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Heroin is not only Illegal but Highly Addictive and Dangerous

Heroin is a highly addictive narcotic derived from morphine. Heroin’s medicinal use and sale are prohibited in the United States and other countries.

Heroin, like all illegal drugs, is obtained from criminals who import it from other criminals who obtain it from the following sources:

  • An estimated 90 percent of the world’s opium production occurs in Afghanistan;
  • Although Mexico and Colombia opium production accounts for less than four percent of the world’s total production, they supply most of the heroin to the United States;
  • Mexican growers and refiners supply an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. heroin market, primarily to dealers west of the Mississippi River;
  • Colombia supplies heroin to dealers in most of the remainder of the states east of the Mississippi.

Heroin is included in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Like other opium alkaloids, it can produce analgesia (the inability to feel pain), respiratory depression, gastrointestinal spasm, and physical dependence. It produces its major effects on the central nervous system and bowels and alters the endocrine and autonomic nervous systems. Heroin is more powerful than morphine and acts more rapidly.

Once heroin gets into the bloodstream it is carried to the brain and crosses the blood-brain barrier (a barrier that selectively determines what chemicals are allowed to reach the brain). Once across the blood-brain barrier, heroin, which becomes morphine in the liver, activates the endorphin receptors to release more endorphins. The increased endorphins, the body’s natural pain medicine, creates a feeling of comfort and well-being and for many—a sense of euphoria.

Repeated use of heroin produces tolerance to most of the acute opioid effects; physical dependence develops concurrently with tolerance. Withdrawal from heroin after relatively few exposures commonly produces acute abstinence syndrome. Withdrawal signs are usually observed shortly before the next planned dose and commonly include anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and craving for another dose. Other withdrawal signs that may appear 8 to 15 hours after the last dose include crying, perspiration, yawning, and restless sleep. On awakening from such sleep the severely addicted heroin user may experience withdrawal signs, such as vomiting, pain in the bones, diarrhea, convulsions, and cardiovascular collapse. Withdrawal signs usually peak at between 36 and 48 hours and gradually subside during the following 10 days.

When it is refined, commercial heroin is usually a white powder with a bitter taste. Pure heroin is rarely sold on the streets. Most heroin that is sold on the street is a powder varying in color from white to dark brown. The differences in color primarily relate to the presence of additives that “cut” or dilute the purity of the heroin. Some heroin, particularly heroin from Mexico, actually looks more like tar and is called “black tar” heroin.

The most common methods of heroin use are:

  • Intravenous injection which gets the drug directly into the bloodstream, causing the effects to be felt in under a minute.
  • Intramuscular injections (a syringe which injects the heroin in a muscle) which delays the reaction to between five to eight minutes.
  • Snorting or smoking which delays the reaction to between 10 to 20 minutes.

In the 1960’s to the early 80’s the heroin sold on the streets was less than 10% pure. By the end of the 1990”s, the purity of heroin had dramatically increased to over 60% pure. Among other names, heroin is called “H,” “horse,” “smack,” “skag,” and “junk.”

According to the Washington Post, U.S. statistics for the year 2015 reveal that for the first time since at least the late 1990s, there were more deaths due to heroin than to traditional opioid painkillers, like hydrocodone and oxycodone.

The article goes on to say that more people died from heroin-related causes than from gun homicides in 2015. As recently as 2007, gun homicides outnumbered heroin deaths by more than 5 to 1.

Much of the current opioid predicament stems from the explosion of prescription painkiller use in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Widespread painkiller use led to many Americans developing dependencies on the drugs. When various authorities at the state and federal levels began issuing tighter restrictions on painkillers in the late 2000s, much of that demand shifted over to the illicit market, feeding the heroin boom of the past several years.

As reported in Forbes, in 2010, the prescription opiate, oxycodone, was the primary drug implicated in overdose deaths in the U.S. But now, based on data from a new report from the Center for Disease Control, heroin is the leading cause of overdose deaths.

The new study employed a new method to search for specific drugs implicated the overdose deaths, including words such as “drug” and “overdose” as search terms.

The results are striking: Overdose deaths from heroin jumped from 3,000 in 2010 to 10,000 in 2014. Meanwhile, deaths from oxycodone remained steady at 5,000, unchanged from 2010.

Breitbart News reported that the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers show that there were nearly13,000 deaths related to heroin overdose in 2015. Heroin deaths surpassed firearm-related homicides for the first time ever in 2015.

There is an alarming new trend among heroin users.

They’re mixing the drug with the synthetic opiate fentanyl — an anesthetic which the most potent narcotic in clinical use today. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Fentanyl is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin and 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

Street names for fentanyl or for fentanyl-laced heroin include Apache, China White, Dance Fever, Murder 8, TNT, and Tango and Cash.

“The big thing with heroin users now is finding heroin laced with fentanyl,” explains Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Spokesperson Matthew Barden to the Business Insider. “Fentanyl to the touch in its pure form will kill you by touching it.”

Barden recalls an addict who used heroin laced with fentanyl explaining his decision:

The junkie said, “Hey, ya know what? We all know that it could very well kill us, but that is exactly what we are looking for. To get as close to the line as we can possibly get,” Barden said.

With other street names such as Drop Dead, Flatline, and Lethal Injection, fentanyl-laced heroin and cocaine are marketed by drug dealers as the “ultimate high.”

Tragically when heroin is mixed or cut with fentanyl by drug dealers, “the ultimate high” is the high potential for the lethal combo to elicit immediate respiratory failure in users.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; John 10:10a

I am a retired Health and Physical Educator who had worked for New York City’s Board of Education for over thirty two years. The last twenty five of those years were in a violent inner city school in a drug infested neighborhood.

What I noted was that Nancy Regan’s “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign was a failure.

Teaching the harmful effects of substance abuse often made the students more curious. Knowing that something is dangerous is often lost on teenagers who think they are indestructible.

It has been decades now that the public has been made aware of the harmful and often fatal dangers of smoking cigarettes. Has that information resulted in a smoke-free America? Although tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, still 15% of the adult population still smokes.

People who are hurting often seek to self medicate with alcohol, drugs, pornography or other addictive behaviors. Others get hooked on their medications. Many people use pharmaceutical drugs in spite of a litany of harmful side effects. Others turn to street drugs because of past abuse, rejection or hopelessness in spite of knowing the danger.

Knowing that something is harmful doesn’t empower a person to refrain from using and abusing harmful substances.

“Just Pray NO!” is a ministry that understands that people need to be changed from the inside out. We understand the life changing power of the written word of God (the Bible), prayer offered up to our divine Creator, the comfort and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the authority in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Jesus proclaimed in Luke 4:18-19: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

The Son of God was empowered by the Spirit of Yehovah to heal the brokenhearted and proclaim liberty to the captives and the oppressed. The word translated from the Greek word, aichmalótos (aheekh-mal-o-tos’) as captives, literally means “taken by the spear” and understood to mean “prison of war.” The word translated as “oppressed” in English comes from the Greek word, thrauó ((throw’-o) and means “I crush, break, shatter.”

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; John 10:10b

The “bad news” is that Satan is in a spiritual war against humanity. The Adversary has used heroin and other powerful drugs to shatter lives and imprison souls.

It is so very vital that we understand that there is an unseen spiritual battle that has been taking place throughout the course of human history since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

Our fight is not against human beings, but against the devil and his hierarchy of evil spirits. Satan is the god of this dark world who has blinded the minds of the unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is the prince of the power of the air who now works in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2). We cannot fight this battle in our own strength but must be strong in the Lord and his mighty power.

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10b

The “good news” is that Messiah Jesus came not only to heal, deliver and set free sinful mankind, but give us an abundant life. That abundant life is not only for our time here on earth but for eternity!

