Marriage & Addiction
How drugs affect our bodies and your marriage?
Drug abuse continues to escalate and take its casualties all over the world! Drugs change the natural chemistry of the human body! Drugs for some are necessary therapeutic medicinal healing aids to facilitate improving ones health! For millions of people they help to sustain a certain quality of life. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, infections, viruses, broken bones, sprains, pain and arthritis are just a few of the plethora of ailments that are usually controlled by drugs. In these cases they are usually necessary and beneficial!
Doctors treat many illnesses, diseases and conditions with medical drugs every day! Drugs may be swallowed, injected, inhaled or sniffed! There are legitimate as well as illegitimate uses for drugs! One can become addicted in both cases. The use of drugs illegally is far more dangerous. When one has a spouse who engages in drugs it is much harder to establish intimacy! Their need for drugs is more important than their need to be emotionally available!
It is not wise to use drugs that are not personally prescribed for you nor those purchased illegally! Drugs alter the chemistry of the brain and make you feel different. A physician takes into consideration your current health status, your weight and symptoms when prescribing a prescription! The more you use drugs the more your brain chemistry becomes altered!
When a person becomes addicted they are out of control! The drug or behavior of choice now has taken over and the desire to “fix” the way they are feeling takes priority over everything! They will quite often do whatever is necessary just to “feel good!” This is why it is so important to be under the care of a trained physician who knows how to properly prescribe the proper medication to address any physical or mental ailment! Even under the care of a qualified doctor one can still become chemically dependent and addicted to drugs!
Pain is real! The addict is in pain and has lost their ability to cope with reality unless they are under the influence. They have developed an unhealthy habit and desire to experience a level of pleasure and/or the need to escape from reality. Life can be difficult and often people are thrust in to situations and terrible living conditions that are unbearable. Childhood trauma and cumulative issues not dealt with fester and cause emotional pain. People often carry many unresolved issues into their relationships… This can forbid them from being transparent. The marriage then often suffers from neglect and lack of intimacy! The spouse with the addiction is often emotionally unavailable. It is important to seek help!
To some marriage is a game rather than a sacred union. Recently there was a man in the Sacramento area who was arrested for participating in numerous marriage unions! He also arranged as many 39 bogus marriages for others for which he profited for a fee at the expense of others unhappiness! It is important to take time to get to know who you are marrying… This man’s selfish deceptive actions hurt many people. He had no intention of making a virtuous commitment. It is evident that he had an unhealthy addiction to the idea of marriage.
Trust can be shattered like a glass vase! Leaving one traumatized! Trust can erode when one is not attentive to the needs of their spouse creating an abyss. Marriage is about coming together and building a great partnership! It can be tedious regaining trust again but it is possible! It is always important to be honest about your pain and how you are feeling! Disillusioned by a break in trust usually leaves the spouse empty and needy. Which also makes them vulnerable… Building or establishing an ongoing relationship with the Lord will build a stronger foundation that will help to keep you anchored! God is available 24/7! God is true to His Word! “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight!” Proverbs 3.
Sexual addiction is quite threatening to a marriage! It is an intimacy problem. Millions of people in the U S suffer from sexual addictions. The person with a sexual addiction has a hard time connecting to and making a monogamous commitment. They are caught up in a vicious cycle of having their own needs met at any cost. The spouse’s needs are usually ignored and neglected due to the spouses self-indulgence. Addiction that is not addressed will not just go away. Restoration is a choice; it takes a lot of work but it is possible!
Godly counsel and much time spent in fervent prayer are needed along with a necessary redemptive confrontation. The confrontation means I care enough to “speak the Truth in Love!” Confrontation brings the issues to the forefront! It is important that the issues are then addressed immediately! Keep it real! If you or your spouse has an addiction of any kind; Please DO NOT delay seeking help! The longer you wait the harder it is to make the necessary lifestyle and environment changes! A couple that has a strong marriage bond can be a great mentor and encouragement! You have vowed to be there for one another for better or for worse…? Take care of yourself and make it a point to look your best! If you are reading this and you are single. Start dealing with your issues now before you commit to marry! It is important to know that a good strong marriage is built on TRUST! If necessary recommit to your vows and start anew! Now let’s get busy moving forward building better, stronger, satisfying, trusting enduring marriages! Be encouraged A great marriage (without) is truly still possible!
