Addiction: A Christian Perspective

Addiction: A Christian Perspective

by Brian Neal

Paperback

$10.49
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, January 28

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452013947
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 05/07/2010
Pages: 60
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.14(d)

Read an Excerpt

ADDICTION

A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE
By Brian Neal

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2010 Brian Neal
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4520-1394-7


Chapter One

ADDICTION

A Christian Perspective

Luke 18:13 KJV

"And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."

This is probably my favorite verse in the Bible. I hope this is my attitude for the rest of my life. This verse is humbly saying,

"God: I need your help." This is truly the first step to salvation.

Hi, my name is Brian Neal, and I am a recovering Drug Addict/Alcoholic. I'm not cured ... I will spend the rest of my life fighting the urge to get high or get drunk. What I'm about to share with you is deeply personal and until now very private.

I'm not a counselor ... I'm not a professional of any kind, and I'm not an authority on the subject of addiction. I can only tell you about my experiences and my observations.

Every Addict and Alcoholic's story is unique unto itself.

I'm going to show how addiction can kidnap the soul and you are going to see that addiction is a life long battle.

If you're hoping to hear an answer to the question: "How do I keep my kids from doing drugs and drinking alcohol?" I don't have it.

You can try to protect and shelter your children with home schooling or private schools but that's no guarantee.

And you can try to control every step of their lives, but eventually you will be gone and they will have to make their own choices.

You can handicap your kids by never letting them make their own mistakes.

I want my kids to be independent and make responsible decisions.

But like you, I don't want them to do drugs and alcohol. And I don't want my kids to make the same mistakes I made.

When God put Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, they didn't live in a bubble. The Tree of Knowledge of good and evil was in their midst. God allowed them to be tempted and to learn from their mistakes.

Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious problem that touches the lives of every person on this planet.

This it the first verse I thought of:

Titus 2:11,12 KJV "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;"

Another verse that fits Addiction so well is:

Matthew 6:24 KJV

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

Is there any family anywhere that has not been affected by alcohol and drug abuse?

Probably not!

Addiction has 3 aspects: "Mental, Physical & Spiritual"

"Addiction manifests itself as an obsession of the mind w/compulsive behavior and self-centeredness.

(Addict's are the most selfish people in the world)

The Addict becomes powerless over the drug and loses the power to choose whether to use or not."

The Church of Christ is my home; this is where I found myself 33 years ago. When I was 17, I got sober and then I became a Christian, and becoming a Christian gave me power over my addictions.

There are 5 categories we all fit into:

1. Non-User

2. Occasional-Social User

3. Habitual User

4. Abuser

5. Addict

By today's standards I was a small time Addict, but today with Crack, Methamphetamines, and Heroin, those are the major leagues.

Marijuana today is 10X more powerful than it was in the days when I used drugs.

With the use of hydroponics in growing marijuana not only is it more powerful, other drugs and dangerous chemicals can be introduced during the growing cycle to increase the potency and addictiveness.

Most lacing of marijuana is done at "user-level," it's important to remember that with unregulated drugs such as marijuana, the user has no way of knowing what other types of substances have been added.

Many Pot smokers are testing positive for other drugs that they had no idea was added to the Marijuana. (Center for substance abuse research) http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/marijuana.asp

This isn't a testimonial, but I need to tell you a little bit of my life history to share with you the problems of addiction:

When I was 12 I had my first cigarette and started smoking. When I was 13 an older relative that lived at home thought it would be funny to get a young kid high, he introduced me to smoking marijuana. When I was 14 I was smoking Pot almost everyday and started using amphetamines, Valium, alcohol or anything available.

If I was in your house I was going to rifle through your medicine cabinet to see what kind of pills I could find.

When I was 15 I did LSD and found my favorite drug of choice, PCP.

I actually overdosed on it twice. The second time in front of my parents who got me to the hospital where I spent a week, the first 3 days strapped to a hospital bed so I wouldn't hurt myself or anyone else. http://www.drugfree.org/Portal/Drug_Guide/PCP

At 15 I was still smoking Pot almost everyday, but I was now at a point where I couldn't get high enough, even when I overdosed and almost died, I still wasn't high enough.

At 16 it was the same, Pot, Pills, Angel Dust, PCP, Alcohol ... Whatever I could find!

If Crack or Methamphetamines, or Heroin had been available I would have used them too!

I WOULD DO ANYTHING TO GET HIGH!

I even tried huffing gasoline! Pretty crazy huh? - Pretty stupid!

To illustrate just how addiction can overwhelm an Addict, let me share a story with you about a young girl that was checking into a Rehab Facility in northeast Ohio. This story is true.

Her parents were with the administration staff and the young girl excused herself to use the restroom. When she didn't come back they checked on her and found that she tried to drink the large container of hand sanitizer that was in the restroom because she thought it would contain alcohol. She was sick and vomiting on the floor of the restroom. They had to rush her to a hospital for medical treatment. That Rehab hospital no longer has hand sanitizer anywhere in its facility.

