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Gaining Strength From the Bible

October 16th, 2017

Gaining Strength From The Bible

Today, addiction is recognized by the medical community and a large part of society as more than a “moral failing” or “weakness of spirit”, but addicts have a tendency to blame themselves for their condition. This can contribute to a sense of hopelessness that makes it extremely difficult for an addict to free themselves from their cycle of substance abuse. As many addicts have found, one of the only ways to truly find strength when you’re at your lowest point in life, is through teachings of God, and gain strength from the Bible.

At Road to Freedom, we combat this feeling of hopelessness with fellowship and faith in God, using a combination of faith-based detox and treatment with 12-step meetings, as well as Bible Study, weekly church meetings and other communal faith-based events to help addicts find strength through the bible. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, our counselors can be reached 24 hours a day by calling (844) 402-3605.

Why Would You Turn to the Bible?

Efficacy of Christian Treatment ProgramsThe sad truth about addiction is that it cannot be cured and even when undergoing treatment, relapse is not just likely but practically inevitable. Addicts need to find an additional source of strength to protect them from the temptations that drug and alcohol abuse presents. From the scripture:

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.” – Corinthians 10:13

Look at it this way. As of 2010, there were an estimated 23.5 million people addicted to drugs and alcohol in the United States, with a likely increase in recent years due to the growing opioid epidemic. The relapse rate is similarly high among people who went through treatment programs, suggesting that a standard, secular treatment program is not as effective alone as it could be. It seems that seeking a higher motivation could have a vast and powerful effect on stemming the tide of addiction.

At our facilities, this means integration of God’s word and the scripture into our treatment programs. Our patients have found that gaining strength through the bible is easy in a supportive environment where distractions are limited and community fellowship with God is possible.

Are Faith-Based Rehab Programs Effective?

In the past few decades, policy about drug and alcohol addiction treatment has ignored integration of faith and God’s word more and more when discussing treatment strategies. The fact is, however, that using Christian themes in addiction treatment can be more effective than some of the alternatives.

From an article published in Public Justice Report, 2001:

“A study of New York prisoners who had taken part in Prison Fellowship Bible studies showed them to have a much lower recidivism rate than a matched group of prisoners who had not taken part in Bible Studies. Of those who took part in only 10 Bible studies, a mere 14 percent were rearrested within a year of their release, while among the matched group of those who had not taken part, 41 percent were rearrested.”

Similar studies around the country matched these results, showing that using the scripture and the word of God can have better results in motivating addicts to get and stay clean.

How Can Addicts Find Strength From the Bible?

It’s understandable that reading about the power of the bible is easier than tapping into that power yourself. Many addicts may be grasping to reclaim their power, but are lost in the ways to do so.

As always, Road to Freedom can put you on a path to recovery. If you want to take part in a faith-based, comprehensive approach to addiction treatment, call us today or go online to check that your insurance is covered.

Weekly Church Services

Consider it pure joy my brothersConsider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” – James 1:2-3

The Bible teaches that trials and temptations should not be treated as failures but as opportunities to persevere and gain strength through fellowship. A treatment strategy that uses weekly church services can give a group of addicts the ability to overcome challenges and study the meaning of the scripture as a group.

Bible Study Integration in Treatment

Like group church services as part of a treatment program, individual or group Bible study can uncover the meaning of God’s lessons, and put them on the same plane of understanding as addiction. Using the word of God, addicts can find the strength to recover and persevere.

call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” – Psalms 50:15

Pastoral Counseling

One of our pastors explains in a blog post how addiction is inherently tied to Christian themes in the bible, and how his time as an outreach therapist has shaped his understanding of how the Bible can provide strength even in the worst of times. Recovering from addiction isn’t easy, with the suffering of withdrawal and the long road to reaching recovery and understanding your triggers and the circumstances that led to your condition.

The Bible says as much in Peter 5:10 – “And 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.” Counseling with faith leaders can help you channel God’s word into your own strength and recovery.

Bible Integration at The Road to Freedom

Corinthians 10:13 - No TemptationWhen you’re at your lowest in the face of addiction, you need a source of strength to drag yourself up from the bottom and find a reason to get better. The first step is to carry out is to admit that you need help, and the next is to find a treatment program that will help you gain strength from the Bible and from the word of God.

At Road to Freedom, we offer a wide array of faith-based addiction treatment services to help you follow a path to recovery. From medically supervised detox to inpatient, partial inpatient and outpatient recovery programs, we use the scripture to motivate our clients throughout the difficult road through our entire programs. Our facility offers physical exercise programs, Christian addiction counseling and Christian 12-step meetings to ensure that your recovery is reached through God.

If you or a loved one find yourselves struggling with addiction, call our 24-hour helpline at (844) 402-3605 and receive the kind of help that has shown to result in successful recovery and lifelong strength.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Phillippians 4:13

Christianity and Marijuana Use: Is It Okay to Get High?

October 9th, 2017

Christianity and Marijuana - Is it Okay to Get High?

Is it acceptable to use marijuana as a Christian? What does the Bible have to say about marijuana use? Isn’t it okay because God created it? There are many questions Christians today have about marijuana use. As it becomes increasingly decriminalized in the United States and the overall perception of marijuana becomes less negative, it’s easy to adopt the misconception that marijuana use is harmless. Unfortunately, marijuana use can have a negative impact on your body, mind and relationship with God.

As it is written in Ephesians 5:18“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” Though marijuana is not wine, it is an intoxicating substance that misdirects your focus away from God, away from his calling and possibly on to the desire of this drug.

For help with a marijuana dependence, seek the help of Christian counselors now by calling (844) 402-3605 for a confidential consultation.

Facts about Marijuana Use

Prevalence of Marijuana and ChristianityAs of 2015, more than 11 million adults between the ages of 18 and 25 used marijuana while the number of young adults who perceive marijuana as risky is declining. Furthermore, more than 7% of adults over the age of 26 use marijuana daily while nearly half of surveyed adults the same age had a history of using it at some time in their life. Seeing the frequency of it’s use, it’s important to understand how marijuana use affects the body, mind and spirit.

Psychological Effects of Marijuana Use

Short-term psychological effects of marijuana can include impaired thinking, difficulty concentrating, hallucinations, delusions, impaired memory and decreased problem-solving ability. After chronic use, some people experienced a loss of up to 8 IQ points and had greater difficulty with memory and problem-solving as they aged.

