Addiction and Recovery

Addictions can get you in a lot of trouble. Arguments with your spouse, hangovers, DWI's with their related court costs, missed work, neglecting children, etc. All these troubles cause you pain. Let's say they cause 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 coping by drugs. There is also the pain associated with resisting the temptation to use. 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 know that the pain of addiction will turn into 60, 70, & 80 units of pain, while the pain of staying sober will turn into 40, 30, and 20, units of pain. Choose well. The one exception is the dry drunk. Despite sobriety the dry drunk's pain continues to worsen.

We can help you overcome your substance abuse problems by developing drug- and alcohol-free coping skills, learning relapse prevention skills, lessening your anger, preventing the dry drunk disorder from developing, viewing cravings as temptation with spiritual remedies, and much, much more. It is my professional opinion that Christian Counseling is the best hope for those enslaved by drugs and alcohol. The principles of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Celebrate Recovery are also very helpful to achieve abstinence from addictive substances.

Sinful and Non Sinful Drinking

Alcoholics Virtually Beyond Hope

The Drunk's Personality

Healing the Heavy Drinker

Seed Time and Harvest

Drunken Gluttony

Alcoholic Generational Curses

Important Prayers for the Heavy Drinker

Prayer and Fasting Combined

The Spiritual Disease

Concupiscence




Sinful and Nonsinful Drinking

There is a very thin line which separates non sinful drinking from sinful drinking. The ability to correctly determine this line is sometimes very difficult for the drinker. God, who can separate spirit from soul and bone from marrow clearly perceives each and every time this line is crossed. On Judgement Day there will probably be many incidents when the heavy drinker's opinion differs from God's true judgment.  The argument “I didn’t mean to sinfully drink” doesn’t fool anyone except the heavy drinker and I suspect, it will not go over well on Judgment day.  Someone may have 3 drinks and be charming, witty and great fun, but at 4 drinks their personality changes and they become mean and nasty.  For them, 4 drinks may be the point where their drinking becomes sinful.  For another it might be 2, and for another 6 drinks.  For each of us, at some point drinking becomes sinful.  It is because of the ease with which alcoholics cross the line and become sinfully drunk that alcoholics should always abstain.  It is much safer to practice the virtue of abstinence than temperance.  It just makes good sense to everyone except the person with the drinking problem that occasional drinking, social drinking, wine tasting, etc., is not an option for them.  The alcoholic who tries to manage their alcohol consumption is like the man who flirts with an adulteress.  Sooner or later he will probably give in. Drunkenness is always a horrible sin.  Even though a sin, is a sin, is a sin, we all intuitively know the difference between someone who practices Satanism and the person who steals food to feed their starving baby. This being said, some sins lessen the light of Christ within us, drunkenness extinguishes the light.  It is written that, homosexuals, drunkards will not inherit the Kingdom of God.


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Alcoholics Virtually Beyond Hope

When a person chooses to ignore the pangs of conscience and continues to get drunk, a healthy conscience will activate guilt or shame.  Instead of using the pain of conscience as a catalyst to amend their life, some continue to drink and deaden their conscience.  This deadening festers, causing all types of interior dysfunctional spiritual formation.  Heavy drinkers who continue to completely ignore the pangs of their conscience often become reprobate heavy drinkers.  Any former guilt and shame becomes a soul’s vestigial appendage that doesn’t have the power to modify their drinking behavior because the conscience’s good counsel has become impotent. Instead alcohol becomes the souls most wicked counselor. Their conscience becomes seared, dead, and destroyed.  Through chronic heavy consumption those Christian interior qualities of soul have been destroyed.  Their whole heart, mind and soul are severed from the life line of grace.  Apathy develops and they begin not to care that they sinfully drink, and don’t care to repent.  They don’t care about sobriety, their family or anything. They don’t believe their life is unmanageable, that a power greater than themselves can help, and they refuse to turn their life over to God.  This apathy is the primary diagnostic criteria to diagnose a reprobate.  These souls are going from grave sin to grave sin and are living in mortal sin.  When a person becomes a reprobate, under strong delusion and blindness of mind they really become proud of their drinking (Proverbs). The only thing which prevents the reprobate from crying out to God for healing and mercy is delusion and a lack of desire for such deliverance. 