If you are abusing heroin or other drugs and want to lead a victorious life and be set free from addiction you need to have a relationship with our Heavenly Father.

 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6

Becoming a Christian is not based on feelings but on the truth of God’s Holy Word. Neither does going to church make you a Christian. Being born-again and forgiven of your sins is based on your placing your trust on Christ’s finished work on the cross. Accepting His substitutionary sacrifice on your behalf is what restores you back to right relationship with God. If you are truly saved, you will have the power of the Holy Spirit within you to change and yes, you will start to feel and act differently. You will know a peace that passes understanding and the joy of the LORD.

Romans 10:9-10

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 

 If you have never placed your trust in Jesus, pray this following prayer or a similar prayer today:

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, then you have just made a decision by faith to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins. You have been born again. Let us know because we want to rejoice with you.

Following Christ’s Example: Forgiving Ourselves during Addiction Recovery

Perhaps the greatest example of forgiveness in the Bible was provided by Jesus Christ himself. Jesus’ forgiveness of Judas has given rise to much debate as to why the Messiah kept the traitor ‘in the fold’, even though he knew what lay ahead. Jesus first noticed that Judas had changed when his disciple grew distant, and soon after, he foresaw that Judas would ‘hand him over’ to those who would end his life on earth. Yet He kept Judas by his side as a sign of his love for Man, despite all his flaws. Jesus had already forgiven Judas, who was unable to forgive himself; Judas did away with his life, unable to come to terms with having hurt the Son of God.

Those who are in recovery from an addiction to substances or alcohol can probably relate with the strong feelings of guilt experienced by Judas. When one is under the throes of addiction, one can burn many bridges and hurt those who most love us. Hurt can be caused by lying about the extent of our problem, perhaps taking from others to feed our addiction, or letting people down in important moments in their lives. When we commence our journey towards recovery, one of the hardest obstacles to face lies in stopping ourselves from indulging in self-blame, judgment, and criticism.

Guilt can be useful; it reminds us that we should act responsibly since no man is an island; we are all interconnected and everything we do can either help or hinder those we love. However, when guilt turns into shame, nothing productive can result and we can either distance ourselves from those we should be approaching, indulge in self-destructive behavior (for instance, by relapsing into drug use) or become overwhelmed by our problems and lose the ability to think clearly and problem-solve.

We should look to Christ himself to understand the extent to which he was capable of loving even the most flawed of men and try to give ourselves a little of this love. With a kind and self-compassionate heart, our road towards recovery becomes easier and we have faith that God will help us rebuild vital relationships with friends and family. In a positive frame of mind, we logically feel more motivated to take part in activities that will enhance our quality of life and indeed enable us to live longer in a happier state. These activities can include taking part in physical activity, learning natural ways to control our anxiety and stress, and cooking healthy, seasonal foods to feed the temple that is our body.

As postulated in Corinthians, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.…”

The best way to start forgiving yourself, is by focusing on how you make others’ lives better. Ask yourself what your family members, for instance, need to be happy. Do you have a sibling who would benefit greatly from talking to you about their problems? Does your parents’ lawn need mowing? Are there any chores you can help a friend out with today that will lighten their burden? Focusing on making others happy has two main benefits – firstly, it keeps your mind on the task at hand and gives you an important focus for the day. Secondly, it helps you strengthen ties which may have been broken by your addiction. There is a third, less obvious benefit, however; by helping others, you help yourself build a sense of self-worth. By letting others rely on you, you begin to understand the extent to which you are important to their lives.

Once you have set the ball rolling with respect to family members, head for a quiet, relaxing spot (such as a park or other natural area) and ask yourself what would make you happy. You might decide to start a hobby you have always wanted to do, or take up a sport you always excelled at. Whichever means you choose to be kind to yourself, make sure it is a source of joy and don’t place expectations which are too high on yourself. Jesus embraced the poor, needy and flawed; do you think you can spare a bit of this kind of compassionate love for yourself?