Physical Effects of Marijuana Use

Use of marijuana can lead to breathing difficulties and increased heart rate. For individuals who use the substance daily, breathing problems can worsen over time and contribute to more serious health issues, such as emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Pregnant women who use marijuana may give birth to babies considered to be of low birth weight while some children exposed to marijuana in utero have documented issues with attention and memory.

Spiritual Effects of Marijuana Use

It’s difficult to quantify the effects marijuana use has on your spirit, but using marijuana does lead to low motivation, concentration and memory issues. When trying to get closer to God through His Word, these issues can hinder progress. This is why 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 warns, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

When using marijuana, you’re focused on things of this world rather than His kingdom and glorifying Him. Humans were created to glorify God and the Bible commands God’s followers to spread the news of salvation.

He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'” – Mark 16:15

To break free from the chains of addiction, contact us for a confidential consultation at (844) 402-3605 anytime.

Why People Use Marijuana

Both Christians and non-Christians are human beings, and humans are not exempt from temptation. Given free will, humans can act as they please and, often, try to solve problems themselves instead of turning to God. People use marijuana for a variety of reasons, but here are the most popular reasons people use:

  • To treat acute and chronic physical pain
  • To alleviate boredom
  • To self-medicate mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety
  • To socialize with others
  • To improve sleep and appetite

In many cases, marijuana isn’t used to simply get intoxicated. Often, there is an underlying physical or psychological issue that is being medicated by marijuana use. Until the real issue is uncovered and treated in a positive manner, substance use is likely to continue.

2 Timothy 1:7

Whether you’ve used marijuana a few times or for decades, it can be hard to stop. That is why God reminds His followers in the Bible that they were created with the ability to be self-disciplined, which is strengthened through faith.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Faith Based Treatment Options for Marijuana Use

God always provides hope and assistance to those who serve Him, and man has never been alone in his struggle. As the Bible states in 1 Corinthians 10:13“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.”

Faith based treatment exists as the way out God is providing for you. While getting closer to Him, you can work with a Christian counseling team to strengthen your faith, restore your mind and get on the road to recovery. Services offered include:

  • Pastoral and Individual CounselingMeet with a pastoral counselor for individual sessions to help identify your personal triggers, develop positive coping skills and work through trauma or abuse. Create an individualized treatment plan tailored to your needs.
  • Biblically Based 12-Step MeetingsMeet others and gain support through Christian 12-step meetings. Each meeting is designed to weave God’s Word into the twelve steps to inspire and encourage you to meet your recovery goals.
  • Treatment for Chronic PainMarijuana is often used as self-medication for chronic pain. Learn other ways to manage chronic pain through Road To Freedom’s pain management program.
  • Bible Study and Peer Support GroupsDive deep into God’s Word and develop a network of supportive peers in a safe, comfortable environment. Topics focus on real life, like relationships, work, addiction and faith.
  • Treatment for Dual DiagnosisLike pain, mental health issues can co-exist with marijuana use. In the substance abuse field, this is called dual diagnosis. Christian counselors and staff are trained to specifically treat both substance use and mental health concerns using evidence based practices to ensure the best possible outcome.
  • Life Skills Training. In the process of using substances, many people find they have a decreased ability to cope with everyday life or simply do not have the skills to handle common stressors. The life skills training program builds upon your existing knowledge to provide a comprehensive foundation from which you can tackle life’s obstacles and accomplish your goals.
  • Church ServicesHeld on a weekly basis, church services bring people together to worship, engage in fellowship and study God’s Word. Through God, recovery isn’t simply a term; it’s a fresh approach to each day that ensures you live an abundant, spirit-filled life.

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” – Titus 2:11-14

Get Help from Christian Counseling Professionals

If you or a loved one is struggling with marijuana use, you’re not alone. God hasn’t given up and you shouldn’t, either. Get help from our friendly Christian counseling team at Road To Freedom by calling (844) 402-3605 today. We provide complimentary confidential consultations and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Can God Lead Me To Sobriety?

October 2nd, 2017

Addiction is exceptionally challenging, no matter your faith, beliefs, or substance of choice. The deep mental and physical components of addiction can be nearly impossible to overcome, requiring great inner strength and focus to accomplish successfully.

For those who believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ and follow the word of the Lord, however, this process can be even more difficult. While many addicts feel as though they failed themselves somehow, especially once a need for help becomes evident, followers of Christ often believe that they failed both themselves and God, creating a complex emotional web that may worsen in time.

However, the divide between faith and recovery is often far narrower than substance abusers initially believe. As Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” While God alone cannot necessarily lead you to sobriety, His teachings can help those suffering with addiction to find a solid path to success in recovery.

Addiction vs. Faith

Addiction as a sin is a well-known fact for followers of Christ. As 1 John 2:16 states, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” As such, falling into the grips of drug or drink can be emotionally and spiritually overwhelming. Acknowledging sin yet continuing to sin is incongruous with the teachings of the Lord, leaving those who are struggling with addiction to feel lost, alone, and rejected.

Turning away from God can be the downfall of many addicted Christians. Instead of using His strength to seek help, some Christians abandon their faith. They feel as though God has left them behind, their religious communities have shut the door, and that there is no way to adhere to the Word of the Lord again.

This, of course, is not true. As we are all sinners, God is uniquely positioned to hear your sins and offer you forgiveness, no matter the mistakes you have made in your past. In fact, God’s teachings can even strengthen and embolden your recovery efforts, offering tools and techniques to help you understand the drivers behind your addiction and commit to achieving – and maintaining – sobriety.

How God’s Teachings Can Help

God’s teachings can be used throughout recovery in many different ways, offering numerous avenues through which substance abusers can recommit to both Christianity and sobriety. Using these opportunities, recovering addicts can seek strength, conviction, and perspective in God’s Word, providing a clear path to abstinence.

Prayer

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

Prayer is among God’s most powerful tools, providing a way through which humans can communicate with the Creator. Prayers aren’t like a magic wish – they aren’t guaranteed to trigger outcomes as you request – but can certainly make your feelings, thoughts, and ideas known to the Lord as you work through the challenges associated with addiction. Asking for help, love, and support can help you deepen your faith, strengthening your personal connection with God.

