The Lasting Power of Addictions

One of the most common clinical presentations in my office is addiction in a person’s life. This can take many forms ranging from the patient being personally addicted to substances such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, meth or a score of other chemicals or to behaviors such as gambling and sex, all the way to the individual who has grown up with an addicted parent, sibling or another important person and whose life has been significantly impacted.

It is extraordinarily common, folks.

I respect addictions. I highly respect them. I take them seriously, and I do whatever I can to know them well, for to know them is to respect them and their power to destroy.

I sometimes wonder if addictions are not one of Satan’s most powerful tools. They (he) can take a good man/woman and leave him in shambles, with a disordered life. The effects are permanent and even in recovery the greatest threat to continued sane, sober life is the belief that one has conquered the addiction.  An addict can only hope for health and sanity by remembering where he has been, and having a deep respect for the power of the addiction, and an irresolute trust in God’s ability to free him.

God is the best defense against Satan and his genius.

I am thinking of this because we all have known someone, either personally or via the national news, who had been someone of greatness only to fall mightily into ruin because they have not respected the lasting power of their addiction.

I want to end these thoughts with an explicit statement of what I hope is implied, i.e., we all must have compassion for the addict, not condemnation or judgment. Their world when actively addicted is a place where they can survive only by construction of a complex set of delusions (unreal evaluations of what is true); without these, the pain is too intense, the emptiness too complete.

That is why they are in continual need of our prayers and our understanding, and our willingness to assist when the time is right.

Venerable Matt Talbot, pray for all those suffering from addictions.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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