by Oliver Underwood
Why is addiction increasingly prevalent?
Soak This In!
While reading these stats1 you will see points marked in bold font. Do not think numbers! Instead, think fathers, mothers, grandparents, and children.
- Percent of adults aged 18 and over who currently smoke cigarettes: 15.8% (51 Million)
- Percent of adults aged 18 and over who had at least one heavy drinking day (five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women) in the past year: 25.0% (3 Million)
- Number of alcoholic liver disease deaths: 19,388
- Number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides: 30,722
- Percent of persons aged 12 years and over with any illicit drug use in the past month: 10.1% (2015) (4 Million)
- Percent of persons aged 12 years and over with any nonmedical use of a psychotherapeutic drug in the past month: 2.4% (2015) (7 million)
- In 2015 the National Institutes of Health spent $30 billion for Mental Health and Addictions research.
I guess that it would be fair to say that America’s researchers had an extensive pool of addiction subjects from which to draw. It is becoming unmistakably clear to our nation that something else needs to happen in order to assist in our nationwide/worldwide epidemic of addiction.
What is needed?
Is it further research? Is it more counter addiction pharmaceuticals (oxymoron)? Is it increasing taxes to glean from the community in order to assist these so-called diseased individuals by opening more secular treatment centers?
The Word of God has the answer that we are all looking for. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 speaks of what will happen in the last days. Paul tells us that difficult times will come not because of our surroundings or a widespread disease; but because men will become lovers of everything but God.
The root word that Paul uses throughout the text is “philos.” He attaches this word to many objects that are related to selfish motives. This word means to be actively fond of or a companion of someone or something. Here Paul writes that men will be actively fond and companions of themselves, actively fond and companions of wealth and gain, and finally actively fond and a companion of pleasure. Paul not only states that mankind will not just gravitate towards these things, but that they will do so with the approach of opposition toward God. Paul uses the word “mallon” of “philos” toward God. This word illustrates a picture of leaving something at the wayside and pressing toward something that is more personally desired.
This is our one and only problem. It’s as simple as that. No need for medication. No need for scientific methodology. No need for further investigation resulting in further depravity.
In Matthew 6:24 Jesus tells us the complete sufficient truth that No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. (NASB) The Lord gives us a clear answer in 1 John 1:9 (NIV): If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Click on the link below to download a pdf that shows the progression of addiction in the United States. I include it in hopes of educating the public with the approach America’s most prestigious scientists and doctors have taken. It is important to say that I do not agree with the treatments included in the link.
Progression of Addiction in the US
“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.” -M. Monroe
“Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it.” -Benjamin Franklin
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” -2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV
For resources on a biblical approach to addiction, go to: The Addiction Connection.
NOTE: This article first appeared on Through the Lens of Scripture, January 18, 2018.
Oliver Underwood, and his precious wife Lisa, are ministering on the front lines of the BIBLICAL battle against all types of addictions. Lisa and Oliver are blessed to parent three children: Christian, an eight year old boy; Evan, a sic year old boy; and Kiley, a three year old little girl (going on 19!).
Oliver struggled for (xxx years/months) with meth, heroin, and alcohol addition, which was really on the the tip of the iceberg of what was really going on in his heart.
By God’s grace, Oliver’s life was transformed, and now God is allowing him to comfort others with the same comfort Oliver was given. Now, Oliver and his family are richly blessed to be a part of a ministry. Oliver serves as the Executive Director of “The Mission House,” a biblically-based men’s program helping men enslaved by sin (addictions). The work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the men at the “The Mission House” helps them learn God’s instructions for living and strengthen them to choose a life of freedom in Christ.
For more information about “The Mission House” go to: https://themissionhouse.info/