“I never thought of myself as a drug addict,” Jim said, “I just loved to get high!” Jim, a university student in the TV/Video message Be a Friend, had become addicted to drugs. (Click on the right to view the Be a Friend message) Like Jim, anyone can become an addict! Drug use in Kenya, and around the world, is increasing annually. (United Nations Drug Control Program, Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention) Many young people, like Jim, are
introduced to drugs by their peers. Out of curiosity or a need to belong, they take the first puff, pill, drink or shot. Before long, their lives are in a mess and under the destructive grip of chemical abuse. What can be done to help them? Offering a listening ear to a friend in this stage is the first step toward their recovery. By taking the time to listen to their situation, you are helping to make a difference by showing you care and that you want to help.
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The Real Issue: A Spiritual Perspective
Former addicts will attest that once they admit to having a problem, a relationship with God holds the key to overcoming substance abuse. (MiVille, 2001) Among the first steps of most successful drug recovery programs is the need for addicts to admit they are an addict and to believe that only a ‘power greater than themselves’ can restore their sanity. (Marijuana Anonymous, 1998) Substance abuse, whether it is drug or alcohol addiction, is a form of idolatry. As a result, an addiction is often a spiritual problem. Idolatry refers to ‘blind worship of a thing or person that does not deserve to be worshiped.’ People often think of idols as statues of wood or stone, but in reality an idol is anything that is given sacred or divine value and power. Furthermore, idolatry is a rejection of God. When we choose to reject God, He does not stop us from making our own choices. (Romans 1:21–25) He lets us declare our assumed independence from Him, even though He knows that in time we will become a slave to our own rebellious choices. Eventually, we will lose our freedom and become unable to stop sinning. Does life without God look like a life of freedom? Look more closely. The worst type of slavery is slavery to sin. The benefits that seem to be found in drugs are deceptive; like all man-made gods, drugs are not able to deliver what they promise. God said that we should serve our Creator. (Exodus 20:1-5) (Isaiah 44:6b) (Deuteronomy 6:13-14) (Matthew 22:37-38) Worshipers of ‘self’ or other things do the opposite. They are serving or worshiping what they have made, rather than the One who made them. Only God can give life true meaning and power. (John 10:9, 10) Is there anything we can’t live without? Is there any priority greater than God? (I John 5:21) If so, this may be an idol in our lives, or our master. It is normal to desire meaning and happiness. However, looking to drugs or alcohol to give our lives meaning and happiness instead of God, can leave you with a strong sense of guilt, regret and emptiness. In addition, we end up destroying our bodies, which God skillfully and wonderfully made to glorify Him. (I Corinthians 6:19-20) God created us and loves us. He wants the best for us. As our Creator, He paid the price to set us free from our sins. (John 3: 16-18) By contrast, no idol ever created life, and no idol can redeem us from our sins. God can set us free and give us the power to make a fresh new start in life. So follow and worship God! Whether you are a user, or perhaps you want to help someone who is abusing drugs, this web site provides valuable information which will help you answer the following questions: – What are the most commonly abused drugs? – What is drug addiction or drug abuse? – How do I know if I am addicted to alcohol or drugs? – How can I know if someone is taking drugs? What are some common symptoms of drug abuse? – Why do young people turn to drugs? – How can a true friend or family member offer help and counsel to someone who is taking drugs? – What are the spiritual issues for the drug abuser to consider? Let us help turn lives around. Make a difference by being a friend!