issues and you don’t believe they can make a voluntary decision about seeking rehab and treatment themselves.

Growing Spiritually Together

It’s important to remember that approaching a loved one about addiction or substance abuse should never involve judgment. Instead, it should be a process by which you grow spiritually together. Ephesians 4:15 says, “. . . speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

Before you approach someone who you believe is struggling with addiction, prepare yourself with prayer and by spending time with Christ. Ask for God’s guidance in the matter so that you can handle yourself with grace and speak the truth in a way that is firm but loving. By showing someone you really do care and that, even if you can’t understand what he or she is going through, that you aren’t judging them, you increase the chance that they will listen to what you have to say.

If you aren’t sure how to approach a loved one about drugs or alcohol use — or if your friend or family member is ready to learn about treatment options — call The Road to Freedom today for more information.  (844)402-3605.

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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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