We do not realize how big of a world problem addictions and drugs have become and how fast it increases. In the World Drug Report by United Nations in 2012 it is stated that “About 230 million people, or 5 percent of the world’s adult population, are estimated to have used an illicit drug at least once in 2010. Problem drug users number about 27 million, which is 0.6 per cent of the world adult population. Throughout the world, illicit drug use appears to be generally stable, though it continues to be rising in several developing countries. Heroin, cocaine and other drugs kill around 0.2 million people each year, shattering families and bringing misery to thousands of other people.” This enormous amount of people who’s lives are shattered by drugs is pretty scary but just imagine how many more millions of people that we do not know of use drugs. It might be your neighbor, your class mate, your work colleague or someone you could never think would do that but it is real. It is a real and increasing problem that more and more people struggle with.
These millions of people are trapped in the chain of addiction and most of them want to stop, they want to change but only a few can really change, sadly most of those who try fail repetitively before either succeeding or giving up. “Addiction is not a disease. It is a learned behavior that can be changed” someone said, but why is it so hard to break the chains?
Most of the times we try to solve all the problems in our own ways, we try all the possible earthly solutions and we try to understand things that are incomprehensible, but in this case especially I believe that God should be our first resort! A life and addiction transformation is much more easier and way more possible if it also comes as a spiritual transformation which is a process of personal change regarding values, motivation and character. A long term change, of any kind has better chance of lasting if one has God, if they find their hope and anchor their faith in Him.
I grew up in ministry and my parents worked in a hopeless environment. They have worked with children and drug addicts my whole life and I have personally seen many lives changed by God in miraculous ways but sadly I have also seen people who returned to their bad habits but that only happened when their faith was built on the sand. When people try to change by their own power, their own strength there is a big possibility that they will fail. This is human nature, we fail, we mess up, we might sometimes let ourselves be influenced or fall into our bad habits again, but this what is amazing about God! His love is everlasting and His grace covers us so that every time we fall we can run back to Him and find our support in Him!
I am not stating that nobody can change if they do not have God. People have changed along the years by perseverance and strong will, but what I am talking about is not just escaping an addiction but being restored completely, finding hope and not letting the scars of your past damage your future.What I am talking about is the rebirth of the individuals mental, emotional, physical and spiritual capacities. As an example I can give the International non-profit organization Teen Challenge. Their mission statement is: “We provide youth, adults and families an effective and comprehensive Christian faith-based solution to life-controlling drug and alcohol problems in order to become productive members of society. By applying biblical principles, Teen Challenge endeavors to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive.”
After finishing this biblical based program, people who thought there is no hope for them, people who have tried various ways of ending the addiction or even people who have tried to end their lives, are now living with a different perspective on life, have great jobs and successful marriages and are truly changed by the Lord. Over 60% of the program graduates continued their education, over 70% indicated their current status as self supporting, over 55% have been at their present job for more than a year, over 87% did not require additional drug treatment, over 65% are involved in community activities and over 90% reported good to excellent health.
The truth is that we, as Christians posses a key that can unlock all of our problems and bondages and that can wipe our past clean as snow as it is written in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” It is not through our power alone. This “secret weapon” is available for everyone no matter the context and no matter the past!