Many of God’s children carry the cross of addiction. There are many types of addiction including alcohol, drugs, gamblings, pornography, eating and smoking addictions. Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences.
People who suffer from addiction have a disease — they are not weak in character and they do not want to be addicted. They have a deep longing to be well. The guilt and shame that comes with their addiction only feed their addiction, driving them further and further away from any hope of recovery. Addiction is in fact, a family disease. Many families suffer quietly in pain from the destruction that addiction has caused.
The biggest barriers to seeking help for addiction can be denial on the part of the individual and a perceived stigma in seeking help. Increased education and understanding and undoubtedly prayer from everyone in the Church can help break these barriers.
Educating yourself about addiction is a form of self-assessment and a way to find methods of healing and care. We’ve listed some online resources below, but Fr Greg is also available to offer hope and help to anyone suffering from addiction. There are 12 step program meetings in the area for anyone wanting to participate as they seek recovery. If you, someone in your family or a friend is struggling because of someone they know with addictions, Al-anon meetings are a good alternative.