Confession

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

While not common to all Christian-based religions, some denominations, like Catholicism, utilize a confessional through which practitioners can admit sin and seek forgiveness. However, all believers can find peace by confessing sins and striving for forgiveness, no matter the official practices followed within your Church.

Part of overcoming addiction means making amends, and confession is a good place to start. Admitting your addiction to God means admitting your addiction to yourself, and this is an important part of acknowledging a need for outside interference.

Bible Study

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17

The Bible is among the best ways to explore the teachings of the Lord, providing evidence of His love and power. Bible studies can thus be a critical part of recovery, helping substance abusers to recognize their failings, work to overcome challenges, and learn through the lessons of those who walked with Christ. An option both alone and with a spiritual leader, Bible study can clarify your faith and provide the advice and guidance you need to grow.

Church Service

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:20

Church attendance is a regular part of worship for many people of faith, and that includes those in recovery. Offering a comfortable environment in which to explore beliefs, hear words of wisdom, and review teachings from the Bible, church attendance can help you increase your awareness of Christ’s principles in the context of real-world applications. Church also comes with a strong community, providing a support system that can lift you up through the recovery process.

12-Step Programs

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” – Proverbs 16:9

12-Step programs, while varied in form and function, do utilize faith-based principles to urge participants to accept their own failings and admit a need for guidance from a higher power. Through an emphasis on the necessity of faith and belief in a force outside of oneself, utilizing a 12-step program to work toward sobriety can reinforce the power of God in guiding your life.

Working With God

With the right tools, it’s possible to let God be your guide to sobriety. However, this doesn’t mean putting your future entirely in God’s hands; instead, you must work through the mental and physical components of addiction independently while allowing God’s words to strengthen your resolve and cleanse your spirit. While His teachings, actions, and responses to prayer can help you admit a problem, confess sins, seek forgiveness, and deepen your faith, the true labor can only come from within yourself.

As 1 Corinthians 10:13-14 states, “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.” God can provide a beacon of hope in your struggles, but it’s up to you to follow it.

Let Road to Freedom Be Your Guide

Road to Freedom is a Christian inpatient treatment and detox center that embraces a balance between proven scientific teachings and the spiritual guidance offered by Christ. If you or someone you love is suffering with addiction, our caring, compassionate team is happy to help. Please contact us today at (844) 402-3605 to see what we can do for you.

Married to an Addict

September 25th, 2017

“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:4-5

Despite the spiritual and emotional rewards that come with marriage, especially as a Christian, nothing is perfect forever. Even though the first year or two or five or ten may be without issue, eventually something will come along that threatens your beliefs and tests your bond. For far too many individuals, the looming, lurking elephant in the room is addiction.

Even in those with a history of substance use, whether occasional or recreational, the signs of addiction aren’t always clear. It’s easy to live in denial, telling yourself that your husband or wife is fine, in control, or otherwise able to cease use whenever desired, but in reality, this is rarely the case.

In the United States, over 20 million spouses are living with a partner who has an addiction and requires professional treatment. If you are one of them, the right support and perspective can be a critical part of success in recovery.

Addiction and Your Spouse

“But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” – Mark 10:6-9

When you pledge your love and fidelity to your spouse on your wedding day, you make several promises. You vow to stand by in good times and in bad, for richer and for poorer, and, of course, in sickness and in health. As a chronic disease, addiction is as real and dangerous as any other illness, from diabetes to kidney failure.

Seeing the early warning signs can be quite psychologically challenging. The Bible speaks clearly about the perils of substance use and abuse, so watching your own spouse take the first steps to a life of sin and harm is often extremely traumatic. With the potential for emotional, physical, and financial ruin, the perils of addiction are enough to shake the core of even the strongest couples.

Many spouses live in denial, lash out with fear, or even use ultimatums to attempt to change behavior. Unfortunately, none of these strategies are likely to make a difference. In a loving marriage, there is no room for threats, ignorance, or combativeness. If your spouse demonstrates behavior indicative of an addiction, it’s time to start planning how you will move forward with compassion, love, and support.

Identifying the Signs of Addiction

Noting the effects of addiction in your spouse isn’t always easy, but the smallest details often provide the most insight. If you see these signs, it may be time to take action.

  • Changing routines. Many adults live with the same schedule, or roughly the same schedule, for decades. If your spouse begins changing how he spends time, like staying out late instead of coming home, leaving much earlier for work, or any other shift that seems out of character, drugs could be the cause.
  • Lying and secretive behavior. Most addicts go to great lengths to hide their behaviors. If your spouse is using drugs, he may begin to lie about where he’s going, what he’s doing, when he’ll be home, or why he’s acting differently.
  • Erratic shifts to personality. Some people change over time, but any overnight shifts could be a sign of addiction. If your previously level-headed and rational spouse is suddenly compulsive, manic, or paranoid, drugs may be to blame.
  • Physical changes. Some drugs can lead to changes in appearance, causing signs like scabs, scratches, and dental problems, while others take focus away from the normal hygiene. Signs like weight loss, fatigue, yellowing of the skin, tooth decay, scabs on the skin, and lack of attention to regular grooming can indicate abuse.
  • Financial problems. When your robust savings are dwindling and your paychecks can’t cover expenses, drugs may be responsible. Look for signs like new accounts, a change in account use, changes in paycheck amounts, or any new bills or withdrawals occurring regularly.
  • A crisis of faith. Many Christian addicts will begin to pull away from their faith during periods of substance abuse, wrongly believing that God rejected or turned away from them. If your spouse stops attending church, won’t pray with you, or speaks disparagingly about religion, drugs could be a factor.

Speaking With Your Spouse

While some problems in a marriage can be waited out, addiction isn’t one of them. Assuming your spouse will change his ways alone and find a cure for substance abuse independently isn’t realistic and could exacerbate the issues at hand, leading to insurmountable roadblocks in your marriage.

As uncomfortable or awkward as it may be, you need to speak to your spouse about your concerns in a judgment-free, non-accusatory manner. Do your research on the nature of addiction, including usage patterns, potential health problems derived from long-term abuse, and the chances of overdose. Be prepared to face defensive behavior; many addicted individuals become angry when confronted.

When you and your spouse are alone, find a safe, comfortable, quiet place to sit and speak. Talk candidly about the observations you have noticed, any changes in behavior, and the warping dynamic of your marriage. Show concern and love, but do not judge, scold, or belittle. Let him know that both you and God are here to help him and that you will do whatever it takes to ensure he has the support and guidance necessary.

Some abusers will be receptive to this kind of approach, but others will not. If your spouse gets angry or upset, staging an intervention may be the next step. Your spouse might be able to make excuses for his changes with you, but observations from friends, family members, and coworkers are likely to hit home.

Seeking Assistance

The emotional challenges of addiction can also be devastating for the sober spouse. In order to maintain mental strength and spiritual resolve, you may need help as well, both with your spouse and alone. Rather than attempting to fight against addiction solo, consider taking steps like speaking with a member of the clergy, scheduling individual counseling, joining a support group like Al-Anon, or even participating in family addiction therapy with your spouse.

Encouraging Rehabilitation

“If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” – Deuteronomy 24:5

In a marriage, you and your partner are a team. Addiction threatens this balance, taking away from the love you feel for each other as well as the love you share for God.

If your spouse is showing signs of addiction, please contact Road to Freedom today. As a Christian-oriented inpatient rehabilitation center, we can help you overcome the cycle of abuse. Call (844) 402-3605 for a free consultation.

The Myth of Gateway Drugs

September 18th, 2017

“‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’ — but I will not be mastered by anything.” – 1 Corinthians 6:12

Even those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the drug scene know the term “gateway drug.” Frequently used to describe marijuana, a gateway drug is seen as a portal into harder drugs, ensnaring casual users and dragging them deep into the bowels of addiction. As such, marijuana use, despite its shifting legal state in the U.S., is often seen as the first rung on the ladder to substance abuse.

While there’s no such thing as safe, healthy drug use, or drug use that is acceptable in God’s eyes, the gateway drug association isn’t as true as it sounds. In fact, there is no research that supports marijuana’s ties to harder drug use, creating a dynamic myth that has perpetuated for over 30 years. In reality, marijuana is no more a gateway drug than any other potentially addictive substance.

Marijuana Use in the United States

Marijuana may not be a gateway drug, but it is among the most commonly used substances in the United States. In the past month, an estimated 22.2 million people have used marijuana at least once, with use more common in men than in women. Worldwide, approximately 158 million people use marijuana – nearly 4% of the global population.

Unlike harder drugs, like cocaine and methamphetamines, that are most commonly used by adults, marijuana retains a stronghold among teen drug users, with 9.4% of 8th graders, 23.9% of 10th graders, and 35.6% of 12th graders using marijuana at least once in the past year. In addition, 46% of those aged 26 or older have tried marijuana at some point in life.

While these figures do indicate a prevalence, they pale in comparison to two legal substances that see excessive use in the United States: alcohol and nicotine. Over 84% of Americans drink at least once, and 26.9% have some sort alcohol use disorder. In addition, approximately 15% of Americans are current cigarette smokers, although this figure an all-time low.

The Origins of the “Gateway Drug”

The term “gateway drug” is not exactly new. In fact, its origins date back to 1984, during the renewed war on drugs that occurred during Ronald Reagan’s presidency. The phrase was coined by Dr. Robert L. DuPont Jr. in his book Getting Tough on Gateway Drugs: A Guide for the Family. In his literature, he notes that individuals who do not use marijuana are unlikely to experiment with harder drugs, although he stopped short of making the claim that marijuana itself increases the likelihood of further drug use.

DuPont’s writings did posit that youths who do not use alcohol or tobacco likely will not make the leap to illegal substances, like marijuana. However, this gap in legality appears to be behind the identification of marijuana as a gateway drug instead of its more common legal counterparts. Despite the lack of clinical evidence supporting these findings, the concept of a gateway drug still perpetuates to this day and is often used to argue for continued legal penalties for those who use, possess, or distribute marijuana.

The Myth of the Gateway Drug

The myth of the gateway drug exists largely due to a common logical fallacy. It is known within the scientific community that correlation – hard drug users who also use marijuana, in this case – does not necessarily equal causation, but to the layperson, these kinds of connections, while tenuous, are substantial enough to jump to conclusions.

It is indeed true that those who use marijuana are more likely to transition into harder drugs than those who do not use marijuana, but this is not likely due to marijuana itself. Instead, it is more directly tied to the personalities of those who choose to do drugs in the first place. Those who use drugs – any drugs – are far more likely to continue experimenting than those who do not use any substances, thus eliminating marijuana specifically as the linking factor. The propensity for abuse is not linked to any one drug, but rather an overall interest in mind-altering opportunities.

Furthermore, research actually shows that marijuana could be more accurately described as a terminus drug rather than a gateway drug, as a vast majority of users stop at marijuana and do not go on to try any other illicit drugs. There is also no evidence that the high from marijuana begins to weaken or leads to a desire for harder drugs and more intense sensations. Instead, marijuana is often used in a similar way to alcohol – as a recreational way to unwind. Many users do not need marijuana to make it through a day, and are content using every few days or weeks as opposed to around the clock.

Additionally, marijuana is significantly less addictive than many other substances. Unlike opiates or cocaine, marijuana has no direct or permanent effects on the brain; in fact, much of marijuana addiction is psychological in nature as opposed to physical. Research suggests that approximately 30% of those who use marijuana regularly have some degree of use disorder. While still significant, the incidence of addiction is significantly lower than other drugs, especially those like heroin with a nearly 100% incidence rate.

Marijuana Use and God’s Word

In general, marijuana is all-natural, less addictive than many of its peers, and legal in several states. So, is use okay?

The answer, of course, is no. For those who adhere to the word of the Lord, no drug is acceptable. As Galatians 5:21 states, “Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

In order to adhere to the teachings of Christ, sobriety is important. Your body is a vessel of God, and that means avoiding the temptations that can lead to inappropriate thoughts and actions. As 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

At the end of the day, there is no such thing as a safe drug. All addictive substances have the power to be abused, and even “safer” substances can lead to addiction. In order to live a life inspired by God and prevent the chance of abuse, abstinence is the only way forward.