The worse type of heavy drinker is the reprobate.  Fortunately most heavy drinkers, although living in grave sin, are not reprobates, because they have not fully deadened their conscience. These souls hate that they drink to excess and they hate the tidal wave of destruction in its wake.  They wish to stop but can’t, are trying but losing.  They know their drunken behavior damages their relationship with God and this bothers them.  Unlike the reprobate who doesn’t care, they wish they could get closer and closer to God.  These drinkers get drunk and then repent even while drinking some are asking God for help.  The difference between a saint and a sinner: a saint falls and gets right up; a sinner stays down for the count.  Instead of wallowing in the mud, like the reprobate, they get back on the horse. 

One morning a hung over drunk woke up in jail to learn that he caused a car accident which killed 3 generations of a family. Most heavy drinkers would repent and bitterly cry the rest of their lives.  But for the reprobate drunkard, there would not be enough alcohol, even if the entire sea were alcohol, to satiate their interior disorder.  You see, the only light that guides the reprobate alcoholics footsteps is the light emitted from Hell's fires.  It is a terrible light to be led by, especially when Jesus is the light of the world. Thanks be to God, even the retrobate alcoholic can repent.  Repent today, because tomorrow you could trip over your own drunken feet, die, and go to Hell forever.

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The Drunk's Personality

As if it were possible to define God’s personality, it seems reasonable that God’s personality can begin to be defined by the traits of love as found in 1 Corinthians 3:4-7, and by the traits associated with the fruits of the Holy Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. Consider that the personality traits of the fallen angels’ are the opposite of these.

In 1 Corinthians 3:4-7, it says “Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish, love is never rude, it is not self seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries. Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth. There is no limit to love’s forbarance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure." Therefore the demonic personality, being the opposite, defined by antonyms, would be unkind, jealous, with unnecessary posturing, snobby, rude, self centered, narcisistic, angry, mad, holds grudges, revels in debauchery. They are hyper critical and very judgmental of others. They see the splinter in everyone else’s eye, but not their own.

In Galatians 5:22-23, it is written, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Therefore, the demonic personality, being the opposite, is full of hatred, unhappiness, despair, dissension, discord, restlessness, impatience, wickedness, deceitfulness, rudeness, and vulgarity. It is inflamed, stirred- up and crazed.

Unfortunately, the heavy drinking alcoholic personality sounds a lot like the demonic personality. Their personality is so pathological that they are more in the image and likeness of the demons than God. A torrent of thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviors often explode like a raging volcano. This means that they are usually very mean and angry people who use their anger to manipulate those closest to them.

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Healing the Heavy Drinker 

Recovery begins when despite their previous attempts to silence the voice of good conscience, it reawakens. When sobriety initiates with true repentance and genuine remorse, true recovery is begun. Ideally, the heavy drinker would repent because they were heartily sorry for offending God, because they detested their drunkenness, because they dread the loss of heaven and the pains of Hell, and because they hurt, dissapointed, let down and offended God who is all good and deserving of all their love. It would be great if they made a decision to firmly resolve, with the help of God’s grace, to make amends with God and others, and especially to amend their lives. Under these conditions, sobriety can proceed relatively quickly, with the fewest detours, bumps or obstacles.  When any of these conditions are lacking, the more they lack, the higher the chances of being miserable until they either relapse into drunken debauchery or become a dry drunk. They must accept the reality that their success depends, not only on sobriety, but also continuous spiritual development, which begins with true repentance.  If the repentant heavy drinker perseveres, their spiritual battles will soon ascend to those core Christian issues and no longer focus on addiction issues. When sobriety is put in its true context of spiritual war, with demons vying for their agenda, it is reassuring to know that the Holy Spirit gives the truly repentant and genuinely remorseful heavy drinker spiritual gifts to heal.

Mankind was originally created to a degree of perfection that fallen mankind no longer possess. Even though this original perfection is lost, Jesus in His mercy, makes a different type attainable.  Now there is always room for improvement.

The drunk who repents and stays sober has made great spiritual progress.  So much that the angels rejoice.  Perfection for the drunk and dry drunk, begins with sobriety and continuous spiritual progress.  This transforms them into a living sacrifice and makes them as perfect as man is able.  The practice of self sacrifice and a commitment for spiritual progress is an act of perfection.