Causes of Addiction
When you feel good your brain releases a neurotransmitter that reaches a receptor and tells you to feel good… The limbic system is the center where our feelings originate. It is activated by our brains. Drugs that affect the brain are called psycho active because they are mood altering. This is why one refers to being under the influence as being “high!” However after prolonged use the brain chemistry becomes altered and adjusts, it gradually takes more in order to achieve a “high!” The more one uses, the more they begin to crave, the more they use! Guess what? This is the road to Addiction! So now we have a vicious self-destructive cycle!
Addiction affects not only the mind but the body and spirit as well! Addiction takes on many forms. When addiction involves, overeating, caffeine, nicotine, gambling, promiscuity, shopping, workaholic, cultish, religion, exercise and hobbies society has a tendency to accept them a tad more. An addiction can also be of a sexual nature. There are serious consequences when one becomes addicted! The addiction itself is a symptom of an underlying unresolved issue. Which is really “A plea for help!”
Emotional pain that is suppressed and has not been properly addressed is often the root cause. One who has low self-esteem lacking coping skill will sometimes turn to drugs. Someone who has been abused or molested will turn to drugs. Domestic violence can cause someone to turn to drugs. Someone who has been abandoned will turn to drugs. Someone who is grieving a loss or grieving may turn to drugs. One who may have been injured in a fall or accident and is prescribed pain medication can also become addicted! They often use the injury to rationalize the addiction. There is a plethora of reasons for addiction…
Finding better ways to cope is crucial. One must come out of denial and take ownership of their behavior. When an addiction becomes full-blown it affects everyone involved. For instance cigarette smoke impacts others as they breathe in the secondary smoke. It also results in low birth weight in babies whose mother’s continue to smoke. It has now become clear that cigarette smoking causes cancer therefore smoking has been banned in many public buildings, restaurants and places… After many years of smoking cigarettes it can result in health complications as well as cancer that can eventually cause death. What is so very interesting the number of people who continue to smoke anyway knowing that smoking is not good for their health! This is also due to the fact that smoking has been socially accepted to a large degree making it easier for the addiction to persist!
Drugs usually make us feel good! This in itself makes it hard for the addict to simply just say “NO”! Feelings dictate their behavior and due to their lack of self-discipline they usually succumb! The addictive drug user seeks the euphoria that the drugs or smoking provides over all else at the expense of their health and wellbeing. Momentarily they are able to escape and numb their inner pain.
Addiction affects, mind, body and soul. The reasons why people become addicted are complex, vast and each individual is different. Addiction is being out of control and accompanied with compulsive behaviors. Next we will discuss; some of the ways drugs affect you body!
Marriage & Addiction
Steps To Drug Addiction
Addiction is not a behavior or goal that a person usually sets out to acquire intentionally. Addiction happens when there is an unhealthy dependency formed upon a substance, activity or habit which is gradually developed over a period of time. This time varies for each individual. Addiction is considered a disease by many in the medical profession. Some have a predisposition to being addicted that makes them more susceptible! One then usually seeks to cope with their inner pain depending upon an eternal source, eventually resulting in a dependency on it for an unhealthy comfort. Unknowingly they often compulsively indulge themselves without restraint and become seduced! More and more they gradually enter a world of escape!
Step 1 Experimentation
The first step into addiction is when someone experiments and there becomes a gradual progression. For some it becomes a beloved affair and they readily fall into dependence upon a particular substance or activity! Alcohol and pot are usually where they start? It has been said that cocaine is quite deceptive and after one try many become “hooked!” One will never quite experience that first climactic high! However they will incessantly try again and again to achieve the euphoric exhilarating high! Some have even declared that they have “fallen in love” with rock cocaine only after the very first use!
Addiction can happen faster for a teen because they have not yet developed strong restraints. Their brain and nervous system is still developing. Therefore they can fall into alcoholism, pot smoking, drugs or pornography easier than an adult!
If you don’t experiment; Guess what? You won’t get hooked! Often when someone tries drugs and don’t like them they will not continue. They don’t like how they feel when under the influence.
