In 2017 19.7 million Americans struggled with substance abuse addiction. 74% of those struggled with alcohol and 38% struggled with illicit drugs. 1 in 8 struggled with both alcohol and illicit drug use at the same time. That same year 8.5 million adults struggled with mental health disorders and substance abuse.
Addiction is not only a serious problem among the adult population, but it effects approximately 4% of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 (approximately 992,000 teenagers). Approximately 443,000 teenagers struggled with alcohol addiction in 2017. Nearly 3% of teenagers during this same time struggled with illicit drug use (741,000 teenagers).
People struggle with addiction at every stage of life. Over 1 Million adults over 65 years old continue to struggle with addiction. Men are nearly twice as likely to struggle with addictions as women.
Causes for addiction include genetic disposition, environmental factors, and mental health disorders.
Major addictions include cocaine (966,000 Americans), heroin (652,000 Americans), prescription drugs (commonly painkillers) (1.7 million Americans), marijuana (4.1 million Americans), and alcohol (14.5 million Americans).
Anything can become an addiction, but the above-mentioned substances often require significant treatment.
What does the Bible say about using addictive substances?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reads, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
The Bible teaches that our bodies belong to the Lord and we are to glorify him in how we treat the bodies we have been given. Part of taking care of the body is avoiding substances that cause us harm or overusing substances that can lead to negative results in our physical and emotional health.
Proverbs 20:1 reads, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
We are cautioned about being consumed by substances that cause us to lose our senses. The Bible teaches that believers should be sober minded. This means we should strive to think clearly and remain in control of our cognitive abilities.
Should drugs be used for medical treatment?
Most medications are a form of drugs, many of which can become addictive if used in abundance. For this reason, rules permeate the medical community about how many doses and in what amounts drugs can be used to treat ailments and relieve pain. When used properly they are for our benefit and good.
Drug use can easily lead to more and more addictive habits. More addictive habits often translate into more dangerous habits.
In many cases, as soon as the high wears off from doing a specific kind of drug, something stronger must replace it. Eventually the drugs become so strong and the dosages become so high, that it can lead to serious injury or even death.
Drug Addiction and Church
Just because someone becomes a Christians, it does not always mean that the person stops doing all sinful things immediately. When a drug addict becomes a believer, he or she may not be able to stop using drugs cold turkey. For these new believers, the church needs to provide support and help through the process of rehabilitation. The church should also show patience and love in aiding a former drug user as he or she strives to be clean and sober.
To learn more about drug addiction and getting help, visit the following link: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/drug_substance_abuse_addiction_signs_effects_treatment.htm
And to see what else the Bible has to say about drug use and addiction read: https://www.drugrehab.com/addiction/bible-verses/
Stats in this article can be found here: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics