Helping the addicted

This has become a passion and a lifetime's work for me. For some people it can literally be a lifetime's struggle. I know of some people, sadly, who have died fighting. An experience and a relationship with Jesus Christ can turn someone's life around. If they allow it and are willing to submit. We must never forget however: the enemy prowls around like a lion looking for a way back in and some will become complacent and 'leave the door open'. The Bible, in Ephesians 4:27 warns us: “ not give the devil a foothold.” Good advice!

The difficulty can be in supporting someone with an addiction, understanding this and not allowing yourself to be overly affected by the wrong choices people sometimes make.

We all still have a choice to make: 'to pick up that drink again' for instance. Nothing is more important in life than the choices we make!

What we consume, the choices we make, can determine our performance. So, we need to be careful what we feed our minds. It can be so easy especially on the internet for example, to click on the wrong thing and 'as if by magic' there we are! Is pleasure wrong then we ask? Only if it is sinful! If it leads us away from God or back to our addictions, and only we really know if that is happening.

This could be a struggle for all of us, maybe not just the person you are supporting but YOU!!. If we are going to help anyone, we must make sure we are being open and honest with the things we struggle with. The Bible, in Matthew 7:4, warns us about trying to help someone else when we clearly need help ourselves!

How much of your drug will it take to satisfy you? The answer: just a little bit more! The sad thing is as hopefully you are aware by now: you are trying to fill a hole with the wrong thing. That hole can only be filled by God! We keep trying to fill our hole with relationship, money, cars, shopping, etc etc....but none of it makes any difference! But maybe you or the person you are helping is aware or at least becoming aware now!

What I have learnt in around 20 years walking with those with addictions, is that it must be about relationships, whether with the homeless on the streets or those in accommodation. We must meet the people where they are at and then walk with them, just as Jesus did!

Also, as I know from my own personal battles with my comforts and addictions, some days it will be a daily struggle. One day we are up and the next day down.

We must also learn that 'lapse or relapse' is a part of the process and mistakes must be learned from and the experiences built upon. After all what is the point of making a mistake if you do not learn from it!

Giving up or laying the 'drug' down, should never be about our own willpower. 'White knuckling it!' Freedom, like righteousness, is never something we can achieve by human effort. Instead, we receive power through our act of surrender as we lay down our addictions. Laying down our idols before God. Surrender in this case does not mean defeat, rather, the path to victory! Looking for help is not a sign of weakness, but strength. Our addictions give us temporary comfort and relief from stress and anxiety. Give up short-term gratification for long-term fulfilment! Think before you look at that page or pick up the drug or click on that link: where could this lead to? Choices are very important! Not just because we realise that the 'pleasure effect' wears off very quickly then we need more, but because this could be the path back to addiction! Jesus wants to meet those needs.

In the words of a resident from a place I have previously worked at:

"12 Years of addiction now leads to a lifetime of freedom"

I hope and pray that will be your testimony/the testimony of the person you are supporting.

So how can we stay resilient? To help you, or help you support someone you know or love, here are a few tips:

1/ Stay connected to others. Don't fight on your own. Get accountability. Remember two are better than one!

2/ Monitor self-talk. Avoid talking/thinking negatively about yourself. What does God's word say about you?

3/ Look for the lighter moments. Don't be too hard on yourself. (See Proverbs 17:22!) Have fun. Get exercise. Try to enjoy life as much as you can.

4/ Give back. Help someone cross the road: if they need help! Do some voluntary work. Call a friend to ask how they are.

5/ Look after yourself. Think about your diet. Your sleeping. Exercise. Time at the computer, on the phone etc. Be good to yourself.

A few words of Wisdom:

May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live from deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.


Besides the ministry of The Way, I have worked in different towns in the UK at a variety of different ministries. In November 2008 we moved to Kosova for around five years working with children and offering drug education to schools, joining OM (Operation Mobilisation).

We returned to the UK and joined the OM team in the Midlands and today are based in Birmingham and involved in community work, prison ministry and a number of other roles. I am also part of ISAAC Midlands (

See about the founder for more details.

Please do contact us if you want to discuss any of the above.