Food is a hard addiction to overcome because it is vitally necessary to sustain one’s
life. Therefore they must learn how to get their addiction under control and live with it daily! Be encouraged! It is possible to master any addiction!
Step 2 Occasional usage
This is when drugs or alcohol are used in social settings! They allow themselves to be influenced by their peers and opt to go along with the group. There are some users who stay here and do not go on to daily use. There are some who only use alcohol and drugs on the weekend and don’t consider themselves to have an addiction.
Addiction is so widespread in this 21st century that just about everyone has been impacted to some degree. It crosses all socioeconomic boundaries and is in all colors, races and cultures! This is true both inside and outside of God’s Church! Addiction within marriage can go undetected. It really is important to be transparent with your spouse in order to build a safe intimate marriage. It is also important to educate yourself about addiction. It is important to pray for your spouse relative, friend, coworker or love one!
A treatment program can be very expensive. Later on we will discuss outpatient, in patient, and residential programs. Know that having a personal relationship with the Lord makes or can make all the difference in the world! He can work through Christian and non Christians to help you through the recovery process… Keep in mind doctors and therapist treat and practice; God heals!
Next we will discuss advanced steps in addiction
When a person has an addiction it can be totally devastating. It not only affects the addict but anyone they come in contact with. It causes fear and insecurity to dominate the lives of their family and often friends as well. It often paralyzes them in a cesspool of co-dependency, inhibiting them from taking a lawful stand.
Intervention when properly initiated can be a catalyst for repentance in the addict. You see we don’t really like to confront problems. We tend to take the ostrich approach, burying our heads in the sand. Guess what? The problem won’t just go away. We often think of love as not making someone feel bad. (Except when it comes to punishing children) But we must be careful not to unconsciously support any wrong behavior. An addict is a devotee to whatever substance they are controlled by. They surrender their will and allow themselves to be habitually, obsessively controlled by the proclivity of their desire. Their addictive need is compulsive and they will do whatever is necessary to fulfill that need.
Buried underneath the layers is really a diamond in the rough! How ironic? God can take their faithfulness to what ever their desire is (alcohol, drugs, food, sex, dirt, etc.) and turn it too good. The process is really miraculous to watch. But it will never happen as long as we keep our head in the sand. God will not force His way. Remember their allegiance is just inappropriately designated. Do you know why it’s easy to abet them in there slow but sure death? They can appear so loving and talk about the life of the party! Who needs a party? They are a party all by themselves. They can be so compliant and giving. But right around the corner lives Mr. or Mrs. Tyrant. . They can embrace the reigns of violent and destructive behavior like sugar to an ant. Talk about a roller coaster! Except this ride is not very amusing. Living on the edge is their theme.
The deepest emptiness and a gulf of shame awaits the departure of each subsequent binge. But don’t be in total despair. There is hope. You see God really does make the difference. Just know you can’t change them. But you can and should abandon providing them a security blanket in any form. Begin to shift your focus to God. He’s the ultimate COMFORTER. He will direct your paths as you truly learn to trust HIM. Begin to develop your role as their faithful prayer intercessor. The chronic abuser allows freedom to his love ones. Freedom to know you can’t depend on them. This freedom can cause you to take on their responsibilities. Oftentimes this can cause one to reach for situations and people they can dominate just as the addict controls their life. To the other extreme, it can also cause them to look to someone who will stroke their insecurities. What a cycle! One can become enmeshed in a sea of burdens. But I’m glad there is a burden bearer. The scripture says: “take my yoke upon you and learn of me for my yoke is easy and my burdens are light”. Easier said than done huh! But it is really possible. Begin to transfer this burden to the Lord. Embrace the scriptures daily to spiritually equip you for warfare. Ephesians is a book that let’s the child of God know that you have been sealed and deliverance is at hand. The mighty weapons of God are not carnal.
You cannot change anything that has happened. Don’t overindulge yourself in a guilt trip. But don’t jump in the quicksand of denial. The noose of addiction can be broken. Jesus did not die in vain. He can resurrect any life. He can peel away the layers of sin by the cleansing power of His BLOOD. It takes only a little light to dispel the darkness. We all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. That’s’ why we need a SAVIOR. TO SAVE US FROM THE POWER OF SIN. Reach out to the Lord. He can and will be there for you TWENTY/ FOUR / SEVEN.