What I am about to share may upset some people, shock some people, and may set some people free!
We are going to be seeing addiction in a completely different light very soon.
There are many people who have not considered themselves or their family members as addicts because they have been taking prescription drugs for a long time under the care of their doctor. But, as time goes on and the use of these drugs continues, it is going to become unavoidable to see things for what they are.
These drugs destroy lives. They destroy families. They destroy identities and careers and dreams.
I am mainly talking about all of the opiate and synthetic opioid drugs. But, I am also talking about anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications and even those drugs which are prescribed as stimulants – that are given to kids diagnosed with ADD & ADHD – because I know so many people who were prescribed opioids and as part of their pain treatment were also prescribed all of these other drugs, as well.
I am also talking about calling out the drug companies and the doctors who prescribe these drugs. I am talking about the law-makers and the overseers who did not do their jobs and allowed this epidemic to fester and cause so much harm to so many! I am also talking about we the people who have trusted our doctors and our government to the point that we have allowed millions to become enslaved and destroyed while we have turned judgmental and blind eyes to the damage.
When I say that very soon we are going to see just how far this problem goes, you can mark my words. Families have been hurting in silence. Shame has kept many from speaking out. Shame has kept mothers and fathers from exposing the needs of their children. Shame has kept many who knew they needed help from asking for it. Lots of people have kept on going in their addiction for shame of being found out and seeming weak or abnormal or outright bad. Denial has become a powerful tool to many people who don’t want to face the pain of the truth. Shame and denial have become powerful tools for death and destruction because they keep people from getting help!
I say no more!!! Tell your stories! Tell the truth!
Let me start. I have family members who were injured in some way at a young age. In their 20’s and early 30’s they were each pronounced with a need for pain management. They were told that they would experience long-term pain for injuries sustained and for genetic issues, as well – such as spinal deterioration… So, they were prescribed Lortab and/or Percocet in the beginning. As time went on their prescriptions grew to include Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, Adderall, Prozac, Vicodin, Suboxone, and much more… (forgive sp?) Now, 15 or so years later, here we are and they have lost everything! Their homes, cars, jobs, children, marriages…. everything!
Why? Because you cannot take these drugs long-term like that and not need higher and higher doses to sustain the same effect. Also, they affect the way you think and carry out your life. They change the chemistry of your brain. They enslave you before you know it and when someone decides to cut off your supply – you do anything to keep getting it. That is the truth. There may be a few who have just walked away from these drugs without help – but I dare say it would be very few. I have been in the hospital on the psychiatric floor and met patients in there to detox from these drugs because they need the professional help to do it. These patients are male and female, they are white and black and all races, they are professionals and blue-collar workers, they are stay at home moms and doctors! These drugs do not care what degree you have, how long you have gone to church, where you work, what color you are, or if you are rich. They destroy. Period.
With my own struggles with depression and bipolar disorder, I took many prescription drugs at one point in my life. Thankfully, I never got prescribed opioids more than 7 days at a time. Because I love how they make me feel. I can see how easily it would be to take these drugs and use them to do more and be more active. They did give me a euphoric feeling that made me more talkative and energetic and I felt like I could clean the whole house in an hour or talk to anyone on the planet about anything. And I could tell when I stopped taking them that I was missing them not only for the physical withdrawal symptoms that quickly set in, but also for how good they made me feel.
This specific class of drugs has not been my addiction and I am thankful for it. But I have had addictions and do know what that is like. I also have family members that I dearly love that this has happened to and I miss them. I love them and pray for the day that they recover and heal and are set free. I pray for the day they have their families back and they see total restoration in every area of their lives.
That is why I am going to shout the truth in love as loudly as I can. Let he who has an ear, hear….
I came across this article in my newsfeed on Facebook and I am going to share a link to it for you. It is by Ashley Welch on CBS News online: “Drug overdoses killed more Americans last year than the Vietnam War.” Can you wrap your head around the fact that so many have already DIED from OVERDOSES in one year? Can you understand that is just the tip of the iceberg if we do not share the truth in love with others? Because I promise you there are thousands more people out there who have not admitted they are addicted or are in denial of the fact. There are many more who are headed to homelessness, joblessness, loss of family, jail, institutions, and death! All because they have believed the lies of our doctors and pharmaceutical companies and are too ashamed to come out and say they need help.
This is not meant to be exhaustive of what I know and have to say about this issue at all. Stay tuned for more and feel free to share, comment, and add!!!
Addiction to drugs or alcohol are not the only addictions to sin that steal, kill and destroy aspects of our lives.
How often have brothers and sisters indulged in the wine of self-righteousness and said things that hurt or destroy others? How often have we been so critical and judgmental/condemning, that we have assassinated another brother or sister’s character or reputation? How often have we said that we would never do this or that without one bit of compassion or understanding of what another brother or sister is going through or has been through in their life?
How often have we partaken of the tasty morsels of gossip, sopped them up in the gravy of embellishments with our own uninformed opinions being added to the details and then shared them with others – all to the detriment of our fellow man? How often have we been consumed with hurt and allowed bitterness to harden our hearts and remain unforgiving of others? How many times have we chosen to remain angry and all in the name of protecting ourselves from future harm?
How many times have we hoarded up wealth for ourselves just in case we may need it one day to be able to indulge in that bucket list desire that we have? Or how many treasures have we laid up for ourselves here so that we can enjoy life to what we think is the fullest while we see others going without food, shelter, and safety? How often do we praise our own children and walk in pride of what they can do while we see other children living in poverty or neighborhoods filled with violence? How often do we turn a blind eye and a stone-cold heart to those who are different from us and who seem to be failing at life?
How many of us wallow in self-pity and complain about how badly we have it when there are so many others with much worse circumstances? How many of us refuse to throw off our pasts and look to the future with the hope that the gospel gives to us? How many of us bury our gifts and talents because we don’t want to fail or appear stupid and so we just keep them hidden?
There are enough ways to fall short. We all fall short every single day in one way or another. The question really is whether or not any of us is dumb enough to believe the lie that we are better than any other person – and if we are, then we need our own wake up call.
If we can agree that we all need a Savior, then let’s stop playing the blame game and the comparison game and get our eyes on our Savior, Jesus. Let’s love and forgive and encourage and exhort one another. Let’s join together as one in a body of believers that knows our need of a Savior and gratefully praises Him every single day for another chance to know Him and to serve Him in love.
Let’s love one another as He first loved us and let’s lay our lives down for one another. Let’s let go of the past – all of our pasts – and let’s run to the future that He has for us. Let’s build this kingdom together – a kingdom of God where we know who He is and who we are in Him. Let’s start finding out more about that today than what our brothers and sisters are doing wrong.
Let’s start devouring His Word instead of the latest gossip or what the news has to say. Let’s start overcoming evil with good instead of wallowing in self-pity or self-righteousness. Let’s start giving to one another instead of looking down on one another. Let’s start building each other up instead of tearing one another down. The truth sets us free, it doesn’t subject us to ruling over one another.
Let’s walk in love that sees the best and hopes for the best and does the best for one another. Let’s live as Christ, filled with His Spirit, instead of fear. Let’s let go of trying to control or manipulate our own lives, our own blessings, or the lives of others. There is nothing to fear. He is with us and with God, these things are not impossible.
I didn’t want to wake up this morning. I actually had an alarm set and I kept hitting the snooze button. There is a “dismiss” button for the real alarm and i was not willing to totally dismiss the alarm. But I was willing to risk oversleeping by hitting the snooze button in my “stupor” and not realizing how late it was getting.
At some point, I realized just how many times I had hit snooze and began to really wake up. That is when I felt like the Lord showed me something.
A lot of us have been that way with Him. We have not been willing to totally dismiss a relationship with Jesus. We have been willing at times or up until now, to just know Him enough to snooze through some of the spiritual battle that we are in. We want to snooze through going deeper in our faith walk with Him. There are days, like today, that I didn’t want to wake up and seek His face just yet. I was thinking, “Just a few more minutes of sleep, Lord.” But I also know that if I miss prayer and spending time in the Word and listening for His voice before I start my day with my family, that I usually end up frustrated in some way or grouchier or never get back to that sweet time with the Lord and I miss out on special time with my Father in Christ and by His Spirit. Yes, I can still pray and be in His presence, but there is something about not hitting snooze on our relationship and taking the time to go deeper with Him.
The example goes for daily quiet time and for our entire relationship with our Father through Jesus, our Lord. I think I would have snoozed on through for all of my life and missed out on the real deal salvation if I had not become desperate for solutions and an end to my afflictions and troubles. I am glad for the trials that brought me out of snooze mode! How about you?
13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Ephesians 5:13-17)