One of the most difficult steps in the recovery journey is admitting the existence and scope of the problem. Substance addiction painfully impacts both addicts and their families, and for healing to begin, it’s essential to recognize the effects substance abuse has on your life.
Because of the overwhelming physical, emotional, and spiritual nature of addiction, rehabilitation can seem impossibly daunting. Taking the first step involves a great deal of courage and honesty.
Finding strength in Christ through faith can powerfully help you during your journey of recovery. He is the source of the healing you need.
Signs and symptoms of chemical dependency include:
- Regular use of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Increasing need for substances to achieve the desired effect.
- Withdrawal symptoms upon decreased use.
- Lies related to the dependency.
- Conversational focus on drugs or alcohol.
- Withdrawing or isolating from family and friends.
- Feeling that nothing is enjoyable without substances.
- Risk-taking while using substances.
- Work performance being negatively impacted.
- Unable to change behavior despite its negative impacts on all aspects of life.
- Depression related to the use of substances.
It’s important to get help for chemical dependency as quickly as possible. Addiction has devastating effects on everyone it touches. Christian counseling for chemical dependency can facilitate the healing journey not just for individuals but for couples and families as well.
The Dangers of Chemical Dependency
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. – Romans 7:18-19
It’s likely that you’ve tried to stop your addiction on your own. Maybe you’ve poured alcohol down the sink, determined never to drink again. None of us set out to become alcoholics or drug addicts, but once someone is entangled in the addiction, the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects that make it so entrenched also make it nearly impossible to defeat without professional help.
The Effects of Chemical Dependency on Health
Substance abuse is damaging for many reasons, not the least of which are the serious and far-reaching consequences it can have on your mind, body, and soul.
Some of the many physical effects of addiction include:
- Changes in brain structure and function, causing changes in mood and behavior.
- Heart damage, causing high blood pressure, stroke, and irregular heartbeat.
- Liver, kidney, and lung damage.
- Increased risk of some types of cancers.
- Increased risk of infection, skin conditions, and weight loss.
- Coma, seizures, and death.
Some of the many emotional and spiritual effects of addiction include:
- Anxiety and depression.
- Paranoia and psychosis.
- Anger issues.
- Isolation from loved ones and God.
- Struggles with issues of faith and morality.
- Confusing substance-induced thought and emotions with spiritual experience.
The Effects of Chemical Dependency on Relationships
Oftentimes, substance abusers seek camaraderie with other people who are addicted to the same thing(s). Their relationships with loved ones inevitably suffer, and at some point, the behavior is exposed and a realization of the extent of the problem begins to sink in.
A relationship in crisis often becomes the deciding factor for someone to seek Christian chemical dependency counseling. They may have been threatened with divorce or separation, or they have been confronted with the damage their addiction has done in some other way. For many, this is a strong inducement to get help. Substance abuse can destroy marriages, families, and careers.
Some of the serious problems chemical dependency can cause in families include:
- Irrational anger
- Mood swings
- Physical violence
- Verbal abuse
- Financial hardship
- Traumatized children
Sometimes, the spouse of an addict becomes codependent, trying to rescue them or enabling their destructive behavior. Codependent or not, the spouse will be severely impacted by the addiction. Marriages where addiction is present often end in divorce.
Effects chemical dependency can have on your partner include:
- Feelings of abandonment
- Intimacy issues
- Stress due to increased responsibilities and financial strain
Chemical dependency recovery is a multifaceted process that must address all of the areas of life and relationships that have been affected. Christian family counseling or Christian marriage counseling can help you walk through healing in your relationships after addiction. Full recovery necessitates both individual and family healing.
Christian Counseling Can Help You Overcome Addiction
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. – John 8:31-32
In Christian chemical dependency counseling, you will benefit from a faith-based approach to the recovery process. As we seek the Lord by faith, we can receive his healing and grace. At [Christian Counseling], we use a holistic approach, working both from our biblical worldview and from our experience and training related to addiction. In this way, you’ll have a support system and resources to help you succeed in recovering.
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