Addiction is not a disease!
In this series of five articles, I’m going to make five bold and biblical statements about addiction. Each of these statements contradicts human wisdom and philosophes and my purpose is to offer hope to those struggling with addiction, it doesn’t have to be this way.
I also want to offer comfort to families and friends who feel powerless to help their addicted loved ones. In this article, I’m going to offer that hope and help by encouraging you to think biblically about not just addiction but in all things.
A recent study on overdose deaths said that in 2020 revealed that there were a record 93,000 people who died. That’s 20,000 more than the previously recorded high of 72,000 overdose deaths. Addiction is a massive and devastating problem. My family knows it first-hand having received the call in January 2021 about my son-in-law’s addiction-related death.
People who struggle with addiction will tell you that they feel powerless like something has control of their body and brain. In trying to describe addiction several decades ago people involved with Alcoholics Anonymous said “it’s like a disease.” That seemed to accurately capture what people felt as they battled addiction, so that statement caught on- it’s like a disease. However, it didn’t take long before people in the field of addiction and recovery began to theorize that maybe addiction wasn’t just like a disease. Maybe it is a disease.
Although there’s no scientific evidence whatsoever to support addiction being a disease unless you define disease in such an all-encompassing way that the word becomes meaningless. Cancer is a disease; diabetes is a disease; addiction is a choice. This idea of disease has become a commonly accepted understanding of addiction but it’s not accurate.
Now, you might be wondering why I’m taking the time to make this point- I’m glad you asked. Because what you believe impacts how you respond. Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” The Apostle Paul battled the same things we’re wrestling with in this age, the contemporary ideas of people are believed while the Bible is rejected as an irrelevant relic.
Throughout the centuries people have always looked for ways, methods, and philosophies that would allow them to live without God.
While I appreciate that A.A. has helped some people, there’s nothing biblical about it.
I would suggest that’s why it’s so popular. It’s a way of dealing with the problems of life in which you get to plug in any higher power of your choosing to be your God. Listen to me-Jesus Christ isn’t a higher power! If you read your Bible, you’ll see that it doesn’t allow for that. Jesus is the one true God or he’s irrelevant!
Accepting the humanistic idea that addiction is a disease is not only wrong it’s dangerous.
It’s dangerous because in pretending it’s a disease you remove responsibility for your actions, the hope of overcoming addiction, and you contradict the clear teaching of scripture concerning drunkenness and the problem of the heart. Here’s the good news- there is hope. You can overcome addiction! It doesn’t have to define you.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, I’d like to invite you to our Overcoming Addictions in Christ ministry that meets on Thursdays at 7:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall at Community Baptist Church 956 S. Old Dixie Hwy. Bunnell, FL. You don’t need to sign up in advance and you can start at any time.