Maybe you are struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction. Maybe you have a sexual addiction of some kind. Maybe you have a spending, eating or gambling addiction. Here are some suggested steps to help you understand the causes of addiction and begin the road to recovery.

Obviously, there are no easy answers for any addiction. I would say that underneath addictions and lust is a deep thirst.  A seemingly unquenchable thirst for something to satisfy, something to take away pain, something to bring excitement.  In any addiction there is emotional pain that needs numbing, a psychological and physiological need for a high, and a deep spiritual thirst for answers to life and relationship with God. You are looking for answers to your deepest needs in all the wrong places.

In the Bible, Jeremiah 2:13 God says, “My people have committed two sins: they have turned from Me the living water and dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”  Who quenches the deep thirst for something satisfying in life?  Only God.  People try to fill that thirst with everything but God and they dig trenches, bigger, longer and wider, trying the same things that don’t work, don’t quench their thirst. Jesus said in John 6:35 “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”(NIV) and in John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”(NIV)
So you have fallen into a trap and now your body is physically addicted as well as psychologically. You need supernatural help to escape. You need to begin with God, believe you can change, get counseling and support.

Here are some steps to help set you free from these temptations and addictions:

Finding Freedom in Christ: Start by learning who Jesus is and what He can do to set you free from this sin/addiction by reading the Gospel of John in the New Testament. I would be happy to send you one if you do not have it. Freedom from any bad habit or addiction comes when you begin a relationship with Christ. Scriptures say:
Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”Luke 4:18-19
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Gal 5:1
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:34-37 NIV
When a person trusts Christ as their Lord and Savior, he or she can be set free because Jesus is God and has promised in John 8:36 “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” and in John 10:10 “I have come to give you life and give it more abundantly.”
Jesus sets people free and answers the pain in their lives….where am I going when I die and what am I living for on this earth?  He also gives power to overcome the temptations and the addiction when a person surrenders his or her life to Him. People need spiritual change from the inside out.
Jesus wants a personal relationship with you. It is through Him and His power that you will ultimately find true freedom from and victory over this addiction.

Finding Freedom through Accountability and Responsibility: What is the first step towards overcoming addiction? Identifying and admitting you have a problem with addiction and/or substance abuse. It’s time to stop denying and hiding from the truth. Secrecy keeps you from dealing with the problem. Pretending only continues the lies – preventing you from achieving healthy goals in your life; trust and honesty in your relationships. It’s really scary to take the first step of admitting that you are an alcoholic or a drug abuser. But, until you do – you can’t get right with God and you can’t get your life right.

Essentially, you will have to change. And you can change by taking responsibility, becoming honest and overcoming your addictive behavior. You can’t build a healthy life and healthy relationships on lies or drugs.
Life is all about faith, integrity, love, connection, respect, honesty, responsibility, forgiveness, generosity, living for Christ.

Finding Freedom through Counseling and Support
You can truly benefit from counseling and 12-step support groups. Through counseling and support groups you can to discover what is underlying this issue for you, how to prevent it and overcome it. Counseling and support will help you become accountable and take responsibility for your problem. You’ll be able to explore the needs you are trying to fill. You’ll be able to work on issues of low self-esteemdepression, trauma or loss in that you have been trying to escape. You’ll be able to learn how to resist this temptation and start living a healthier, happier life.

AACC can help you locate a good Christian counselor or online counseling is available through CounselCare Connection at: 1-630-368-1880.
Support groups, hotlines/resources are available at:
Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcohol & Drug helpline: 1-800-821-Help
Narcotics Anonymous
Gambling Addiction Resources
Gamblers Anonymous
The National Council on Problem Gambling – NATIONWIDE HELPLINE 1-800-522-4700
National Assoc. for Christian Recovery
Christian Recovery Resources ,
Overcomers Outreach, Inc: 1-800-310-3001; 1-714-491-3000
Pure Intimacy: addressing online temptation.
Faithful and True Recovery Group
Teens: Christian Answers for Teens
Youth Crisis:   His Mansion:  1-603-464-5555
Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-Hit-Home

Finding Freedom through Prayer and Fellowship: Prayer is the key. Praying to Christ for the power to change and power to resist the temptation. Jesus said in Matt 6:9-13“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
Real Freedom comes when we surrender our lives and hearts to God and admit that we cannot overcome this sin in our lives without His help and intervention.
Jesus said in Mark 14:38 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
Paul writes in Phillipians 4:13, “I do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” NIV
Find a solid, Bible church to get encouragement and fellowship because scriptures command us to fellowship with other believers and to pray for one another:
Heb 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. NIV

Finding Freedom and Insight through Reading Inspirational articles and books:
Keep Believing Sermons and FAQs
Overcoming a Bad Habit
by John MacArthur
Books and Resources can be found in our web site such as:
An Anchor for the Soul: Help for the Present, Hope for the Future by Ray Pritchard
NIV Study Bible
The Search for Significance
(workbook included) by Robert McGee
The Freedom from Depression Workbook by Les Carter, Frank Minirth

Once you realize that you have a drug or alcohol problem – you are starting down the road to recovery. Admit you have the problem – to yourself, others and to God. Then, turn your life over to Jesus Christ Who can give you the power to change. No one is hopeless. God is able to help anyone who wants His help. You can find freedom from addiction and a new life through Jesus Christ – Who came to forgive and save you from your sin, reconcile you to God and change your life forever.