A note to the young who might read this book:

Check any Rehab facility you will find that the Addicts are 3-1 boys over girls. And if a close family member has an addiction problem, you are twice as likely to become an Addict, most likely due to personality traits and/or influence.

Don't let anyone kid you that pot is not addicting or not a gateway drug.

A gateway drug is one that leads to other more powerful drugs.

Mental addiction is more dangerous than physical addiction.

Physical addiction only lasts about 7 days, mental addiction lasts a lifetime.

This is a fact; there is a mental line that if you cross it, there is no return. All innocence lost.

It hardens the mind, it becomes easier to cross that line the second time, and very easy the third, fourth and so on, until it is an addiction.

Ask any Smoker, ask any Addict, ask any Convict.

Smoke one cigarette; drink one beer, smoke one joint, snort one Oxycodone.

You have crossed that line.

Get drunk once. Get high once.

It's easy the second time. If you don't have a first, you won't have to worry about a second.

The same goes for shoplifting, fornication, adultery; it's all progressive sin.

Shoplifting is addictive.

Cheating on your spouse is addicting.

Addiction will rule your life and will ruin your life.

As an Addict, the first thing I thought of in the morning when I woke up was how was I going to get High. That's also the last thing I thought of before I fell asleep.

When I got sober.... for the first few months every time I woke up all I thought of was how can I stay sober, I prayed: "Please God give me the strength to stay sober."

It is truly one day at a time.

Sometimes 1 hour at a time.

You need to know that prayer is one of the best tools there is to help the Addict to stay sober.

I know it really has been a blessing to me; it became a great source of strength for me.

It's also a great source of strength for the loved ones of the Addict ...

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16 KJV

Addiction is definitely a sickness and we need to be healed from it.

When the Addict is tempted to use drugs or alcohol, it's all he can think about.

He dwells on it every waking moment, he craves and longs for the comfort that drugs and alcohol give his mind and body.

An Alcoholic will salivate for a drink.

An Addict will commit a crime for the money to buy drugs. They will dream of Using during their sleep.

To stay sober you must first of all "flee temptation." Just like Joseph in Genesis 39.

When he fled from Potiphar's wife who was trying to seduce him.

When you are in the midst of temptation "Flee" and having removed yourself from that immediate temptation, "Pray."

When you pray to God 2 things happen:

1. You move the focus off your desire ... Drugs, Alcohol, Fornication, Shoplifting, Stealing, Anger, Food, Lust or whatever it is.

2. You're putting all your focus on God ... You give God your full attention and meditation.

Chapter Two

WHO IS TO BLAME?

And you're wondering ... Where were my parents? Why didn't they see this? Why didn't they stop me?

I had great parents; they aren't to blame, I can't think of any other way to say it, I put them through HELL! I say this figuratively because they watched me destroy my life, and they watched me overdose and almost die. They tried to stop me; drugs were a new problem in the 1970's. Even the experts didn't know what to do, and they played detective everyday.

But even guards in a high security prison can't stop prisoners from getting drugs; how can a parent stop a determined Addict from doing drugs?

The thrill of getting away with it is also part of the addiction. The cat and mouse game is like being a Secret Agent. The Addict lives a secret life.

With the Addict you're not just struggling against the addiction, you're also fighting the "Drug Culture."

It's the Drug Culture that makes the Addict feel connected and accepted to a secret society, they belong to something cool, something dangerous.

It's the Drug Culture that makes the Addict think that the Drug Dealer is his friend.

The Dealer needs this relationship and fosters and cultivates it, as "I'm Your Friend."

The Dealer is the Addicts "Life Line."

If the Dealer is the Addicts friend, the Addict will protect the Dealer and shield him from the authorities. The Addict also fears the Dealer.

Cross the Dealer and you may get cut off or worse yet get tainted heroin and die!

This is called a "Hot Shot," a fatal injection.

The Alcoholic also thinks his regular Bartender is his friend.

To the Bartender you are just another customer another drunk that talks non-stop and rambles on about nothing.

The Bartender and the Drug Dealer make a lot of money off of the Alcoholic/Addict.

All they want is your money for the booze you drink or the drugs you use so that they can drive a nice car, and have a big screen TV.

The Addict must decide to leave this culture and these so called friends behind.

They must "Escape" from this upside down culture.

The same for the Alcoholic, he must find new friends and new places to hang, not Bars and Night Clubs. "Learn to have fun sober."

But like I said before:

Addicts are the most selfish people in the world! It's all about me!

We will do anything it takes to get what we want and what we need.

If addiction gets bad enough we will resort to lying, stealing, prostitution, assault and sometimes even murder. You read about it all the time in the paper, and on the news.

And the lying is almost pathological ...

How can you tell if an Addict is Lying? (Pause) Their Lips are moving! That's funny but so true.

An Addict could win an Oscar, and I'm pretty sure some have. Hollywood does have a few Addicts.

An Addict can turn their emotions on and off at the drop of a hat to manipulate you to get what they want. And they do it so casually.