Seek Help Today

If you are struggling with drug addiction in any form, Road to Freedom is here to help. As a comprehensive Christian recovery resource, our experienced professionals can assist you in rediscovering sobriety through both medical science and the teachings of the Lord. Please contact us today to learn more (844)402-3605.

Are There Examples of Addiction in the Scriptures?

September 11th, 2017

2 Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is from God and all of it can be used for “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” With that in mind, anyone who is dealing with addiction — or who is trying to help or understand someone who is struggling with substance abuse or alcoholism — might turn to the Scriptures for comfort and advice.

As always, God’s word is full of many bits of wisdom and comfort applicable to the situation, and our blog has covered a number of Scriptures relevant to topics such as alcohol, drug abuse, depression and anxiety. But what if you’re looking for specific examples? You might wonder: are there stories of people struggling in addiction in the Scriptures?

Addiction comes in many forms in the scriptures

The Bible addresses addiction in a number of ways, though you don’t find Jesus telling the parable of the man addicted to a specific substance. The Bible does talk about drunkenness and use of substances in an addictive way as a sin; the point often made in Scripture is that an individual who clings to addiction is not putting God first, and that creates an idol of the addiction or the substance itself. While modern medicine knows that addiction can be caused by a chemical reaction and is, in fact, partly a physical illness, clinging to it and refusing to allow God in to help you can distance you from God and cause your relationship with Christ to falter.

Taking that concept of addiction, we can see numerous “addicts” in the Scripture. Some are addicted to money. Some are addicted to glory. Others are addicted to the idea that they are right and good and lawful.

Some stories of people who put things and situations before God

Following the definition above, one “addict” might have been the rich man. His story is in the gospels: he comes to Jesus, saying “Lord, I want to follow you.” Clearly, the rich man sees something here in Jesus, and he knows it’s good. He wants this good thing for himself, just as many of us do.

Jesus tells the rich man, “Lay down all you have — give it all up and follow me. That’s the only way you’ll be able to do it. The only way you can follow me and get to Heaven.”

The rich man thinks about it for a while, but he just can’t. He can’t give up all this, not even for the great thing he sees in Jesus: in some ways, he’s addicted to the security, privilege, or life that the wealth affords him, so he turns away from Chris.

Another story about someone who put worldly things before God in a big way was King Saul in the Old Testament. God anointed him the first king of Israel. He made Saul leader over all his people, and all he asked was that Saul put him first and lead Israel in a godly way. But Saul became so concerned with the glory and riches of being king, he no longer put God first.

When God decided to anoint another person as future king of Israel because of this (he chose David), Saul was so addicted to being king that he tried to kill David multiple times and led armies against him, even though David was a loyal servant and friends with Saul’s son.

Finally, for a different type of addiction, we can look at another Saul. This New Testament Saul (who would later become known as Paul), was a Jewish religious leader and teacher. He actively participated in and even led persecution of Christians, likely in Jesus’s time and just after Jesus was resurrected.

Paul, like many of the Pharisees that Jesus spoke out against, was addicted to traditions, what he thought was knowledge, and being right. Unlike the rich man and Saul, who never turned back to God for help and who continued to cling to their addictions, Paul went through a sort of “rehab.”

One day while on the road to Damascus, Paul and his men saw a great light; they heard a voice, but they didn’t see anyone. It was a message from Jesus to Paul, and the impact of the event was so great, Paul was temporarily blinded as a result.

Jesus also gave Paul some instructions, and he separately asked his apostle Ananias to go and teach Paul about Jesus. Despite Ananias’s fears that Paul would revert to his old ways (and persecute Ananias himself), Paul began to seek a recovery in Christ.

What individuals dealing with substance abuse disorder or addiction can learn

That moment on the road to Damascus was like an intervention for Paul. Suddenly, after that, he was on the road to recovery. It wasn’t an easy road. Paul dealt with severe persecution. He was arrested and beaten. He was held in jail and on house arrest numerous times, cut off from his community and friends. He was shipwrecked at least once, and his New Testament writings show that he struggled with some type of affliction (he called it the “thorn in his flesh.”)

If you’re dealing with addiction, are in recovery or are considering seeking help, perhaps you can relate to some of Paul’s story or to the stories of the rich man or Saul.

Numerous people throughout the Bible struggled to put God first in their lives, and that showed up in different ways. Maybe they clung to a belief, a desire, or material possessions. Maybe they actually clung to an addiction.

But Paul, who decided after the intervention at Damascus to stop clinging to things that weren’t Christ, made a recovery. He didn’t do it alone, and it wasn’t easy. But his writings show that he didn’t return to his old ways and that he served Jesus the rest of his life.

That’s the message that someone struggling with substance abuse can take from these stories. You don’t have to do it alone. It won’t be easy. But it’s possible. With God, all things are possible.

The Road to Recovery exists to help you find that possibility. Call us today if you are ready to start working on a new life.

Related Articles:

Does God Forgive Me?
Bible Verses to Help You Through Recovery
Reading Through Recovery

Spiritual Health and Sobriety

September 4th, 2017

What Is Spirituality?

Spirituality is a worldview in which one feels a connection to a larger force in the universe, beyond the realm of the physical. Spirituality is different from religion, in that religion strives to define beliefs within a set of guidelines, particular to a specific religion. Spirituality is about the search for meaning in life and experiencing something greater than oneself. Some call that God and some call that the “universe,” but no matter the name it is the spiritual.

Spiritual Health – What Is It?

When in the throes of addiction one’s sole purpose becomes using the substance or drinking the alcohol. This leaves no room for the spiritual. Drugs and alcohol numb the connection to the inner self, that place that is real, where there are feelings (sometimes difficult and painful, but also glorious and good). That inner place is also the place where the connection to the universe, or God, takes place so if there is a barrier there spirituality suffers.

Spiritual health means finding the way back to that inner place of connectedness. It means finding meaning in something greater than oneself and, in so doing, finding peace. This inner peace, in turn, helps one to navigate life’s demands in a more balanced way. This then resonates into all aspects of life beyond recovery: work, family and friends.

At The Christian Treatment Center, our nondenominational approach focuses on the essentials of the Christian faith, while using a variety of methods to provide the most comprehensive program available in faith-based recovery. Contact us or call us today at (844) 402-3605. As a Christ-oriented treatment center, we are prepared to offer you the Christian support you need to find your faith once more.

