When we read Romans 7:21-24, Paul tells us that he wants to do what is right but there is a power within him making him a slave to sin. The result is that he is miserable when he gives in. That entire chapter gives us a perfect view of what addiction to any destructive or sinful behavior will do to us. But what about when you don't think your actions are wrong or the result of an addiction? Is your reply "But I’m NOT Miserable! Other’s say I have a problem but I don’t see it that way."
Today we are talking about much more than simple chemical addiction. Here is a list of some of the most common addictions people face: Drugs, Alcohol, Pornography, Gambling, Eating, Shopping, TV, Social Media, Hobbies… Some addictions can be made worse by physical problems, the way our brain is wired, or how our personality has been formed through life experiences. The one thing that remains the same is that while the power of God can conquer anything, we have to be willing to let God work in us and we have to be willing to follow what He says we should do.
Below we are adding a list of resources to help you address any of the specific areas we discussed on Sunday. If you have questions or needs that aren't covered by these resources, please reach out to us and let us know how we can help connect you to the information or help you're seeking.
The Twelve Steps of Life Recovery (from the Life Recovery Journey)
1. We admitted we were powerless over our problems and that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. We made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God.
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
* The Twelve Steps used in the "Life Recovery Journey" have been adapted with permission from The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
RESOURCES FOR INDIVIDUAL ADDICTIONS / MORE INFORMATION
When researching addiction or any medical/behavioral condition, understand you will find conflicting information - even on the same website. In regards to the comments I made about certain behavioral addictions (such as pornography) changing the way our brain functions, you can find whatever research you want to support your opinion. Some researchers will say IT IS and addiction, others say IT ISN'T. When it comes to changing brain patterns, one website on psychology says that positive activities like yoga "change the firing patterns and chemical composition of your brain" in a positive way but the same website has another article saying when it comes to negative activities like excessive pornography use, "it's not addictive" and doesn't change brain patterns. Always research carefully and talk to people in the medical field you trust to help sort through the confusion. When you keep finding conflicting information, try to read actual studies, not just conclusions. Feel free to contact staff to agree, disagree, or ask for clarification with anything we say, post or share. Typically the links I will list are those I believe give accurate information but sometimes I will post an opposing view to let you hear both sides.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH 24-hour help line
SAMHSA National Help Line
DRUG & ALCOHOL ADDICTION
24 Questions to determine if you have an addiction problem
Simple test to help determine: alcohol problem, drug addiction, etc...
Signs of drug addiction WebMD
Mayo Clinic information on drug addiction
Mayo Clinic information on alcohol use disorder
Extensive website dealing with alcoholism
Understanding Drug Use and Addiction
Article about JAMA Study citing alcoholism on the rise
Medical studies on pornography addiction
Is porn addiction a real thing?
Pornography addiction statistics
Pornography and virtual infidelity
Website for men dealing with porn addiction
XXXchurch site helping men & women
Covenant Eyes accountability software
Net Nanny filtering software
American Family Online software
Focus on the Family tech support for parents
List of parent control software
Overview on Gambling Addiction
Mayo Clinic info on compulsive gambling
National Council on Problem Gambling
Mayo Clinic info on eating disorders
National Institute of Mental Health on eating disorders
Eating disorder statistics
Shopping Addiction 101
Shopping Addiction overview
Online Social Networking and Mental Health study
Social Media Addiction
6 Questions to evaluate social media use
Social media article with links to multiple studies