Addiction and drug dependence have a high cost. Although debates over legalization will continue, families are clearly concerned as they witness (maybe once illegal) drugs become more available to teens. Furthermore, many community leaders may now fall silent on the harmful effects of mood altering substances, as recent opinion polls demonstrate that public opinion is quickly becoming more and more accepting of “recreational” use.
After Colorado legalized marijuana, thousands of young people from all over the world flocked to the state to participate in the multimillion dollar industry that is now being referred to as the “Green Rush” (National Geographic, 2015).
This word “rush” is definitely fitting in the United States, as we see an ever growing acceptance of the legalization of marijuana. Currently 4 states (as well as Washington D.C.) have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. In addition, another 14 states have decriminalized this habit forming drug. The result is rising popularity of using mood altering substances. According to recent surveys, marijuana use, for those over the age of 12, has increased from 15 million users in 2002 to 21 million in 2013.
At Christian Counseling Associates (CCA), we have witnessed how families struggle when their children become dependent or addicted to mood altering substances. Parents are clear on the devastating effect of drug use that includes addiction, compulsion, and life threatening dysfunctional behaviors. It’s not recreation, its behavior leading to addiction.
If someone in your family, or a loved one, is caught in the cycle of drug use, know that help is available. Here are a few steps to consider, that can begin a path of redemption and recovery:
1. Face addictive behavior with honesty
Admit the problem. Compulsive drug use, especially in children and teens, leads to a life of brokenness. The sooner an intervention takes place, the easier it is to find the path of recovery.
2. Seek help from professionals and the community
Sometimes honesty with those caught up in the addictive cycle is difficult. Many times loved ones who attempt intervention are frustrated by repeated denial of the problem. Random drug testing can help define the problem and move the issue past denial. At CCA, drug testing is available in most of our locations. In addition, CCA also provides evaluation and ongoing treatment to help those recover from addictive behavior.
In addition to professional counseling, seek support from friends, family, and your pastor. Finding those who are clear that addiction is harmful and unacceptable are essential to the recovery process.
3. Go to the Heart of the Matter
Addiction is a substitute for living a purpose filled, Spirit led life. Psalm 62:8 says,
“Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.”
People become vulnerable to addiction for many reasons. Committing to a path of recovery starts with knowing that addiction is not a permanent solution for pain and brokenness. Family, friends, and professional help can identify the core reasons that have resulted in substance use becoming the center of life.
However, the power of Jesus Christ can break the chains of addiction and is the center of true and permanent recovery from addiction. When we deal with addiction on the soul level, recovery becomes miraculously possible. Find support for this journey with a pastor and the fellowship of a local church.
Admitting the need for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who is greater than ourselves, connecting with the body of Christ in a church, and discovering His purpose are the best “highs” in life.
4. Break the Habits
Philippians 3:12 says,
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal,
but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
Breaking habits on the path of recovery involves setting new life goals and getting accountability from the family, church, and community. Professional intervention and counseling can help. Over time, new life patterns are established. Ultimately, recovery means experiencing your purpose and God designed center of life. Although this may be challenging, with time and support, recovery is always possible!
If you or a family member are struggling with this issue, call Christian Counseling Associates today at 724-396-1510 and visit one of our many locations.