Anatomy of addiction

On Friday, a friend asked me if I had seen Dr. Drew’s new television show earlier in the week.  I hadn’t; I hardly watch television nowadays.  However, I looked up what she had referred to and was brought to tears while viewing this clip:
I listened to and loved these folks’ music as a youth.  Still do.  What went so terribly wrong? 
I sometimes say that I have an addictive spirit.  If I’m into something, I’m all in; no halfway measures.  I will eat the whole bag/pot/container of stuff on occasion.  I will turn into a gym rat for months.  I will play computer games or read until sun-up.  But I eventually “get over it.”
But this is a whole ‘nother beast.
The entire story of the Debarges’ formative years is yet to be told, but what has been revealed is a hurricane of abuse, molestation, addiction, and incarceration that has affected all 10 siblings to varying degrees and has already taken the life of one of them.  We’re talking a lifetime of stuff, and they haven’t “gotten over it.”  And yes, they grew up in church and have a mother who loves and serves God.  And had a father who was anything but one to them.
I’m aware that every choice eventually leads you down a specific path and the simplistic answer is to just say “no” to drugs, drink, food, gambling, porn, shopping, gossiping … whatever your poison.  For some folks, it’s that easy.
For others, it’s a far more complex matter, especially if they’re already in too deep or if emotional and mental issues are part of the addiction.  I’ve seen it happen among my own relatives and those of dear friends.  I’m still seeing it happen to some of them.
James, one of my favorite New Testament writers, plots the path from temptation to destruction very vividly:
“A man’s temptation is due to the pull of his own inward desires, which can be enormously attractive. His own desire takes hold of him, and that produces sin. And sin in the long run means death—make no mistake about that, brothers of mine!” James 1:14-15 (J. B. Phillips New Testament).
My genuine prayer for all who battle serious addictions is that they would find power in the name of Jesus and be delivered.   I commit to be what Brian McLaren describes in his book Naked Spirituality as a “stretcher-bearer”:  one who brings to Jesus in prayer those who hurt, lack, despair, and cannot walk, let alone run, to Him on their own.  
Speaking of the four friends who broke through a roof to bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus for healing, McLaren says:
“They let the weight of his condition become their burden to bear.  . . .   When we practice compassionate intercession, we become the stretcher-bearers for others in need.  Whether or not they have faith and hope, we put our faith and hope to work on their behalf.”
Many addicts have been able to successfully move out of “the lifestyle” and live whole, healthy lives.  They came to the point at which they wanted to be snatched from the fire of addiction, and God met them right where they were and brought them out of it.  A very large percentage of them credit a relationship with God as the overriding factor that gave them victory.
The spirit of the age we live in is personified by various types of addiction.  We have to fight that spirit with the “good addictions” that God lays before us.  God does not ordain addiction as anyone’s destiny; to the contrary, a full and productive life is His desire for us.
I heard Joyce Meyer say once that “we don’t catch wellness; we only catch sickness.”  It stuck with me.  We do have a responsibility to pursue the “wellness” that is readily available.  It starts, as always, with the mind:  the desire for , and focus on, the things that build us up spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Do you acknowledge your addictions?  How do you fight them?  Are you winning that struggle?


  1. I am a social worker and I did my internship in a drug and alcohol treatment center. There has been lots of recent research that addicts have a gene others do not have… so it could be genetic.

    Interesting, huh?

    Great post! Very well written!

  2. @AndreaLeighThanks, Andrea, and yes, there definitely is a genetic component to addiction. It sure is interesting… and very sad.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  3. This strikes home today as someone in my life circle has been overcome once again by their addiction despite wanting to change. He knows though that Jesus Christ is faithful to complete the work in Him. I plan to be a stretcher bearer for him and I love that picture!

  4. @Tricia Me too! It is the perfect image. You should check out that book too (Naked Spirituality). I am re-reading it; that's how good it was!

  5. A lot to think about. My own "addiction" is my lifelong battle with food and my weight. Not as serious or deadly as some addictions, but a strain nonetheless.

    Stopping by from the SITS Girls forum. 🙂

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  8. I'm with Shannon. I deal with the food problem every day. It's a constant cycle of "abuse" against my own body. But Yes Jesus can change things. We just have to go to him with a sincere heart and then spend the necessary time in His Word to transform our minds. It's the soul (mind, will, emotions), that is not saved. It takes transforming your soul with the Word of God to be able to truly change. Funny I'm saying this but have yet to do so in my own life to completion. Oh but I've begun.

    For the Debarges, they look absolutely awful. it's definitely a family curse (spiritual) and I pray that God sends laborers across their path to plant seeds that will bring deliverance.

    El is looking good though. I saw him in a movie not too long ago.

  9. @Michelle @Radiant Brown BeautyYes, it's a struggle, but we are working from victory. We have the tools in Him that we need in order to take authority over these things that the enemy would use against us.

    My prayers are with all the Debarges, including El. He is still not out of the woods.

  10. @Shannon BreenHey Shannon! Thanks for dropping by. I have a good friend who is going through the same struggle. She is going to FA and has lost a tremendous amount of weight. It has been life changing for her because she was made to look at the underlying triggers of her food addiction.

    Do come on back and visit more! It's always great to have a SITS sister give support.



  11. Really? I thought he had gotten clean. it's so sad.

    ok lemme go. time to go home and spend time with the fam 🙂

  12. This is a great article! It is a struggle and I hope the DeBarges beat this! I'm praying for them!

  13. @MarcellaPrayer changes things, Marcella! I'm believing for miracles in their lives, and in all our lives as we face our various struggles.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  14. I think we all have a certain level of addiction to something but it's unfortunate that some just have it bad than the rest of us.

  15. @Maricris Zen MamaI agree, Maricris. Some folk have it worse than others, and as Andrea pointed out, there is also the genetic aspect. But we all have something that brings out that addictive spirit in us.

    Glad to see you here! Thanks for commenting.

  16. Ali, it is so sad when addiction takes over everything. I always wonder how so much talent and giftedness can get lost in addiction. It just goes to show that the ground is completely level at the cross. Thank you for sharing this as a reminder. Love you girl…Blanche

  17. Love you too, Blanche! You are so right, it does take over everything. But it all can be redeemed at the cross.

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