How To Cope With Drug Addiction

3:26 pm alcohol, drug abuse

Drug addiction is a difficult problem.  Denial of this problem only makes the problem worse.  What can be done to help in these difficult situations?
1.  Awareness of the problem.  In the parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus relates that the prodigal “came to himself.”  Luke 15:17.  The younger son in the parable came to the realization that he had a problem.  In a previous blog, we examined twenty signs of addiction.  The signs are given to help a person analyze the situation and draw the right conclusion as to whether or not a drug abuse problem exists.  Some professionals (mentioned below can administer tests that diagnose drug addiction).
2.  Breaking through self-denial.  One of the most serious problems confronting an addict is admitting to an addiction.  The addiction to a drug actually interferes with admission to a problem.  Judgment is imparied due to inebriation.  It is difficult to communicate with a person when they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and it is not recommended to attempt to elicite agreements for changes in behavior while under the influence of a drug.  When a person is sober they think better and are in a position to make good decisions.  Often the first step is detoxification and then professional treatment.  Personal responsibility and accountability are essential to overcoming a drug addiction.
3.  Don’t become an enabler.  Often those who are closely associated with the addict are co-dependent.  Co-dependency means that there is an exchange of needs between the addict and the enabler.  An enabler may lie for an addict to cover up his/her mistakes, missed work, or other failures.  An enabler may pay bills that are encurred due to the addiction.  The enabler may do this to lessen the experience of pain the addict is causing or avoid embarrassment or to continue to recieve some emotional or physical benefit.  When we enable an addict we suspend the law of reaping and sowing (Gal. 6:7-“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”).  The addict will continue to drain the resources of the enabler until there is a crisis.  The crisis is inevitable unless the addict takes action to resolve the addiction.
4.  Seek professional help.  Some professionals that can help are:  doctors, drug counselors, ministers, hospital drug treatment programs and AA (Alcoholilc Anonymous) programs.
5.  Strengthen your own relationship with God.  Most who overcome addictive behaviors credit God with helping them.  Often, when addiction occurs,estrangement from God occurs too.  James states, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…” (James 4:8).    God’s Word gives us wisdom to guide us along the pathway of righteousness.  We will need His wisdom to make correct decisions that will help us overcome the problem of addiction.  Those who are not Christians should consider surrendering their lives to God (Rom. 12:1-2).  Real change in God’s direction involves repentance from sin and forgiveness from God (Acts 2:38).
6.  Character Counts.  If you’re attempting to help an addict, you will need patience, perseverance, love, determination, self-control, strength, kindness, truth and many other qualities.  Your character will be tested.  Make sure that you define the type of help you are willing to give.  Don’t be afraid to set boundaries.
The coping strategies set forth here are not exhaustive, but they will help you make a start in the right direction.  As you seek more information about the subject of addiction and professional help, you will define a pathway that will focus on a solution.  There is no guarantee that the addict will walk this pathway.  You cannot force him/her to do what is right.  Ultimately, the addict must make the decision to seek help and pursue the means of  hope and healing.

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