Skip to main content

Breaking Free From Addiction



Addictions come in many forms, such as, alcohol, drugs, food, sex, gambling, and pornography. Addiction happens when we have a compulsive, repetitive desire for a certain thing and we act on the impulse.

Nothing else will do until the craving we are after is fulfilled. Have you ever noticed how people go to great lengths to obtain their addiction? Why, you might ask? Every time we fulfill that desire for our addiction it changes pathways in our brain for pleasure. In other words, the pleasure chemical dopamine is released every time we go after our addiction. In essence we become addicted to the release of feel-good dopamine, but the problem is we need more of whatever we are addicted to each time to have the same initial “high” we got the first time. That is the craziness of addiction, you will never get the same feeling you got the first time you watched pornography, had a high from a joint, or became intoxicated when you won money gambling.

I come from a family of addicts, mainly drugs and alcohol. I as well have endured these same addictions, but have found the way out of the trap. I use the word trap to describe what addiction is like. You never mean for it to last as long as it does, and when you try and get free from it, you are pulled back. Some addictions are a result of genetic predisposition that is why you see alcoholism run in families. No matter how the addiction formed, the enemy is always pushing you to stay in it. Why? Because addiction destroys families, careers, and ultimately the enemy wants the addiction to kill you. The enemy will initially show you fun times and pleasure with your addiction, but it fades as you realize you can’t get out. Addiction will turn you into a liar, cheat, and thief. This all makes the enemy very happy, while it grieves the Lord. We cannot be all that God wants us to be chasing after our “idols” of addiction (an idol is anything you place higher than Christ).

The cycle of addicting can be broken, but only through the help of Jesus Christ. Self-help groups or your own strength is not sufficient enough to beating addiction.

Tips on breaking free from addiction:

1.      Ask Jesus for His help. This cannot be underestimated. Nothing can break the chain of addiction long-term like Jesus can. He can set the captives free from addiction.
2.      Get rid immediately of ALL that represents your addiction, such as if you are addicted to alcohol get rid of all alcohol in your home, wine glasses and if you are addicted to food, get rid of the food that cause you to emotionally eat.
3.      Change your friendships, or at least the ones who encourage your appetite for addiction. For example, I was in a Christian ministry group where many of the members drank alcohol and spoke of drinking often. Even though, I enjoyed them and they are Christians, I had to part ways with them to stay sober. I don’t judge what THEY do, but as for me, it “wets” my appetite to want to drink when I hear about their drinking. I begin to “lust” after what they were doing.
4.      Change where you go and what you do. If you are addicted to gambling, don’t go to the casino just to eat or play one round of blackjack. Since I had a strong addiction to alcohol, I no longer eat in restaurants that serve alcohol.
5.      Prayer is a powerful weapon against the strategies of the enemy that could cause us to stumble. Take the time to listen to God as well, He will let you know insights such as, don’t go there, or it is not good to hang around that person for it might cause you to be hindered.
6.      Read the Word daily and meditate on the Word. Let the Word renew your mind that has been darkened by addiction.
7.      Find a healthy activity to replace your addiction. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, but it also increase the pleasure chemical dopamine in our brains.
8.      Tell someone about your struggles. Find someone you trust and become accountable to them.
9.      If you need additional help such as a detox program for drugs/alcohol or a Christ-centered recovery program like Celebrate Recovery, get the help necessary.
10.  Journal and begin asking the Lord to uncover the “roots” of why your addicted. Most people become addicted to something as they are trying to fill a void in their lives and numb themselves from pain. Get to the root!
11.  Be mindful of stressful times that can heighten your desire for the addiction. Stress is a precursor or warning flag that you need to heed to, lest you fall into your addiction again.

You can break free from whatever addiction masters you, but only with the aid of Jesus Christ. Don’t try and go it alone. It usually takes 21-30 days to form a habit or break a habit, the first 30 days will be the hardest, and thereafter you will still need to be guarded by knowing your triggers. The first year of recovery will be a time of readjusting and rebuilding. The first year of sobriety may seem strange and unfamiliar to you, and your brain will need time to adjust chemically back to normal. Never think or believe, “I got this and I can do whatever I want.” For instance, if I begin to believe that because I have not had alcohol in a long time and now I can go to a nightclub or bar, I could set myself up to fail. The enemy knows your weakest points, and trust me he will exploit them at any chance he gets. If you are tired, stressed, sick, or even feel you “got this,” beware! The enemy looks for opportune times to get us to sin.

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 temptation He will also provide a way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

What has been helpful to you in breaking free from addiction? Please share to help others


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Counselor's Corner: Healing from Trauma

→What is trauma?
A deeply distressing experience, or a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time.


Trauma can occur one time like death, natural disasters or accidents, or trauma can be prolonged and repetitive like abusive relationships, family with addictions, or combat.


Trauma that causes the most mental health issues are prolonged and repeated traumas and trauma that occurs from people especially parent-child relationships.



→What is a traumatic event?
Extreme stress that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope and overwhelms a person emotionally, cognitively and physically.


→Symptoms of trauma:
·Hypervigilant/guarded
·Easily startled
·Sensitive to certain noises
·Feeling on edge
·Depression/anxiety
·Overwhelming feelings of guilt
·Intrusive thoughts of trauma
·Disconnected from others and difficulty trusting others
·Difficulty handling stress
·Emotional numbness


→Long-term effects of trauma can include:
·Substance and alc…

Counselor's Corner: Overcoming the Fear of Failure

Fear of failure occurs when you have tried to accomplish a goal or a task and either had setbacks, delays or no progress at all. Usually the fear of failure does not happen the first attempt at a desired outcome but afterrepeated attempts to achieve your dream or destiny.



Failure is mostly based on your perception, in other words, if you keep trying after not succeeding do you give up or keep trying? If you perceive that you are a failure and whatever you do will fail, you will not keep trying. If you believe that failure only occurs if you stop trying than you likely will continue to pursue your dreams.


I had great ambitions to become a published author. I set out on my mission to publish my first book, and I did several years ago. The problem is that even though I did have my book published, the sales of that book only covered the expenses of what I paid the publisher. I did not make a large profit and became terrified to write another book. I knew I was supposed to write another bo…

Counselor's Corner: Enjoying Life Again After Trauma

*See articles, Healing from Trauma,Healing from Emotional Pain and Trauma and God, Why did You Allow this to Happen


If you have endured any type of trauma, learning to enjoy life again will part of your healing journey. For many people who have lived through traumatic experiences whether one time or recurrent trauma’s, the brain and body goes into a protective mode by shielding itself from any further danger. This protective mode is only supposed to last until you can cope with the initial shock of the trauma. I am sure you have heard of people who are described as going into “shock” when someone they love passes away. After the initial shock wear’s off, most people begin the healing process, but for some the trauma is too difficult for them to process and they remain stuck in the time that the trauma. Repressing trauma is seen frequently in people who have a history of past trauma’s such as childhood abuse. Other ways one does not deal with the trauma they experienced is through drug …