Cassie[1] was told that her son has a brain disease that caused him to stay in his addictive lifestyle. At first it made her feel some relief that she was not the cause of her son’s behavior. After all, she could not control what he did no matter what she said or did. She has tried everything!

With these new answers that she received from her support group, she is wondering how she should interact with her son in a way that is positive.

Cassie is lying awake at night wondering:

What should I do when my addicted son shows up at my house again?

Cassie is not alone. Countless loved ones are tossing and turning in their beds each night with restless thoughts, such as…

  • He’s going to die if he keeps living this way in his opioid addiction! Everything is being laced with Fentanyl now!
  • Should I stop giving my addicted daughter money?
  • What about my addicted son’s girlfriend? Should I let her stay here, too? I can’t let them sleep in the car! What kind of person would not have compassion on them?
  • Maybe I shouldn’t have bailed my addicted daughter out of jail…did I do the right thing?
  • My spouse is addicted: What do I do now?

The book Divine Intervention: Hope and Help for Families of Addicts is a helpful place to start because it covers:

  • What to do with a willing repentant addicted loved one
  • What to do with an unwilling unrepentant one
  • And what God wants YOU – the concerned family member – to learn.

Here are some quick points of practical help from that book:

blue cover Divine Intervention Hope and Help for Families of Addicts, Hope street sign, One Way street sign in city background

Available at Focus Publishing, Bemidji, MN

Keep Watch on Your Emotions

“Practice refraining from getting emotionally charged up in anger or hurt when the addict states a lie to you. Speak the truth in love with your emotions under control and you will see greater effectiveness long-term. Remember that your goal must be to please God in all you think, say, and do. A goal of helping your addicted loved one is a good goal, but it is secondary to the goal of obeying and pleasing the Lord.” (Mark E. Shaw, Divine Intervention: Hope and Help for Families of Addicts. Bemidji, MN: Focus Publishing, 2007, 2011, p.55.)

Study, Meditate Upon, and Memorize the Word of God

“Spend time studying the Bible to find topics of interest that matter to your situation. When you study the Bible with purpose, it is much more rewarding and beneficial to you. To help your addicted loved one, you need to have your weapon of the “sword of the Spirit” ready to go at all times. That weapon is God’s Word saturating your mind and its thinking.” (Shaw, Divine Intervention, p.56).

Replace Lies With the Truth in Love

“Addicts lie so much that many of the lies are half-truth deceptions. If the half-truth is not confronted, corrected, and replaced with the whole truth, the addict will continue to believe the lie… it reveals the addict’s heart… You do not confront it with your own beliefs, but you confront it with God’s Word… then you replace the lie with the biblical truth which is often the exact opposite idea of the lie. It is a simple concept but a difficult one to implement.” (Shaw, Divine Intervention, p.57)

Decisions, Not Diseases or Demons

“The addict believes that he or she cannot stop wanting the pleasure and becomes enslaved to the sin. The fact remains, however, that the initial choice was the addict’s act of the will. They are responsible for the first decision. It was not a mistake. It probably was a choice to please self rather than please God. While it may have been a misinformed choice, it was still their willful decision. By misinformed, I mean that the addict was likely not aware of the horrible consequences of that choice and how it would lead to such devastation in their life.” (Shaw, Divine Intervention, p.58)

Calmly Counsel: Avoid Enabling

As a concerned loved one of someone who is struggling with addiction, “you can offer biblical advice and counsel to the addict about the choice he or she is about to make. However, you are not allowed to use emotional guilt, shame, or manipulation to get them to make the “right” decision. The decision belongs to the addict and sometimes they must fail in order to learn valuable lessons. God’s plan may be for the addict to fail and suffer the consequences. You must not attempt to interfere with God’s plan. You are not to pretend to be their god.” (Shaw, Divine Intervention, p. 62)

Don’t Isolate: Find Biblical Support

The fictional character, Cassie, would be wise to not isolate in her relational strife with her addicted loved one. She could gain biblical hope and help from a care group that utilizes a biblical approach rather than a support group that points her to a disease that caused her son’s addiction. More insight into the fallacies of the disease language and the eternal and practical hope of biblical advice from God’s Word will be covered in “Part 2,” to be released later this month.

[1] Cassis is a completely fictional character.

Feautured Image Credit: illustrationPhoto by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

[2] Find Dr. Shaw’s book, Divine Intervention: Hope and Help for Families of Addicts at Focus Publishing, Bemidji, MN, 1-800-91-FOCUS,

photo Mark E. Shaw, headshot

Dr. Mark E. Shaw, Founder and President of The Addiction Connection

Mark E. Shaw, D.Min., CABC, ACBC, IABC, CADAC II, is a biblical counselor, ordained minister, speaker, and author of over 26 books and booklets of hope and help. Dr. Shaw has been involved in counseling since the early 90’s. He served in residential care and medication assisted treatment centers (methadone), but Biblical Counseling became his passion in 2001. Dr. Shaw’s resources (including Fentanyl– the first release in The Transformation series) are found at Focus Publishing for discounted purchase in bulk quantities, or at

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