If addiction is a disease, Jesus is still the great Physician.
I think I live in the minority. I have a hard time viewing addiction as a disease. I am not so opposed to some of the reasoning this label exist today when it comes to addiction. I can certainly understand the physical and mental effects that addiction can have on an individual. Very often pursuing “cold-turkey” methods of quitting can be dangerous and life threatening without the help of a medical professional for detox.
There are also cases where children are born addicted to drugs because of poor choices made by parents and these children didn’t choose to be addicted and this could be a scenario where this label also fits.
But that's where the definition ends for me.
I am no stranger to health issues in my family. I have, over the course of my life, watched many loved ones battle different medical problems. Many of which there is no real cure for, just medicine to maintain quality of life, while the medical community still searches for an answer. I have watched a few of these diseases strike within my family by no choice of their own.
Herein lies my personal dilemma. As a Former Addict, I can’t draw the parallel. When I began to use drugs, I didn’t do so in ignorance. I grew up hearing stories about my mother’s first husband as an alcoholic. She re-married to a man(dad) that wasn’t an alcoholic and I am the result of that 2nd marriage. I highly respect the fact that my mother wasn’t afraid to speak about the effects of addiction in her first marriage. It gave my siblings and I an education.
Yet when I became a teenager and wanted to party and have a good time, I was fully aware of the consequences in choosing to engage in drug use.
Drugs simply do what all sin does, it lures you in. It makes you feel better for a moment and then holds you longer than you want to stay.
Yet my family members didn’t choose their diseases. While the results of addiction can feel tough to beat like a disease, I think we run the risk of going to a place where people aren’t held accountable for poor choices by labeling this issue exclusively a disease.
Addiction is Sin!
Cancer is not sin.
Addiction is Sin!
Diabetes is not sin.
I could go on but I think the picture is clear. We have a sin issue and a society that is increasingly becoming anti-god and afraid to talk about the spiritual nature of problems because they might offend the masses. We label poor choices as diseases and people are less likely held accountable for their decisions.
Yet we have a society that is increasingly addicted. We have, in our desperation, turned to the medical community to fix a problem that the church community has long held that answer for.
Maybe my solution is too simple for some and folks will turn and say it’s just not that easy. I live in a place of faith & experience knowing that if an addict will authentically and willfully repent of their sins and turn to Christ, God can and will forgive their sin. (Acts 3:19)
I think at the end of the day, I am okay living in this minority of folks. I tried to follow the crowd before and I wasn’t very successful. At the end of the day it’s the Narrow Road(Matt 7:14) that leads to Christ.
I fought for my life as an addict and did everything to land myself there.
My grandma fought for her life, not as an addict but as a cancer patient.
Yet she did nothing to cause herself to end up there.
While many diseases these days still have no cure, I find much comfort in the fact that the life-controlling problem of addiction has a cure.
His name is Jesus!
Without Christ, whether addicted to drugs or not we all face the same outcome. An eternity separated from God. This is the big picture. As followers of Christ, this should and must remain our chief concern.