Addiction And Recovery

Addiction And Recovery

An addiction is a chronic disorder in which an individual is blinded by a substance, or engages in an activity, that gives them an immense amount of pleasure but has become detrimental to their everyday life. Compulsive behaviors and addictions can temporarily provide confidence, control, validation or other emotions lacking in one’s life, but the behavior may not stop until the root of the problem is addressed.

Addiction changes the brain through the limbic system, also known as the "brain reward system." This part of the brain is responsible for producing feelings of pleasure and will manifest thoughts such as, "I deserve this," or "Let’s do that again." The abuse of addictive substances and behaviors triggers this system which can prolong a continuous cycle of destructive behavior.

Common addictions include but are not limited to:

  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Gambling
  • Internet
  • Shopping
  • Food

Seek Professional Assistance

People who have developed an addiction may be unaware that it is out of control, which is why counseling is an essential part of working through and managing this condition. An addiction of any sort can be exhausting and one should never go through the recovery process alone.

Many treatment plans focus on talk therapy and behavior therapy and can be performed in a group or through one-on-one sessions. During these sessions, patients analyze the reasons behind their addiction(s), what triggers are and what helped them control impulses in the past. Patients also learn coping skills so they can manage the compulsions without relapsing.   

Is your drinking or drug use screwing up your life? Your marriage? Your job? Addictions can get you in a lot of trouble. Hangovers, DWIs with court-related costs, missed work, neglect of children, etc. Do you have legal and medical problems because you can't shake free from its grip? You might need professional help. Call us at 817-718-7100. Participation in Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Celebrate Recovery can also be beneficial to achieve freedom.

We can help you overcome your substance abuse problems by viewing cravings as temptations with spiritual remedies, developing drug-free coping skills, learning relapse prevention skills, lessening your anger, and much more. It is our professional opinion that Christian Counseling is the best hope for those enslaved by drugs and alcohol.

Seed Time and Harvest

When you plant wheat, what do you harvest? Wheat! When you plant corn, you harvest corn. When the heavy drinker plants the seeds of destruction in their life, what will they harvest? Destruction! When the heavy drinker plants the seeds of destruction, they will reap the consequences of that sowed destruction. Naturally, they will reap destructions' spiritual and temporal repercussions because God will not be mocked; we reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-9). We recommend you get your bible out and read Galatians chapter 6. Since they have continued on the path of destruction, the painful consequences will appear daily. 

When any seed is planted, it germinates, sprouts, grows, ripens, and is harvested. There is always an interval between the planting of the seed and the harvest. The seedtime and harvest interval can last for months and years for the heavy drinker. The day the heavy drinker stops drinking doesn't stop the seedtime and harvest process. The good news is that the consequences sprouting from the seeds of destruction will diminish, especially when more and more good seeds are planted.   

The heavy drinkers assumed that when they stopped drinking, things would quickly get better. They ask themselves, "Why do I still have all these problems now that I am sober and trying to stay sober?" They are surprised by the suffering and effort necessary to remain sober. This rude awakening is a source of misery and can trigger relapse. Even though they may have repented and been forgiven by God, the consequences of their drunken disobedience still need time to work themselves out.

Heavy drinking causes a lot of pain. Let's say it causes 50 units of pain. Staying sober is also very painful. There is the pain of life's stress without the sedative effects of alcohol or drugs. There is also the pain associated with resisting the temptation to imbibe. Just because you stopped drinking and drugging doesn't mean your friends, family, and work problems automatically disappear. Your spouse may still want a divorce, you may still lose your job, etc. So, let's say the pain of staying sober is also 50 units of pain. It's important to realize that in 10 years, the pain of addiction will increase to 60, 70, and 80 units of pain, while staying sober will lessen to 40, 30, and 20 units of pain. 

Healing the Heavy Drinker 

True recovery and genuine healing begin when sobriety initiates with true repentance and genuine remorse. The heavy drinkers would ideally repent because they were heartily sorry for offending God. They detested their drunkenness because they dread the loss of heaven and the pains of Hell and because they hurt, disappointed, let down, and offended God, who is all good and deserving of all their love. It would be great if they firmly resolved, with the help of God's grace, to make amends with God and others and especially to amend their lives. No matter how much the acts of drunken behavior offend God, he will always hear the genuinely repentant. Under these conditions, sobriety can proceed with the fewest detours, bumps, or obstacles. When any of these conditions are lacking, the more they lack, the higher the chances of continued misery and relapse. 

If the repentant heavy drinker perseveres, knowing that the Holy Spirit lovingly gives spiritual gifts to heal is reassuring. The heavy drinker who repents and stays sober has made significant spiritual progress. So much that the angels rejoice. They must accept that their continued sobriety depends on continuous spiritual development. 

This transforms them into a living sacrifice and makes them as perfect as man can be. The practice of self-sacrifice and a commitment to spiritual progress is an act of perfection.

Prayer and Fasting Combined

The continual, fervent prayer of a righteous person causes demons great difficulty in accomplishing their sinister agenda. Even non-fervent sporadic prayer from a drunk probably disturbs the demons, especially when it is a prayer of repentance. An important thing to remember about prayer is to pray more than your comfort level and pour your heart out to the Lord.  

Intercessory prayer is especially helpful in healing the heavy drinker. Even a heavy drinker can ask friends and family for prayer. You don't have to admit you're an alcoholic, powerless, or unable to manage your life. You just have to let them know you are having a problem with drinking and would like them to intercede. Those who really want intercessory prayer should continuously and constantly ask as many Christians as possible to pray for them. Don't stop with ten intercessors. The more, the better. Intercessory prayer is wonderfully effective because it's not based on the heavy drinker's merits but on the Holy Saints who consider it an honor to intercede. Suppose you wish to be very aggressive about getting intercessory prayer. In that case, there are a multitude of television ministries that offer intercessory prayer to those who call in and ask.

It is also very commendable for the family of the heavy drinker to practice intercessory prayer. So, intercede for your loved ones continuously. Prayer is important for many reasons, but for the heavy drinker who is sinfully drinking, it can initiate true repentance and reconciliation with God. Without your intervention, their chances of healing are reduced. Often, your prayer makes the difference.

It is common knowledge that the seven deadly sins are pride, lust, sloth, covetousness, anger, envy, and gluttony. Although we have a God-given desire to eat and drink, gluttony is an ungodly desire to consume excessive amounts of excess food and drink. The pathological hunger drive is such a compulsive, insatiable craving that it overrides self-regulation and reason. The most sorry glutton is the one who craves alcohol. When gluttony is attached to alcohol, it becomes insanely more insatiable. The heavy drinker becomes a slave to their drunken appetite and would rather drink three bottles of wine alone than share a bottle of wine with friends. To hoggishly consume piggish amounts of alcohol is a grave spiritual disorder. Jesus doesn't want anybody to be a slave to sinful drinking, which defiles the temple of His Holy Spirit. Be filled with the Holy Spirit, not the spirits from a bottle (Ephesians 5:18).  

Since heavy drinking is gluttony and fasting is the opposite of gluttony, fasting restores deep within the infrastructure of the soul, precisely that which was destroyed by drunkenness. Even though some fast by eating nothing, for heavy drinkers, after consultation with a physician, it may be beneficial if they could, at the least, muster the fortitude to offer God a partial fast. Some eat only one meal a day with two snacks. Others eat only bread and water. As a suggestion for a partial fast, for the heavy drinker, the medium to fast would not be food but alcohol. 

The heavy drinker who can fast under a personal vow, not a perpetual vow, and take the old-time pledge is truly blessed. However many days God puts in your heart, one day at a time. God knows it can be more difficult for a heavy drinker to give up alcohol than for a non-alcoholic to give up food. Through God's grace and your hard work, this can help subdue the pathological hunger drive for alcohol. Spiritual fasting requires dedication of the fast to God combined with prayer. God knows the difference between spiritual fasting and dietary fasting. 

A quick and sure way to progress in recovery is to combine fasting with prayer and offer the consequent pain as a living sacrifice attached to God's salvific plan. When heavy drinkers surrender their right to drink, they crucify their flesh and die especially, specifically, and strategically to that sin. Fasting strengthens the resolve to remain sober and reduces the temptation to drink. God imparts healing grace, which diminishes the chances of relapsing. I think this stirs within God a desire to help those who are praying and fasting to stop sinful drinking.  

When the apostles could not cast out a demon, Jesus told them that this kind of demon could only be cast out by prayer and fasting. Therefore, combining prayer with fasting is like the atom bomb of spiritual warfare. Consider this: the healing power of prayer alone without fasting was three, and likewise, the healing power of fasting alone without prayer was three; the synergy of both combined would not be three plus three, which equals six, but rather three times three, which equals nine.

Book an appointment today for Addiction And Recovery with Christian Counseling of Texas. Call (817-718-7100).