This article was submitted by Helen Rhodes, Freelance Writer

Addiction vs Habit: Recognizing the Dangers — Infographic

The words “habit” and “addiction” are frequently interchanged, but there is one significant difference between the two. Habits can be negative or positive, while addictions are only negative. The trick to identifying, which is which often lies in the amount of time and effort it takes to break one.

Addiction_vs_Habit

Submitted by Megan Ray Nichols, Science Writer

Psychotropic Medications Alter the Brain’s Chemical Levels!

A psychotropic medication is any psychiatric medication capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior by altering chemical levels in the brain.

The phrase, “psychotropic drugs” is a technical term for psychiatric medicines that alter chemical levels in the brain which impact mood and behavior. A psychotropic medication is any medication capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior.

Antipsychotics, antidepressants, ADHD drugs, anti-anxiety medications and mood stabilizers are some of the more commonly used psychotropic drugs in the United States.

A person who is psychotic is out of touch with reality. People with psychosis may hear “voices” or have strange and illogical ideas (for example, thinking that others can hear their thoughts, or are trying to harm them or that they are some famous or important person. They may get excited or angry for no apparent reason, or spend a lot of time by themselves, or in bed, sleeping during the day and staying awake at night. The person may neglect appearance, not bathing or changing clothes, and may be hard to talk to–barely talking or saying things that make no sense. They often are initially unaware that their condition is an illness.

These kinds of behaviors are symptoms of a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia. Antipsychotic medications act against these symptoms. These medications cannot “cure” the illness, but they can control many of the symptoms or make them milder.

Although they cannot cure psychotic illness, there are over 72 documented side effects of antipsychotic medications including anxiety, birth defects, depression, diabetes, heart problems, muscle spasms, seizures, and thoughts of suicide that result in their use.

Antidepressant medication, used under the guidance of a mental health professional, may relieve symptoms of depression. But antidepressants also come with side effects and dangers. Most mental health experts agree that when depression is severe enough to impact your ability to function in life, medication can be helpful—even lifesaving. However, research shows that antidepressants fall short for many people.

A major National Institute of Mental Health study showed that fewer than 50 percent of people become symptom-free on antidepressants, even after trying two different medications. Furthermore, many who do respond to medication soon slip back into depression, despite sticking with drug treatment.

Other studies show that the benefits of depression medication have been exaggerated, with some researchers concluding that—when it comes to mild to moderate depression—antidepressants are only slightly more effective than placebos.

When you first begin antidepressant treatment, depression medication side effects can be physical symptoms like headache, joint pain, muscle aches, nausea, skin rashes, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and temporary.

Many people notice trouble sleeping when they first start taking an antidepressant — trouble falling asleep or that they wake up easily during the night. Other side effects include increased appetite and weight gain, fatigue and drowsiness, blurred vision, constipation and irritability.

It’s normal to feel anxious from time to time, especially if your life is stressful. However, excessive, ongoing anxiety and worry that interfere with day-to-day activities may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder. People with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).

These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time. Symptoms may start during childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood.

Examples of anxiety disorders include social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobias and separation anxiety disorder. A person can have more than one anxiety disorder.

Anxiety medicines do have some severe side effects in some cases. But it’s actually not the side effects that are the reason to try to avoid medications. The main reason is because they can cause physiological and psychological dependence. This is when your body and mind actually start to need to drug to cope with anxiety, so that it becomes even harder to cure the anxiety without medication over time.

But the most common side effects of anxiety medicines such as Xanax and Valium, etc. are as follows: Hypotension (low blood pressure), decreased libido, nausea, lack of coordination, depression, memory loss and difficulty thinking.

Fully 1 in 5 Americans take at least one psychiatric medication.

Fueling the perception that America is an overmedicated society, a new Mayo Clinic study finds that nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and more than half take two.