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Seed Time and Harvest

The newly sober person asks themselves, “Why do I still have all these problems now that I am sober?” When you plant wheat, what do you get? Wheat! When you plant corn, you get corn. When the heavy drinker plants the seeds of destruction in their life, what will they harvest? Destruction! It's natural that they will reap destructions spiritual and temporal consequences because God will not be mocked, we reap what we sow.

The heavy drinker wrongly assumes that when they stopped drinking things would quickly get better. They are often surprised by the suffering, persecution, abuse, and disgrace, real or imagined, this rude awakening brings. Even though they may have repented and been forgiven by God, the consequences of their disoddity needs time to work it self out. They may have employment problems, be in litigation over some alcohol related crime, or given a sexually transmitted disease to their spouse. The consequenses of all this can last a lifetime.
The good news is that most of these consequences diminish over time. As more and more good seeds are planted, genuine recovery and healing begin to bear fruit. The act of abstinence is the planting of a good seed.

When they plant wheat, it germinates, sprouts, grows and finally ripens and the farmer gets wheat. There is a delay between the planting of the seed and the harvest. When the heavy drinker plants the seeds of destruction, they will reap the temporal consequences of that sowed destruction. Since they have been spiraling downward by continuously planting seeds of destruction, the painful consequences will appear daily. The day the heavy drinker stops drinking doesn’t stop the seedtime and harvest process. When drinking stops in January, the consequences of the seeds they planted in the preceeding October, November and December don’t just disappear. They germinate, sprout, grow and become ripe in February, March and April.

Sometimes the seedtime and harvest interval can be years instead of months. So the newly sober person asks themselves, “Why do I have all these problems now that I am sober and trying to stay sober?” In addition to the seedtime and harvest reason, the recovering alcoholic no longer has the sedative effects of the alcohol to lessen their pain. These two reasons trigger their stinking thinking which causes the development of the dry drunk. The good news is that the consequences from the seeds of destruction diminish, as the seeds of healing begin to bear fruit.

The principle of seed time and harvest time is in operation even though they may have repented and been forgiven. The consequences of their drunken behavior need time to work themselves out. People may still be angry at them, they may have employment problems or they may be in litigation over some alcohol related crime.

There are many problems related to drunkenness which continue well into sobriety. They wrongly assumed that when they stopped drinking things would quickly get better. They are surprised by the effort necessary to remain sober. This rude awakening is one of the triggers for their misery. At this point in sobriety they are still reaping the consequences of their drunken lifestyle.

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Drunken Gluttony

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 inordinate amounts of excess food and drink.  The pathological hunger drive is such a compulsive, insatiable craving that it overrides self-regulation and reason.  Once established, the sin of over indulgence dominates character so much so that the person merits the name of the vice.  They are no longer a person who overeats, they are a glutton.  The most sorry glutton is the one who craves alcohol.  When gluttony is attached to alcohol, it becomes insanely more insatiable.  The heavy drinker become 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.  

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Drunken Idolatry

Drunkenness is a type and form of idolatry because the drunk shares the same interior spiritual state common to all idolaters.  The drunk worships and serves alcohol instead of God.  They give to alcohol that part of themselves which rightfully belongs to God.  Alcohol is one of their most intimate friends and has become the lord of their life, not Jesus.  They depend on and turn to alcohol, not God, for courage, strength, and solace.  They run to alcohol for help in coping with life's problems.  God is reduced to being used when they want to be enabled.  The drunk worships their idol by offering sacrifices to it.  They voluntarily give up all the world has to offer, wealth, fame, etc., to continue in their drunken folly.  They willingly place their family, career, and even worse, their relationship with God on the altar of sacrifice.  They give up all, including eternal life, for their god.  When a drunk is willing to sacrifice eternal glory for the passing pleasures of drunkenness, this is proof of the demonic power over them.  As it is true a person can’t love money and God, it is equally true that they can’t love alcohol and God.  The drunk has chosen poorly. 

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Alcoholic Generational Curses

Because Adam and Eve committed the original sin, all their decedents have been indelibly imprinted with a spiritual disease, disorder, malady.  Each and every person born into creation has some unique blend which continues to be generationally transmitted.  For some, it manifests as alcoholism which once reinforced by imbibing, its spiritual, biological and psychological tentacles, become fully activated and established.  To the alcoholic this means a burning temptation to commit the sin of drunkenness.  To make matters even worse, drunkenness often becomes the gateway to many other sins and disorders.  Sins like adultry, suicide and domestic violence are usually co-morbid with intoxifcation.  The enemy uses drunkenness like a ring in a bull's nose to lead the drinker into additional sin. It seems reasonable that generation transmission is accomplished through some combination of spiritual and psychological mechanisms.  So the sinful drinker can be predisposed as a victim and also be a willful contributor. 

In psychological circles, terms like family of origin, adult children of alcoholics, and co-dependency are used to illustrate generational transmission.  Is the personality trait referred to as, “the adult child of an alcoholic,” a blessing?  No, it is a serious problem which often transmits through many generations, therefore loosely, it is a generational curse.  Natural, non-spiritual mechanisms like self fulling prophecies, parental role modeling, learning by observation, reinforcement, or association, when combined with dysfunctional family systems, have the power to transmit the disorder into the next generation.  After all, the child who is born and raised by sinful drinkers is therefore more likely to perpetuate and transmit the entrenched family problems.  We all know that sometimes the apple does not fall far from the tree.  Sometimes generational transmission is purely psychological, nothing spiritual about it.

In some religious circles, the term for generational transmission is generational curse which denotes a spiritual etiology.  Throughout history, many cultures have believed in the spiritual causes of illness and its generational transmission.  There is scriptural evidence to support this.  In Exodus 20:5, 34:7, Numbers 14:18 and Deuteronomy 5:9-10, God stated that He will adversely affect the third and fourth generations of sinful parents. 

When demons attach themselves to a family line for consecutive generations their demonic character, if left unchecked, becomes more deeply imprinted on each successive generation.  The demons can become integrated and enmeshed into the family’s collective personality.  This gives the appearance that there is a common family trait passed on, but it is a common demon which is passed on.  When family systems are going from mortal sin to mortal sin in generation after generation it is safe to say that the family generates a dysfunctional synergy that appears far beyond that of mortal man’s natural depravity.  The demonic over site spanning generations is kind of the opposite of having a guardian angel. 

Generational curses, psychological and spiritual, can have the power of a mighty river pushing thru time.  How can one lone person attempting recovery from drunkenness, stand up against a current which constantly pushes a disorder through their family line and time itself?  Without God’s healing grace, people can’t, they will be swept down river and transmit the curse, disorder, disease, malady, etc., to their offspring. 

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Important Prayers for the Heavy Drinker 

The continual, fervent prayer of a righteous person causes demons great difficulty in accomplishing their diabolical agenda.  Even non-fervent sporadic prayer from a drunk disturbs them.  Anyone can pray inconsistently, erratically and selfishly, but as a rule, drunks and dry drunks don’t even do this well. They think they are doing a great feat when they pray 30 seconds, asking God to enable them. 

Prayer is important for a lot of reasons but for the sinful drinker it can initiate true repentance and bring restoration with God.  No matter how much their drunken behavior offends God, he will hear the truly repentant. 

Even a heavy drinking alcoholic can ask for prayer.  Let family and friends know your need.  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 heavy drinkers who really want help should continuously and constantly ask as many Christians as possible to pray for them.  There are so many Christians who would consider it an honor to intercede for the person who sinfully drinks. Don’t stop with 10, the more the better.  Intercessory prayer is wonderfully effective.

It is very helpful for the family of the sinful drinker to practice intercessory prayer.  So, intercede for your alcoholic loved ones continously.  Without your intervention, their chances of recovery are limited.  Often your prayer makes the difference.

An important thing to remember about prayer is: pray more than your comfort level and pour your heart out to the Lord.

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Prayer and Fasting Combined

The continual, fervent prayer of a righteous person causes demons great difficulty in accomplishing their diabolical agenda.  Even non-fervent sporadic prayer from a drunk probably disturbs them.  But one should not presume on this.  There is a high probability that when a soul prays in the following ways they are deceived and the demons, not the Holy spirit are leading their prayer life.  You see, anyone can pray inconsistently, erratically and selfishly, but as a rule, drunks and dry drunks don’t even do this well.  They think they are doing a great feat when they pray 30 seconds, asking God to enable them. 

Examine the prayer life of a dry drunk.  Usually they don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus.  They don’t see Jesus as a brother and friend.  Instead they see their personal relationship as one of dodging lightening bolts or walking through a mind field.  They are on the defensive with God who loves them very much but they don’t see it.  They are unable to rest in his arms because they feel he is pushing them away.  Their relationship is faith based but it’s the faith of expecting punishment, not love and mercy.  They can’t say, “Jesus I trust in You.,” because they suffer a high level of negative expectations regarding God’s dealing with them. 

Intercessory prayer is especially effective in healing the drunk or dry drunk.  You see,even a heavy drinking alcoholic can ask for prayer.  Let family and friends know your need.  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 heavy drinkers who really want help should continuously and constantly ask as many Christians as possible to pray for them.  There are so many Christians who would consider it an honor to intercede for the person who sinfully drinks.  Don’t stop with 10 intercessors, the more the better.  Intercessory prayer is wonderfully effective, because it’s not based on the heavy drinkers merits, but on the Holy Saints who consider it an honor to interceed. 

It is very helpful for the family of the sinful drinker to practice intercessory prayer.  So, intercede for your alcoholic loved ones continously.  Without your intervention, their chances of healing are reduced.  Often your prayer makes the difference.  It would be hard to hear on Judgment Day that your loved one’s soul is destined to Hell only because of  your lack of intercessory prayer.

An important thing to remember about prayer is:  pray more than your comfort level and pour your heart out to the Lord.  No matter how much their drunken behavior offends God, he will always hear the truly repentant. 

Since drunkenness is gluttony and fasting is the opposite of gluttony, fasting restores, deep within the infrastructure of the soul, exactly that which was destroyed by drunkenness.  The virtue most helpful for the heavy drinker is temperance and self-denial through the exterior practice of fasting.  Temperance helps subdue all pathological hunger drives including the gluttony for alcohol.  Even though some fast by eating nothing, for heavy drinkers, it would 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 be fasted would not be food, but alcohol. The heavy drinker who can fast under a 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 that it can be more difficult for an alcoholic to give up alcohol than it is for a non alcoholic to give up food. 

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 salvitic plan.  I think this stirs within God a desire to help those who are praying and fasting for healing.  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.  As if the healing power of prayer alone were 3, and the healing power of fasting alone were 3, the synergy of both combined would be 70 to the nth.

Fasting is important for the spiritual growth of all Christians, but there are also some special benefits for drunks and dry drunks.  The merit derived from a fast comes from it being a genuine living sacrifice.  When heavy drinkers surrender their right to drink, they crucify their flesh and die especially, specifically and strategically to that sin.  In the recovering alcoholic’s life, fasting counteracts the pathological hunger drive for alcohol.  It strengthens their resolve to remain sober and it reduces the temptation to drink.  God imparts healing grace which diminishes the chances of relapsing or forming the dry drunk personality.  True fasting requires dedication of the fast to God combined with prayer.  God knows the difference between spiritual fasting and dietary fasting and a spiritual fast is vastly superior to a dietary fast.  When a person fasts for non spiritual motives like to loose weight, that is all they receive.  They have squandered potential spiritual rewards. 

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The Spiritual Disease

The spiritual disease manifests through concupscience, idolotry...   The progression of the disease is always just below the surface, ready to spring up, with repressed or suppressed force.  As soon as the forward momentum of grace ceases, the progression of the disease rears its ugly head and tries to make up for the time lost when grace was dominant.

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Concupiscence 

Because Adam and Eve committed the original sin, their decedents have been indelibly imprinted with the spiritual disease of concupiscence.  Every subsequent disease and disorder, once they entered the stream of time, although second in time order, became functionally independent and appear primary.  Today, all spiritual, biological and psychological disorders are a direct by product of concupiscence.  For those born with the special suceptiability to alcoholism, once reinforced by imbibing, the spiritual disease, with its biological and psychological tenticles, becomes fully activated and established.  Concupiscence opened mankind to all sorts of temptation, and for some this means a burning temptation to commit the sin of drunkenness and dry drunkenness.  The demonic lust for the alcoholic's destruction does not stop at drunkenness.  They know drunkenness becomes the gateway to many other sins and disorders, which will continue only as long as the alcoholic continues to drink.  Demons use drunkenness like a ring in a bull's nose.  Maybe adultrey is committed when drunk or they are too hung over to go to church. Obviously, drunken violence only occurs while drunk.  Drunkenness is never a legitimate excuse to commit additional sin.  The argument “I didn’t mean to do it, but I was drunk” doesn’t fool anyone except the drunk and wou'nt go over well on Judgment day. 

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