Families in Addiction

One of the great innovations over the past 150 years or so are addiction recovery groups.  General and then President Grant was part of one of these clubs and was literally a card carrying member of one.  These groups have become a beacon of hope to many and groups have formed around nearly every conceivable addiction.  Now understand ,not all groups are created equal.  These groups offer support and information and those that want freedom will enjoy them and will find freedom.  However, when this plague of Covid-19 hit, most people could not attend these groups.  Some struggled. Some chose suicide. Some chose to simply give in and go back to their captivity.

What if when the official groups were put on timeout the family or friends of those in addiction were able to step in and become the support that they needed?  Even if the groups are meeting in small sessions ;how much better could it be if families could support their loved ones help them to overcome the difficulties of a life of freedom.

     Trying to understand addiction can be tricky.  It is hard to understand why someone who watches their life fall apart does not simply just quit.  Many family members have given up on the one in their addiction.  They have been lied to, stolen from and manipulated long enough.  Let’s see if we can help you understand.   Imagine that you are on a diet.  This is serious now.  You have some serious health issues and the doctors have told you that if you do not lose a certain amount of weight you are going to have serious trouble.  With that motivation stick you are focused and over the past several months you have made incredible progress.  With much research you change your whole lifestyle to include healthy eating and exercise.  Great job!  Then you are walking down the street and there is a bakery that at one time you frequented often.  You smell the donuts and see the pies in the window.  Old friends are in there enjoying their treats.  They look so happy.  My friend, that is what addiction is like.  Even after many years of working to make a new lifestyle,

it will still call out to them like a fresh donuts calls out to the person on a diet.

 As you prepare to begin this mission know that there are some snares.

The first snare:

Denial.  Your son or daughter is addicted to some drug or alcohol or unhealthy relationships or whatever life controlling deal they have going on.  Once I heard a mother talk about the fact that when her son was young and really pretty early in his addiction she believed her son when he told her that he did not do drugs.  She found drugs in his room.  He told her that he was just holding it for a friend.  She believed him.  You have been lied to long enough.  If you are angry, be angry enough to push through the fear that now sits on your chest and makes this whole thing hard to breathe.  The anger must become focused though.  Do not be angry because he or she lied to you.   But you must quit denying that this person is addicted.  Denial will not help them. 

The second snare:  The blame game.   Naturally, you will look for reasons why this person is addicted.   If you had just … fill in the blank… they would not be addicted today.  If you had noticed earlier, if you had been softer or harder than maybe the addiction would not have captured them.   The truth behind the blame game is that it does not help anything.  Every parent thinks of things that if given the chance they would have done differentin the raising of their kids. This thinking helps nothing.   Unless you are the one that is lighting the joint or sticking the needle into their arms than you are not responsible for their addiction. They are making their own choices.  You must not enter into the blame game.

 It is not your fault.

 Snare number 3: Denying the work of the enemy. 

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. John 10:10a

 It is here that I want to share that even though I had been a believer, I did not fully believe in Satan.  Sure, my mind agreed that he was real because I saw references to him in the Bible. But it was not until I started hanging out with those in addiction that I saw how clearly, he works today.  The words spoken by this person that you love are very well aimed.  Often, they hit their mark and the pain is unbelievable.  Where did they get such aim?  The enemy has been watching you, he knows you.  Recognize that truth. Also know that he has no real power over you.

Just a few facts

  • Not everyone trapped in addiction looks like an addict
  • Substituting addictions is common.  (Switching to sugar/ caffeine or sex  instead of hard drugs)
  • The goal needs to be redemption and healing not just recovery
  • Tobacco is the gateway drug.  Very few men and women trapped in addiction do not smoke.
  • The media in nearly every form will glorify drug and alcohol use.