The boldness of their lies to family is very hurtful and shocking.

Even with the facts right in front of them the Addict will continue in their lies, if confronted they become angry and all the more persistent until you wonder, "is it me, am I crazy? Maybe I am mistaken." It's unbelievable how the Addict can confuse even the most clear thinking person. This is called "Co-dependency" when your loved one's addictions affect every aspect of your life.

You become a Co-dependant; you structure your life around the Addicts behavior.

The whole family unit becomes dysfunctional.

Chapter Three

IS ALCOHOLISM A DISEASE? IS DRUG ADDICTION?

In the Church we teach that Alcoholism is a sin, not a disease. I want you to look at it from a different perspective.

Getting drunk, getting high is a Sin - Yes.

Again, look at the definition of addiction ...

Addiction has 3 aspects:

"Mental, Physical & Spiritual"

"Addiction manifests itself as an obsession of the mind w/compulsive behavior and self-centeredness. (Addict's are the most selfish people in the world)

The Addict becomes powerless over the drug and loses the power to choose whether to use or not."

For those of you who don't know the difference between an Alcoholic and a Drug Addict, there isn't any ... alcohol is a drug.

For some Addicts, alcohol is their drug of choice. PCP was my drug of choice, pot was second, and alcohol was third.

Is addiction a disease?

{In 1956 the AMA, American Medical Association declared alcohol and drug addiction as a chronic disorder or disease of the brain.}

Let's look at the defining characteristics of a Disease:

(American Oxford Dictionary: this is a general overview - For a detailed definition read the AOD)

A Disease is:

Dysfunctional to body/mind

Interferes w/normal daily functions

Progressive (gets worse over time)

Chronic (frequent or persistent)

Symptomatic (can be diagnosed)

Debilitating

End Result - Fatal

Look at the final stages of Alcoholism. (Google) "Wet Brain"- Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome

Yes, getting drunk is a sin:

1 Corinthians 6:9,10 and Proverbs 20:1 and many more scriptures Old and New Testament show this fact. Proverbs 23:19-35 describes the Alcoholic.

When you can't control it - that's the disease part.

You might get drunk once and say whoa! I'm never doing that again. And maybe you never drink again.

But every time you get drunk it's a sin.

When you can't stop you've damaged your brain.

When it takes over your life, you've become damaged goods.

Is Mental Illness a Disease?

The brain is an organ just like the liver or heart, if the brain gets damaged you become sick!

If you Google (internet search) "Mental Illness" you'll find:

About 26% of people in the United States have an anxiety, mood, impulse control, or substance disorder at some time in their life.

26%-That means 1 in 4 people have some sort of mental illness from slight to severe.

So look around you at the 3 people sitting next to you - or your 3 closest friends ...

If they seem okay - then it's you! (LOL)

All kidding aside when you look at others in society around us you realize how real that 26% may actually be.

What can cause Mental Illness?

How can you damage the brain?

Trauma, Toxins, Chemical Imbalance, High Fever, Stress-Anxiety, Heartache, Loneliness, Mental Abuse, Shock, the things you may see, War, Murder, Violence, Fear. (not a complete list)

All these things can damage the mind.

Or how about Sin! Sin will damage the mind!

Look at King Saul - why did Saul go crazy?

He disobeyed God; he brought back King Agag, and the best sheep and oxen for sacrifice.

1 Samuel 16:14 KJV

"The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him."

King Saul sinned, and when God told him he rejected him as King, the fear and anger of losing his kingdom to David drove him crazy.

When we do sinful things we expose ourselves to a lot of those things that affect our minds.

You can't blame the disease; the disease is doing what it's supposed to do.

If you drink, if you use drugs, if you commit Sin, you may bring the disease, Mental Illness, upon yourself.

If you fornicate, you may get Syphilis or HIV/AIDS, those are definitely diseases.

Abuse/neglect your body you will get heart disease. I had a heart attack at the age of 45. I now have 3 stints in my heart. I blame myself, not the disease. I abused my body, and now I have heart disease.

If you abuse Drugs you may become an Addict.

If you abuse Alcohol you may become an Alcoholic. Addicts can't blame the disease.

The Addict must take responsibility for being an Addict. That's a giant step toward sobriety.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from ADDICTION by Brian Neal Copyright © 2010 by Brian Neal. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

ADDICTION....................1
WHO IS TO BLAME?....................7
IS ALCOHOLISM A DISEASE? IS DRUG ADDICTION?....................10
WHERE IS THE SOUL OF MAN?....................14
WHAT DO I DO IF MY LOVED ONE IS USING DRUGS/ALCOHOL?....................16
THE ENABLER....................18
TOUGH LOVE....................20
ONE FINAL THOUGHT....................28
THERE IS HELP....................30
12 STEPS OF AA....................33
12 STEPS W/SCRIPTURE....................35
THE SERENITY PRAYER....................38
TO MY READERS....................41
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS....................43

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews