By Louis Samaritano, Certified Biblical Counselor, DBS, ACBC, IABC, CABC.
What are Psychostimulants?
Psychostimulants include drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine, or Concerta. These drugs are prescribed to treat DSM-5 disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These drugs are also for treating narcolepsy, which is chronic drowsiness.
However, many people take psychostimulants without a prescription to enhance daily living, like speeding up mental abilities, decreasing appetite, or experiencing euphoria. Psychiatrist Dr Peter Breggin says that a stimulant creates “feelings of increased energy, hyper-alertness, and an intensified focus on role activities.”
What the World Says
The DSM 5 will call the abuse of these drugs a substance use disorder or stimulant use disorder. The person who is abusing these drugs could suffer symptoms such as:
- Diminished appetite
- Anxiety, irritability, agitation
- Heart palpitations
- Blurred vision
- Eyesight changes
- Rapid pulse rate
- High blood pressure
- Visual Hallucinations
Stimulants may serve as a gateway drug. These drugs are often prescribed by physicians for diagnosis of ADHD based on the DSM-5 for anyone who is considered hyperactive, impulsive or inattentive.
What God Says
Man is called to glorify God in all he thinks, speaks and does.
1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us,
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”
In Matthew 22:37 Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is
“You shall love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”
We are called to worship God alone.
When that worship is turned to the worship of anything else and that thing captures our heart, mind, and affections more than the only True and Living God— that is called idolatry. Romans 1:25 speaks of this treacherous exchange, this appalling catastrophe, this despicable fall of the human heart,
“Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed Forever! Amen.”
The Root Issue of Addiction
Mark Shaw in his book, The Heart of Addiction: A Biblical Perspective writes,
“Substance abuse and addiction manifest as a physical problem but the root issues are in the spiritual realms of one’s own heart”
Jesus declares the truth of Shaw’s statement in that all issues are at the core from the heart of man, spiritual issues. In Matthew 15:18-19,
“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander”
What about ADHD?
In regard to ADHD, Dr. Daniel Berger in his book The Truth About ADHD, has done a fine job of unpacking this diagnosis from a biblical lens and biblical worldview.
Berger argues that the “construct of ADHD is not verified fact; rather it is a theory which seeks to explain something [the behavior] that exist… and resolve these behavioral problems through a specific presupposition or worldview” (Berger, 8). He also writes, “the Secular construct of ADHD is an unproven ideology, which attempts to explain and resolve a child’s maladaptive or unwanted tendencies within the framework of evolutionary thinking; it is not objective or factual” (Berger, 8).
Berger also quotes Dr. Pies from in regard to ADHD in his book Psychiatry and the Myth of “Medicalization” who writes that “psychiatrists claim as Dr Pies exemplifies – that they make empirical grounded judgements, but there exists no empirical evidence despite this fact, much of society has bought into this spurious belief system, which views children as biologically defective and mentally abnormal” (Berger, 44).
Dr. Berger does not deny that some children diagnosed with ADHD have some genuine destructive problems, but he notes, “Denying the secular construct of ADHD enables a person to consider a proved and effective alternative approach that has existed for thousands of years and found in the Word of God” (Berger, 198)
2 Peter 1:3 says,
“His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to live and godliness…”
How to Recognize a Psychostimulant Addiction
Addiction will become manifest as people begin to direct their lives around the taking of the drug. For example, when someone begins to take more than the required dose, or when they sin in order to acquire it.
Berger, Daniel R. The Truth About ADHD. Alethia International Publications, 2017.
Shaw, Mark E. The Heart of Addiction. Focus Publishing, 2008.
About The Addiction Connection
The Addiction Connection is a network of ministries who offer hope and healing for those struggling with addiction of any kind. Our network of encouraging resources and biblical programs that stretch across America and the world exist to point people to Jesus Christ for answers. Members of our team are available for direction and wisdom for any of your addiction-related questions and needs.
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