Researchers found antibiotics, antidepressants, and painkilling opioids are the most commonly prescribed. And one of five patients are on five or more prescription medications, according to the findings, published online in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Modern day psychiatric diagnosis of psychosis, depression, general anxiety or a particular phobia often result in the psychiatrist prescribing one or more psychotropic medications that do not cure the problem but only help alleviate the symptoms. These medications all have deleterious side-effects.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1Timothy 6:10

The global pharmaceuticals market is worth $300 billion a year, a figure expected to rise to $400 billion within three years. The 10 largest drugs companies control over one-third of this market, several with sales of more than $10 billion a year and profit margins of about 30%. Six are based in the United States and four in Europe. It is predicted that North and South America, Europe and Japan will continue to account for a full 85% of the global pharmaceuticals market well into the 21st century. Companies currently spend one-third of all sales revenue on marketing their products – roughly twice what they spend on research and development.

According to the World Health Organization, as a result of this pressure to maintain sales, there is now, “an inherent conflict of interest between the legitimate business goals of manufacturers and the social, medical and economic needs of providers and the public to select and use drugs in the most rational way”. This is particularly true where drugs companies are the main source of information as to which products are most effective. Even in the United Kingdom, where the medical profession receives more independent, publicly-funded information than in many other countries, promotional spending by pharmaceuticals companies is 50 times greater than spending on public information on health.

With an insatiable appetite for more profits, the pharmaceutical industry is constantly barraging the public with promises of instant relief from physical and emotional pain. Instead of promoting healthier lifestyle practices and the use of natural supplements, doctors are over prescribing medications. Prescription drugs are now killing far more people than illegal drugs, and while most major causes of preventable deaths are declining, those from prescription drug use are increasing.

Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. Following is the definition of the Greek word “Pharmakeia” as found in The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon:

  • The use or the administering of drugs
  • Poisoning
  • Sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it
  • Metaphorically speaking as “the deceptions and seductions of idolatry”

Drug abuse is not just a physical addiction or a biological or chemical problem – it is a spiritual stronghold. Pharmakeia is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Psychotropic drug dependency, like witchcraft, becomes a powerful, demonic stronghold.

A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

“You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

 “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. Mark 9:17-26

“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Acts 10:38

Natural science encompasses any of the sciences (as physics, chemistry, or biology) that deal with matter, energy, and their interrelations and transformations or with objectively measurable phenomena. Since God is not measurable, a much larger percentage of scientists in the United Stated are atheists compared to that in the general population.

The majority of psychiatrists and evolutionists teach that man’s inborn instinct to have faith in God is a product of evolution. Materialist neuroscientists and philosophers hold that mind, consciousness, and self are by-products of the brain’s electrical and chemical processes, and that RSMEs [religious/spiritual/mystical experiences] are “nothing but” brain states or delusions created by neural activity. Accordingly these scientists and philosophers believe that there is no spiritual source for RSMEs, that is, they think that the human brain creates these experiences and, in so doing, creates God.

Due to the rejection of God and disbelief in the spirit realm, most psychiatrists seek to treat emotional and mental disorders by prescribing medications and provide secular counseling. The medications only suppress the symptoms and have a plethora of side effects. The secular counseling seeks to promote behavior modification without addressing the inner man (the person’s heart) and possible spiritual issues that a person may be dealing with.

Instead of seeking instant relief through pharmaceutical medications, it might be more beneficial take time and effort to address the core issues that led to mental and emotional illness.

A lifestyle that includes regular exercise, good nutrition, getting a proper amount of sleep, reading the Bible and praying regularly not only enhances physical and mental health but also spiritual wellbeing. Biblical counseling and deliverance can address spiritual oppression.

