How can I overcome an addiction?

Three Steps to Freedom

Addiction is a very common struggle in America today. We’re addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, food, and smoking. You name it. And many people who want to overcome their addiction think that simply having enough willpower is enough for them to stop their addiction. 

But this is faulty thinking. Why? Because it just doesn’t work. In fact, sometimes the more you “will” yourself out of an addiction, the deeper and deeper into the addiction you go. So how do you overcome an addition? 

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, the good news is that God has a very clear solution. Although it isn’t easy, it is very effective. Here are three steps to help you overcome an addiction:

1. Admit you can’t beat it. We’ve all heard of those 12-step programs and recovery groups that have taught us to think, “I can do this!” But this doesn’t work. First, you need to get honest with God and then admit your problem to some of the people in your life that matter the most. 

2. Admit dependency. Confess to God that you need His help. Admit that you’re powerless. This also means you go to Him to get help. You get into God’s Word. You talk to Him from the heart.  

3. Get in a healthy community. Addictions are never broken alone; you will not be able to do it by yourself. You also won’t be able to do it by yourself with God and His Word. That’s why you need God’s people. You need a system and a structure in which you can face your addiction head on daily – with people. For example, you need someone you can call on the phone when you feel that urge to drink, or eat or log on to the Internet and you know that you don’t want to go there but you feel powerless. This is why a community (even a small group) of people is so important in your recovery process.

So are you ready to be free from your addiction? Then here’s the game-changer: Tell someone about your addiction. In fact, you need to come out of denial and actually call it an addiction instead of rationalizing inside your own head by thinking thoughts like, “I drink a little too much now and then,” or “I know I shouldn’t still be taking this medication,” or “you know, it’s only a few times a month that I log on to that Internet site,” or “I eat because I like it.” The first step to overcoming your addictions is to come out of denial and get honest. 

The power of secret will ruin your life. It can be a scary thing to finally tell someone, so begin by taking a baby step. Tell someone – even if it’s just one person – you can trust. If not a friend or family member, talk to a therapist or a pastor. It’s the beginning of freedom.