Seeking Sobriety Faithfully
When we put a face to someone who uses drugs or abuses alcohol, we usually think of teenagers experimenting with marijuana, abusive fathers who always have a beer can in their hand, and other clichéd characters of our society. However, drug and alcohol abuse can also happen to good people in the community, even Christians.
The prescription of Valium you were given for pain after a car accident or routine surgery can easily turn into a regular escape from reality. A daily glass of wine with dinner may become so habitual that it turns into two glasses, then three, then the bottle.
So how do you determine if you are abusing drugs and/ or alcohol?
Accept Addiction for What it is
The first thing to be aware of is that drug and/ or alcohol abuse doesn’t mean you are a bad person. Addiction is an illness, not a definition of who you are. One of the many powers of God is that He is gracious. You may have fallen, but that does not mean that He does not love you or will not help you back up.
However, to take the first step, you must accept addiction for what it is. This will help you not only identify your own habits, but will also help you accept the control your addiction has over you.
Look at Your Habits Objectively
Have you continued taking your pain pills after the pain subsided? Can you ever have just one drink? Or go a day without a drink? Do you feel like you need just something, anything to help get you through each day? If the answers to any of these questions are ‘yes,’ you may be struggling with drug and/ or alcohol addiction.
In order to fully grasp your own habits, you need to be able to look at yourself objectively. Take a day away from drinking or doing drugs. If you can’t make it through the day, that might be your first sign. If you begin to experience nausea or headache while sober, that may be another sign.
However, if you can take a day of sobriety, write down your daily and weekly routines with drugs and/or alcohol. If you can’t look at your habits objectively, ask a close friend or family member to help you identify habits relating to drugs and alcohol. Being able to pinpoint your habits will also help you identify triggers, and will also help you identify just how ill you are.
So What If?
If you realize that you are suffering from addiction, the next question you may have is, ‘What do I do now?’
Seek Out Support
First and foremost, remember that you are not alone. When people accept that they have an addiction, they often isolate themselves. This can make addiction worse. Don’t keep the secret to yourself. Don’t wallow in the guilt. Find a close friend, family member, or church confidant to tell.
Letting someone else know what you are going through will help you find accountability during treatment, and will help take the burden of addiction off your shoulders. Building an adequate support team prior to treatment will also help better your chances of success both during and after treatment.
Look for Treatment Options
Treatment options vary greatly for addiction, ranging from inpatient to outpatient, from secular to religious, and finding the right treatment for you is highly important for your recovery. This article may help you determine the type of treatment that would work best for you.
Upon exit from treatment, you will also want to look for a support group that can help you continue living without drugs and alcohol. Support groups, such as Celebrate Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous, all have religious affiliations making them a safe haven for Christians who are seeking both fellowship and support from like-minded individuals.
Addiction is a struggle for any individual, but as the old proverb says, “God will never give you any more than you can handle.” By choosing to put your faith in God once again, you can overcome addiction. So if you find yourself struggling with drugs or alcohol, reach out today. Let God hear you through prayer, and let your church support you.