Substance abuse produces a life of hiding, strained relationships, disrupted routines, communication problems, erratic emotional behavior and many other challenges. It feels like imprisonment. It feels like slavery.
But it didn't start that way. It started as an escape, as a way to get relief from the pressures or afflictions of life. Instead of casting our fears, anxieties, and pain upon the strong tower (Ps. 61:3) or seeking refuge from the right person (Matt. 11:28-30) God himself, we have sought relief from our idol of choice - a substance, a feeling of euphoria - a god to deliver us. (Ps. 115:4-8).
Where does the struggle with substance abuse come from? We can understand the symptoms, but what is the source...what is the cause? It's helpful to know what you have, but it's more helpful to know where it comes from and how to correct it. The overwhelming metaphors the Bible uses for addictive behavior are Idolatry and Adultery. Scripture also describes people as created to worship. We are always worshipping something. Substance abuse is a form of worship, a form of disordered worship. As sinful beings we exchange the glory of God for an image, an Idol.
At HOPE we do not counsel individuals in need of detoxification.
At HOPE we offer counseling after detox. Substances that need medical detoxification would include: Alcohol, Narcotics like Heroin, Morphine, Opioids, Opiates, Codeine, Opium, Tranquilizers (Benzodiazepine, Xanax, Valium, Librium, Tranxene) or any drug resulting in significant medical problems.
If you have been through detox and you desire counseling please ask yourself some key questions.
- Are you ready to listen? Listening is tied to your action. Are you ready to remove anything that draws you towards the addiction? Can you identify the dangers? Who are the accomplices (people, places, moods) of your addiction? Are you ready to change phone numbers....do anything that prevents you from drawing closer to the substance? Those who run live. Those who stay risk dire consequences. If you are not ready to act, then you are not ready to listen.
- Do you really want change? Pay more attention to what you do than what you say. If you want change and don't want change...then you don't want change.
- Are you ready to admit? Substance abuse is a worship problem and pursues walking in darkness (1 John 1:6-10). If you aren't ready to admit this, then you want behaviors to change without dealing with the roots of those behaviors.
- Are you ready to fight? Change will require fight and hard work. All significant change takes work. Are you ready to deny yourself in moments of deep craving? You will have to teach yourself a new way to cope with the pains, sorrows, anxieties and fears of life. Your flesh will not want to change.
For those who are ready to listen, admit and fight, we welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and walk this long and challenging road to lasting change.