The disease of addiction

“It’s common for a person to relapse, but relapse doesn’t mean that treatment doesn’t work. As with other chronic health conditions, treatment should be ongoing and should be adjusted based on how the patient responds. Treatment plans need to be reviewed often and modified to fit the patient’s changing needs.” Understanding drug use and addiction

We are not a treatment center.

Our sign says Adult Rehabilitation Center.

 

Our goal is to provide this rehabilitation through addressing their problems which more often than not, include addiction.

While we differentiate between treatment and rehabilitation we do identify addiction as a disease. This can be hard for many of us to wrap our heads around. The common thought is, just stop. Stop drinking so much. Stop taking all your prescribed meds for the month in two days. Just stop it!

I don’t have the scientific knowledge or words to explain this. I can’t find the exact analogy that would make this more relatable. I only know that addicts aren’t this way by their own choosing. No one thinks they’re going to be an addict or alcoholics. There isn’t even a clear predictor of the cause of this disease. Yes, it seems to run in families but no family is immune.

David grew up in the church. His father is a pastor with regional oversight for his denomination.
Sue’s dad was a lawyer.
Arnie’s family all held white-collar professional jobs.
Sam’s brother was a neurosurgeon.

Some are the only ones in their family with this disease. Or maybe the only ones addicted to the “wrong” things. There are acceptable addictions like workaholism and smoking. We applaud one and frown on the other.

Sue was college educated and taught school. She never drank before college but once she started, she couldn’t stop. She ended up in jail in a DUI charge. Her family wouldn’t bail her out. She eventually lost her job. It took this well-educated, bright woman 11 attempts at sobriety before something clicked. Twenty-five years later she can’t tell you why it finally did. She is only grateful it did.

None of these people wanted to be who they became. All of them are thankful for who they are now. They are part of the redeemed.

I haven’t struggled with addiction. But I wasn’t who I wanted to be. Something was missing in my life. I knew it. I also knew the answer. It’s the same answer we offer them: redemption through Jesus. For some, he has miraculously removed the desire to use drugs. For most, he uses people, programs, and groups, to help in the ongoing battle.

It is the same with sin. There are temptations all around. They are not eliminated from our lives. God works through a myriad of ways to walk with us in our daily journey as redeemed. For all of us, life is lived one day at a time.

There has to be a willingness to change. There is healing. There is grace. One day. Every day.

5 Comments

  1. Linda Stoll said:

    Amen, Debby. Thanks for this poignant reminder that addiction comes in all shapes and sizes. There’s no easy answer and none of us is immune to its trecherous grip.

    Bless you in your work, in your writing …

    October 17, 2017
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      Thank you, Linda. I’m often hesitant to write about addiction itself as I’m no authority. I am a keen observer with a front row seat. I listen to our counselors who are wonderful teachers. And I feel strongly about helping others see through the fog of denial or just not understanding. Your affirmation confirms this for me. Thank you, again and again. xx

      October 17, 2017
      Reply
  2. Lesley said:

    This is a great post, Debby! It’s important to remember that, whatever the causes behind it, being an addict is not something that anyone chooses. Also that there we are all missing something without Jesus and, while the things we use to fill the gap may be more socially acceptable, they are not good either. Blessings to you in your work- it must be so hard to see people relapse when they have been doing so well, but how rewarding it must be when they finally reach the point of breaking free!

    October 17, 2017
    Reply
  3. Tara said:

    Amen!

    October 17, 2017
    Reply

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