The Role of Spirituality in Recovery

Ever since 1935, when Bill W founded Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), spirituality has been the basis of many drug and alcohol treatment programs. Addiction and/or alcoholism can negatively affect the body, mind and soul; in a recovery program the physical and emotional aspects of the addiction are treated, but what of the spiritual component? The use of spiritual counseling in recovery programs combined with detoxification and therapy is a powerful combination to heal the entire person.

According to a study by Narcotics Anonymous, of 527 American Narcotics Anonymous meeting attendees, the large majority (84%) reported having experienced a spiritual awakening… Furthermore, of those reporting a spiritual awakening, 89% reported that it made abstinence easier. (1) And even beyond the initial treatment program, self-reports of having had a “spiritual awakening” through involvement with A.A. are highly predictive of recovery three years following treatment admission.(2)

In recovery, spirituality serves to fill in the gaps between physical and emotional healing. Spirituality can give guidance and support, and can often make someone who possibly has a past they are ashamed of, feel a sense of grace and forgiveness. Many avoid recovery programs that have an element of spirituality to them because they don’t entirely understand what spirituality means. But it really is as simple as coming back to oneself, and thus the connectedness to all things. It is an essential part of recovering body, mind and soul with lasting effect.

Addiction is hard, but help is here. Road to Freedom is the answer, providing peace and comfort in this trying time. Contact us or call us on our 24 hour addiction hotline at (844) 402-3605.

How To Achieve Spiritual Health

While some may have a spontaneous “awakening,” in which that deep inner connection is suddenly there, spiritual health can actually be actively cultivated through one or all of the following:

  • Programs – 12-step recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous use spirituality or religion-based acknowledgment of some sort of higher power in the recovery process. As step 3 of the Alcoholics Anonymous program says, (We) “made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
  • Therapy – Speaking to someone about inner demons and working through the painful emotions and negative habits of the past can free the mind and soul to let love and spirituality in.
  • Seek guidance – Talk with a pastor, minister, or rabbi. It doesn’t have to be about religion, but someone in this position can certainly help to answer some of life’s bigger questions, help one down the path of recovery and help to find inner peace.
  • Meditation – According to Psychology Today, meditation is about turning oneself away from external distractions and focusing on the inner self. (3) Meditation has been a practice people have used for thousands of years to connect with their inner selves and often it is as easy as finding a quiet space, slowing down the breath, and becoming conscious of the present moment. Yoga classes, meditation classes, and on-line videos are excellent ways to learn how to meditate.
  • Spending Time Alone – It can be scary to spend time alone, particularly as a newly sober person. What to do with all of those thoughts, sometimes negative, sometimes self abusive? It’s a muscle that must be worked, for loving oneself is a key part of spiritual health.
  • Reading – For many the Bible is a source of comfort and wisdom, and is certainly a beacon of hope and salvation.
  • Finding your purpose – Drugs and alcohol become the purpose. After recovery, spiritual health can be found and maintained by discovering one’s life purpose beyond addiction.

Road to Freedom – Christian Treatment Center

Road to Freedom is a Christ-centered drug and alcohol treatment program. At Road to Freedom, we restore lives through the power of the gospel. Our treatment program combines evidence-based treatments with biblically based beliefs. Our licensed Christian counselors, pastors, and physicians are dedicated to helping individuals suffering from the devastating effects of drugs and alcohol.

Call Road To Freedom Today

At Road to Freedom, our nondenominational approach focuses on the essentials of the Christian faith, while using a variety of methods to provide the most comprehensive program available in faith-based recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact us or call us now at (844) 402-3605.. Compassionate counselors are standing by to answer your questions and to get you on the road to recovery.

References:

(1) http://unlimitedloveinstitute.org/downloads/39%20Spirituality-based%20recovery%20from%20drug%20addiction%20J%20Addict%20Med.pdf

(2) http://www.williamwhitepapers.com/pr/2006Spirituality%26AddictionCounseling.pdf Kaskutas, Turk, Bond & Weisner, 2003; Project MATCH Research Group, 1997).

(3) https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/meditation

8 Myths About Addiction

August 28th, 2017

Addiction is a tragic reality in our society, affecting over 20 million Americans over the age of 12. And, many of those who are unfortunately addicted to drugs or alcohol, are Christians.

As a follower of Christ, it can be hard to rationalize addiction, in oneself as well as in loved ones. The Bible addresses addiction directly, often in condemnation, making claims like the one found in Proverbs 20:1 – “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”

Despite the sins associated with addiction, suffering with a substance abuse problem can be extremely traumatic, both emotionally and physically. A big part of this harm is related to the fallacies involved with addiction; many people believe damaging misconceptions related to substance dependency that can negatively impact the healing process for those involved.

Here are eight myths that you, your family, and your loved ones need to know about addiction.

1. Addiction is a Choice

Without personal experience, it’s hard to understand the true depths of addiction. From the outside, addiction seems like something that should be easy to control, and that includes an element of choice. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear people use this logic to look down on those who haven’t yet taken the necessary steps to seek treatment.

In reality, addiction is anything but a choice. It’s true that many addictive behaviors, like using drugs, have an initial element of choice, but the development of a chemical or psychological addiction is no one’s decision. Many addicts would choose in a heartbeat to undo an addiction, but this isn’t possible, and getting clean can’t happen alone.

2. Addiction is a Flaw or Moral Failing

Addiction is almost always seen in a negative light. From the words in the Bible describing addiction as a sin to the public perception of addiction as a personal moral failing, substance dependency is often interpreted as a problem with an individual’s inner spirit.

This is both a troublesome view and patently false. Anyone, including good Christians, can fall victim to addiction. It’s not a personal flaw or a failing; it’s just a part of life for those who are susceptible to the powers of substances like drugs or alcohol. God forgives those who choose to admit fault and make amends, and that’s a sign of strength, not weakness.

3. Willpower All You Need

Willpower is frequently cited as a way to combat many of the negatives in life, from a lack of exercise to choosing to have fun instead of studying for class. However, willpower is only effective against choices, and addiction isn’t a choice.

Unfortunately, willpower cannot triumph over addiction independently. Choosing to quit isn’t as easy as it sounds, and conviction alone cannot win the fight against physical and mental dependency. Withdrawal, a condition related to stopping the use of an addictive substance, can be both uncomfortable and extremely dangerous; withdrawing from alcohol, for example, can lead to seizures, delirium tremens, or even death. Simply put, a little willpower is unlikely to make a difference for those facing addiction.

4. Rock Bottom Is a Part of Recovery

In many narratives, overcoming addiction involves a character hitting rock bottom. This can come in many forms, like losing a relationship, dropping out of school, or being fired from a job, but seeking help often depends on a protagonist realizing that life is ruined and there’s nowhere else to go but up.

In real life, rock bottom is not a requirement for seeking help, and it is relative. Some addicts, especially those used to media interpretations of addiction, believe that they aren’t truly addicted until they hit the bottom, but this is not true. An addict can understand the reality of his situation at any time and can seek help through any avenue. In fact, according to studies, addicts who get help sooner are more likely to recover fully than those who wait until the situation has spiraled out of control.

5. Punishment Is Helpful

As a negative life situation, it’s commonly believed that addiction requires punishment to help addicts get clean. This trope is seen in movies, books, and more – addicts being penalized by losing out on promotions, relationships, or financial gains – but in the real world, this concept isn’t beneficial, no matter the driver behind addiction.

There is no evidence that punishment has any effect on an addicted individual’s long-term success in recovery. In fact, punishments like loss of friendship, legal penalties, or employment challenges rarely have any bearing on an addict’s decision to seek help or recover from a substance dependency. Some addicts will continue a fairly normal life while their addiction gets worse. While it’s completely understandable for consequences to follow ongoing addiction, a willful punishment will not force a substance abuser to change his behavior.

6. One Treatment Is Good Enough

Treatment for addiction comes in many different shapes and sizes, from inpatient rehabilitation to outpatient programs to support groups using 12 Steps. To many, especially those with no real exposure to addiction, all treatments are made equal, and any opportunity to get clean is good enough.

Realistically, this is not true. Even treatments of the same type vary greatly from one facility to the next, and a therapy that works for one addict may not work for another. As with most health-related issues, treatment should be centered around an individual’s core needs and beliefs, like a Christian facility for those who feel most comfortable recovering in a faith-based program or medically-supervised detox for those attempting to withdraw from substances like alcohol.

7. Normal Life Is Impossible

Addiction tends to warp and change all aspects of life, from romantic relationships to career prospects. These changes can seem somewhat permanent for those with long-term substance abuse habits, driving those involved to accept the negative circumstances surrounding addiction as unchangeable.

However, there’s no need to assume these challenges will perpetuate forever. Those who overcome addiction are fully capable of returning to a normal lifestyle that includes gainful employment, normal interpersonal relationships, and healthy romantic partnerships. It may take time to rebuild trust, but with dedication, commitment, and prayer, it’s possible to embrace the life you had before substance abuse took the reigns.

8. God Hates Addicts

Crises of faith are not uncommon for Christians struggling with addiction. Many followers of Christ facing substance abuse find themselves feeling lost, isolated, and alone, but this doesn’t have to be a permanent reality.

God’s word teaches acceptance and forgiveness, offering a way out for those who fell victim to addiction. As 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” While addiction is indeed a sin, it is possible to seek forgiveness and return to God’s good graces once more.

Addiction is a reality for millions of Americans and their families, affecting life in innumerable ways. However, many widely-believed addiction myths can negatively influence the road to recovery, holding many substance abusers back instead of promoting the support necessary to seek sobriety. If you would like assistance with your drug or alcohol addiction, Road to Freedom is here, offering Christian guidance for those in need. Please contact us at (844) 402-3605 to learn more.

Related Articles:

Does God Forgive Me For My Sins?
Rebuilding Trust in Recovery
Reading Through Recovery

Rebuilding Trust in Recovery

August 21st, 2017

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” – Proverbs 29:25

Whether you know it or not, addiction plays an enormous role in your life and the lives of those around you. From your connection to God to your family structure, a dependency on substances alters everything about who you are.

Trust is a central element in virtually all relationships, both personal and professional. As you show others that you are responsive, responsible, and reliable through your interactions, a level of confidence develops, building your esteem in the eyes of others. Unfortunately, the deeper addiction goes, the more the trust others have in you erodes. When substance use takes precedence over meetings, appointments, and obligations, the respect and admiration previously held by those in your life slides away, transforming over time into resentment, anger, and betrayal.

During recovery, regaining lost trust is often a priority for those who are attempting to return to normal life, but the road to safe, stable relationships is often harder than it appears. Soon after achieving sobriety, many suffering with substance dependency find themselves facing a proverbial minefield left in the wake of addiction with no clear path ahead. In this time, it’s easy to feel hurt and lost, as if there’s no way to go back to the life you used to know. You may believe your old life is gone for good, or that your relationship with Christ is ruined beyond repair. However, with dedication, commitment, and faith, it’s possible to slowly regain the trust you lost, one day at a time.

Rebuilding Trust

Trust is a valuable commodity, especially in relationships. When your friends and family trust you, they are willing to put faith in you, seek help from you, and rely on you to be an important part of their lives. However, when trust is gone, it’s extremely challenging to bring back. This is especially true for those who were seriously harmed through the struggles of addiction, like the members of your immediate family.

Even though the road ahead may seem impossible, trust is still an important part of living a healthy life and maintaining your faith. As Psalm 40:4 says, “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie.” With convictions and a change of character, you can take the necessary steps forward to alter the way others see you and make amends for the hurt you caused. These steps can help you seek forgiveness and prove your reformed nature, leading to positive, healthy changes as you work through recovery.

1. Focus on Yourself

All positive change starts from within, and this is especially true during recovery from addiction. No one else can help you achieve sobriety; the power to cease use comes from you and you alone. In order to promote a shift in the way others see you, you must first alter the ways in which you see yourself, working to overcome your demons and stand strong in your faith once more.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” God puts trials and challenges in your path, but it is up to you to use His strength to overcome them. Addiction is no different.

2. Be Accountable for Your Actions

A big part of recovery hinges on accountability for your mistakes, both internally and externally. No wrongdoings made throughout the course of addiction are anyone’s fault but yours, and the sooner you are able to accept this reality and work to move past it, the better prepared you are to make amends for the damages caused through the course of addiction.

Proverbs 28:13 is an important verse for those in recovery, reminding us that “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” In order to demonstrate your commitment to change, both to those around you and to God, you must work past your mistakes rather than making excuses.

3. Create a Routine

A failure to meet obligations is often one of the most damaging components of addiction. As a need for regular use grows, it’s not uncommon for users to find themselves skipping work, missing appointments, and failing to fulfill family plans, like picking up the kids from school or date night.

It’s easy to say you’re different now that you’re not using, but as the adage goes, actions speak louder than words. In order to prove that you can be trusted to care for your family, complete projects at work, and support your loved ones when they need help, you need to demonstrate that you can do this. For most people, a routine will help accomplish this. When your family and employers know when you’ll arrive, when you’ll leave, and where you’ll be, it’s easier to believe that you’re dependable and available.

4. Don’t Expect Praise

Recovering from addiction is an enormous stride forward, requiring conviction, dedication, and faith to ensure success. For many in recovery, the months following rehabilitation are ones of exceptional pride, especially when sobriety begins to replace poor behavior. However, this pride is largely internal, and you are unlikely to receive praise for the things others around you have managed to do all along.

Colossians 3:23 states “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” As you work to regain trust, don’t make changes solely out of anticipated praise from others; instead, do right by the Lord and reap His rewards.

5. Say What You Mean

In the depths of addiction, lying is extremely common. Many users will use falsehoods to cover up use or make excuses to obtain more drugs, creating a web of lies from which escape can be a challenge. These lies can significantly affect how others see you, painting you as a dishonest person only concerned with himself.

Instead of allowing others to maintain these damaging viewpoints, commit to following your word. If you say you will be home at 6 PM, be there. If you say you can pick up the kids from school, do so. If you are asked a question, answer honestly. Proverbs 12:22 states “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy,” so make it your mission to earn the respect of God as well as those who matter in your life.

The road to trust is long and bumpy, but the rewards are worth the struggle. With the right perspective, you can slowly begin to rebuild your relationships with friends, family members, employers, and Christ.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, help is here. Contact Road to Freedom today at (844) 402-3605 to learn more about our Christian-based rehabilitation and detox programs. All consultations are confidential.

Related Articles:
Intervening in a loved one’s addiction
Addiction’s Impact on Children: Seeking Recovery for the Entire Family
The Consequences of Drug use on Family

Intervening in a Loved One’s Addiction

August 14th, 2017

Active Addiction - How to Intervene

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” – Hebrews 6:10

Addiction is a pervasive problem throughout the United States, affecting approximately 24 million adults nationwide. Due to the prevalence of substance use disorders, virtually everyone, no matter lifestyle, location, or beliefs, knows someone struggling with addiction.

Seeing the signs of addiction in someone you love can be extremely concerning. It’s easy to live in denial and make excuses – “he’s just young and having fun,” or “everyone drinks; there’s nothing wrong with that” – but an accelerating pattern of substance use is often the start of an extremely serious and potentially fatal disease.

Finding the strength and confidence to speak up can be a challenge, but an effective intervention may be the difference between successful sobriety and ongoing issues. Galatians 6:2 says to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Giving back to others is one of the key tenets of the Lord’s teachings. When someone you love is in need, it is your duty as a Christian to provide the assistance, love, support, and guidance necessary to inspire recovery and a Godly lifestyle. Here’s how to intervene when someone you love needs help.

Form a Group

An intervention is most successful when a large group comes together as opposed to a one-on-one conversation. Before approaching your loved one, speak with friends, coworkers, and family members who may have noticed signs of addiction to create a united front. Be sure to ask for opinions or stories from those you speak with as there may be other indications of a problem that you have not personally witnessed that should be addressed.

Solicit Professional Help

Moving forward with an intervention can be very overwhelming, especially for those who have never experienced the process before. In order to ensure an appropriate presentation, a professional can help you properly manage intervention preparation. Many faith leaders and counselors have experience in planning and executing interventions, providing a reliable strategy that will increase your odds of making a statement in your confrontation.

Develop a Strategy

Before sitting down with your loved one, you need to know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. In general, interventions utilize a combination of stats and personal experiences to demonstrate how substance abuse can affect all areas of life. Many abusers are unaware of how their actions affect others, and these speeches and stories and trigger a moment of clarity. Working with your intervention team, plan a series talking points that will have a positive impact while sharing the severity of the problems at hand. If possible, hold at least one rehearsal; practicing what you’re going to say makes it easy to control your emotions when the time comes.

Be sure to have an end goal in place as well; if your loved one decides to proceed with treatment, have an idea of treatment centers and therapists that may be a good fit.

Choose a Time and a Place

Interventions should be planned carefully, and that includes when and where you are going to meet. As a general rule, interventions should never be held in a public or unfamiliar place as this can make an emotional process even harder to handle.

In order to help your loved one feel safe and comfortable, choose a familiar location that is enclosed and free of potential disruptions. Make sure you have access to your area for at least 90 minutes.

Speak Honestly and Openly

When your intervention finally occurs, do your best to manage your emotions. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or angry, but keep these feelings hidden to avoid exacerbating the pain of this troubling time. Do not take a “tear them down to build them up” approach; instead, proceed with compassion and support. Remind your loved one that God loves them and will always love them, and share your stories with openness and honesty.

Where possible, use positive body language, including keeping arms and legs uncrossed, maintaining eye contact, leaving hands open and unclenched, and leaning in for emphasis.

Stay Dedicated and Follow Up

It’s easy to leave an intervention feeling positive and uplifted, but there’s no guarantee your loved one will be willing to act on your messages. Provide some time for them to process the information you shared, but stay vigilant in promoting the benefits of treatment. Studies indicate that those who are confronted about their addictions are more likely to get sober and stay that way, so your job is not done. Sometimes, a second or even third chat may be needed to prompt action, so stay dedicated to your efforts.

Seeing the signs of addiction in your loved ones can be extremely hard to handle, but Road to Freedom is here to help. As a faith-based rehabilitation facility, we are prepared to offer comprehensive, customized Christian treatments to those in need. Contact us today at (844) 402-3605 to learn more about what our facility has to offer. All consultations are fully confidential.

The Treatment Center has been awarded
the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval.