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Addiction is a physical and psychological inability to stop consuming a drug, chemical, substance, or engaging in a particular activity, even though it is causing physical or mental harm. Many people struggle with addiction to drugs, gambling, smoking, food, sex, pornography, and alcohol.
Most people who want to overcome their addiction think that just having enough willpower is enough.
However, this is not the case because it does not work. At times, the more people “will” themselves out of an addiction, the deeper they get into it.
Addictions are Symptoms of a Greater Problem
You can treat addictions, but you will not change anything permanently until you heal the heart. James 1:13 teaches us: “Let no one say when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. BUT, each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
Types Of Addiction
Someone who is drug-addicted can’t defy the urge to use drugs despite the adverse effects they may be causing. One can not only be addicted to cocaine and alcohol but also can be addicted to painkillers and other authorized substances. Drug abuse is when you use authorized or unauthorized drugs in a way you are not supposed to. Drug addiction is when one is unable to stop using them.
Gambling is a human vice that presents the illusion of easy money but can lead to financial ruin. The odds are never in favor of the gamblers, whether they are playing blackjack, poker, or anything else. Since gambling is a diverse activity, various kinds of gambling addiction exist. This type of addiction can occur when individuals feel they are in financial ruin and can solve their problems only by gambling the little money they have in the attempt to earn a substantial amount of money. Unfortunately, this often leads to a cycle in which the gamblers feel they must recover their losses. The cycle continues until the individual is forced to seek rehabilitation to break the habit.
This is a type of sexual obsession. By being a porn addict, the victim uses pornographic materials to stimulate him or herself and get the satisfaction that sex with a real person gives. Some of the signs of porn addiction are.
- Wanting more of the pornography pictures/movies.
- Being unable to stop watching pornography movies.
- Loss of interest in real sex and seeing your partner as being less attractive.
- Extra demands when it comes to real sex, demanding more of awkward sex styles.
People with this type of addiction tend to seek multiple sex partners to fulfill the sexual urge. Some of the signs of sex addiction include infatuated sexual feelings and fantasies, sexual activities with various partners, even strangers, failure to control the behavior, and feeling guilt after sex.
This involves food cravings, where one lacks self-control around foods. Signs of a person with eating addiction are getting cravings regardless of feeling chock-full, eating a lot more than is necessary, hiding one’s eating habit from others, and being unable to stop overeating despite health problems.
Personal experiences with addiction
I once dealt with a case of a teenage man of 19 years. The young man had started the act of masturbating at the age of twelve. According to him, what triggered his involvement with this act was that he had no courage to attract the attention of the opposite sex. His peers could laugh and make jokes about him, which led to his total withdrawal from his peers.
I met the young man after he got saved and was unable to stop this behavior. He could cry and have guilt every time he committed the act, which could lead to contemplating suicide. The young man was brought to me for spiritual counseling, which took several sessions, and after two years, he was able to overcome the act and started living normally.
Today he is a father of one, happily married, and a pastor to the youths. Though a tough journey, it only became possible after he shared his predicament and being ready to accommodate and embrace change. His relationship with Christ has improved.
Another case is of a young married woman who had developed bad eating habits that posed healthy issues to her body. She was 24 years old, but she weighed 180 kgs (396 pounds). She had developed heart problems, and joint pain, especially in the legs due to the massive weight they were carrying. Her marriage was at the edge since the weight was making look like a 45-year-old lady, and the husband was not comfortable with it.
I worked with her case; she disclosed that she could not sit anywhere without chewing anything. We started the session of dealing with her bad lifestyle, and she embraced exercise, reducing food consumption, and making herself busy all day long. When going to sleep, she was already tired and would sleep till morning. Within 21 days doing the prescribed schedule, she had shed 40kgs (88 lbs.), which was far much than what I expected.
Any type of addiction has short or long-term adverse effects on the person in question. Some of the harmful effects are:
This the state where one feels guilty, anxious, thoughts of suicide, and loss of interest in things that he/she was previously interested in.
People suffering from various types of addiction may develop relationship problems where they might start isolating themselves from others and feeling irritated unnecessarily.
This is the state of feeling of worry, fear, unease about something with an uncertain result.
How to overcome any type of addiction
So, how can you overcome an addiction? If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, you can turn to God because he has a clear solution. Although it is not easy, it is effective. The steps you can take to overcome an addiction include:
Have faith in God
To overcome any addiction, the Bible has verses that can help one to overcome the power of addiction and its roots. In 1 Cor. 10:13-14, we find Paul encouraging Corinthians by telling them God will provide a way out to make them overcome even when they are tempted. In 1st Corinthians 15:33, Paul also warns the Corinth church by telling them to observe the company they keep because bad character ruins good morals. Some of these addictions are a result of being in bad company.
In the first letter of John 2:16, the epistle warns the church that the lust of the flesh, eyes, and life pride does not come from the father but are from the world, and those who are not of the world should shun themselves from such activities.
Admit you have a problem, and you can beat it.
You should be honest with God and then admit the problems to some of the individuals who matter the most in your life.
Decide to change
Get clear on the goal to change before taking the action of changing is useful for successful overcoming of addiction.
Ask God to help you overcome the addiction. Admit that you are powerless and speak to God from your heart. In the gospel, we learn that grace comes through the atonement of Jesus Christ. The grace of God enables us to do anything. It is a divine means of strength that allows us to do the right thing. In Ether 12:27, God says that His grace is sufficient to those who humble themselves before Him. Therefore, with God’s grace, we can overcome any weakness in our lives.
Join a healthy community
It is not easy to break an addiction alone. Most cannot do it alone with God and His word. You need God’s people. You need a structure and system in which you can face the addiction daily with people. For instance, it is helpful to have a person you can call when you feel the urge to do the things you are struggling with. Anything that you do that you know to be wrong or it keeps you from having a relationship with God is either a sin or a weakness.
Even if you know you are not supposed to engage in a specific activity or use a particular substance, you may feel powerless. That is the reason why a community is vital in your recovery process. Please never give up and when you feel like your losing the battle; pick yourself up and start all over again. Never ever give up, ask God for help, he loves you!
God Bless You