Addiction is many things, and it takes many forms. Some of them are subtle; others are obvious. Some people are addicted to well-known chemicals: marijuana, heroin, cocaine, as well as those chemically manufactured: “speed,” methamphetamine, and oxycodone. Some people are even addicted to their own body chemicals.
But, perhaps, the most destructive is alcoholism. It is widespread across age, race, gender and economic status. It is culturally encouraged. Watch any televised professional sporting event and count the number of commercials for alcohol. It destroys relationships, especially families. Each alcoholic has a spreading circle of fifty people affected by the disease.
Some of the signs of addiction are easily recognizable; physical impairment and slurred speech. Some are personal, making promises to children and failing to keep them. Children learn to expect disappointment. Another sign is economic impoverishment. Dad cashes his pay check in a bar, spends the money on drinks for himself and his friends. (Alcoholics are always popular, at least for a while.) His family experiences hunger and perhaps homelessness.
There is hope. Thankfully, there are resources available:
NA – Narcotics Anonymous
AA – Alcoholics Anonymous, and
COA – Children of Alcoholics.
We pray: Lord, help me to recognize what I have become.
Contributed by Jim Farley
Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams