Drug addiction is often a problem of identity
by Ned Wicker
Here’s something to think about. Drug addiction can be thought of as a problem of identity. The drug takes over to the point where nothing else matters, and as the process unfolds, the person becomes lost, sometimes to the point where they are hardly recognizable.
The addict’s identity becomes the drug.
The Bible states that man is made in the image of God and man was created with a free will to make his own decisions. When addiction sets in, who is making the decisions? When the addict admits that his life is out of control (Step One) he is beginning to realize that his identity is lost. He may not put it in exactly those terms, but the truth is the drug is in charge.
“I’m not religious, but I am spiritual.”
We hear people say, “I am not religious, but I am spiritual.” We can accept that statement because we are spiritual beings. Religion carries a variety of connotations, and many of them are negative. Our definition of religion is as follows: Religion is about what I can do to be acceptable to God.
We prefer to avoid the use of the word religion and instead use the word “ “relationship.” “ To us, relationship centers on what God did to make us acceptable.
Without getting into too much detail, suffice it to say that the “power greater than ourselves,” as stated in Step Two, is a loving creator God, who is interested in having a relationship with us, sees our suffering and stretches His hand out to us to help.
This isn’t religion but your recovery may be based on knowing that God loves you and wants to help you recover. Just as medical books are the basis for educating doctors, the Bible is our “owner’s manual” for gaining insight into the human condition.
Only a spiritual experience will conquer your addiction
The Alcoholics Anonymous book states on page 44, that:
“You may be suffering from and illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.”
This leads us down a slightly different path. If my treatment requires a medical intervention, such as the prescribed use of Methadone, then what is this spiritual experience and what does it got to do with me?
We have already talked about the sense of self and our relationships with others, to some kind of higher power as we define it, and or relationship to the world.
Here’s an experiment. Remove all of the distractions like the radio, TV and try to remove any external noises and stimuli. Stand in front of the mirror, relax and look at yourself. Look deep into your eyes. Let your mind wander. Open yourself up to your higher power. What do you see? What are you feeling? Be honest.
The Alcoholics Anonymous book shares a conclusion on page 570 that might be helpful to you in your self-examination before the mirror. “We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.”
“God will meet you where you are at”
From a Christian perspective, we are told time and again in the New Testament that God will meet us where we are and that we are already loved and accepted. You are probably already familiar with the popular verse John 3:16, mainly because you always see somebody holding up a sign at a football game or some other sporting event. The verse is actually a quote from Jesus of Nazareth, who said:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not parish but have eternal life.”
But many people have never taken a look at the continuation of the quote, which is vitally important to those in recovery, as it separates religion from relationship. John 3:17 states:
“For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
The help that you need, the power you require and the relationship that can guide you through recovery is not going to judge you. You have a true friend, who has not changed and will not change. You have a friend who knew you long before you were born and made the personal decision to lay down his life for you for no other reason than he loved you. That sounds like hope to me. What does it sound like to you?