Some practical tips to combat anxiety, depression and fatigue include:

  • Greatly reduce or completely eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, white rice, etc…). The reason for this is that big fluctuations in blood sugar create stress in our bodies and too much sugar weakens the immune system.
  • Greatly reduce or eliminate caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and enhances anxiety
  • Get enough sunshine by walking outside for 20 minutes 3 or 4 times a week.
  • Use herbal supplements that naturally enhance emotional health
  • Use the medicine of God’s Word to combat the spirit of heaviness

Prescription Drug Alternatives

DEPRESSION:

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  Psalm 42:5

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

INSOMNIA:

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves. Psalm 127:2

My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:21-24

ANXIETY:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

If you are abusing alcohol or other drugs and want to lead a victorious life and be set free from addiction you need to have a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. To find forgiveness and freedom, pray the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words – 

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

 If you sincerely prayed this prayer, then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins. You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:

  • Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
  • Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).
  • Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)
  • Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.
  • Share with someone what God has done for you.

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating AddictionTeachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find HelpHealing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

Addiction Is Costly

Addiction is costly. It may cost you your job, your friends, your family, your health and even your life.

economics-of-addiction-

 

Drug Addiction and Long Term Rehab Statistics

Drug addiction is a social menace that affects millions of Americans. The effects of drug abuse can be felt on the individual, family and friends, and the society, but the constant need for a drug often overcomes any logical thinking. Recognizing that they have a problem is the first step to recovery.

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

The Abuse of Prescription Drugs Can Lead to Death by Overdose

Whether a fatality is caused by accidental overdose of illegal drugs or abusing pharmaceuticals, the impact is much more than a matter of statistics!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 100 people in the United States die from drug overdose every day. Drug overdose death rates in the U.S. have more than tripled since 1990. (Source – http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/rxbrief/)

The horrible irony is that more and more people seeking relief from pain are becoming addicted to prescription painkillers.  Whether overdose is caused by OxyContin ®, Vicodin ®, Percocet ®or any other opiate – too often the person seeking relief from their pain – is killed by their painkiller.

The tragic loss of a close friend or family member to a narcotic overdose is not just another statistic, but can be devastating emotionally and mentally to those grieving the loss.

Dealing with the loss of an addicted friend or family member from drug overdose may be additionally difficult because of unnecessary guilt or shame carried by the mourner. They may feel guilty that they did not recognize, or were in denial, of the signs of addiction such as: mood swings, deterioration of personal grooming habits, a drop in performance at school or work, suspicious behavior, money missing, etc.  They may blame themselves and anguish over what they could have done or shouldn’t have done that could have prevented the loss of their loved one. Grief stricken family members often require individual professional counseling and/or a bereavement support group in order to find help and healing.

Often a person who is suffering the loss of their friend or family member can find some comfort and even joy by focusing on the “good times” they had together. These memories can help them to carry on with their daily lives as they make it through day by day.

“Carry On” is a beautiful and sweet song written by Heath Lanzillotti and sung by Vonabell Sherman that pays tribute to the one we may have lost and enables us to carry on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X0E_bi-m5Y&feature=plcp

For those of you seeking comfort and a peace that surpasses understanding, you need a relationship with the God of All Comfort.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:2-4

Establish a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, and find forgiveness and freedom by praying the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words:

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins. You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:

•Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)

•Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).

•Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)

•Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.

•Share with someone what God has done for you.

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

To be Set Free from Addiction, You Must Have a Humble Heart!

If you have a sincere desire to stop your destructive compulsive behavior and break your addiction, you must first change the attitude of your heart.

Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”James 4:6b

In order to receive the grace of God in your life, you must first prepare the soil of your heart. Those who are proud are self-seeking, arrogant and have a hardened heart. Jesus often illustrated moral principles for us to apply in our daily living, as well as gave us spiritual insights into His Kingdom, through parables. The Lord Jesus told a parable concerning the conditions of the heart which will prevent or bear fruit in a person’s life. An understanding of the natural elements used in His teachings and what they symbolize will give us greater insight, so that we not only hear the voice of God, but understand what He is saying to us.

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.”

Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:1-9

Everyone in the crowd had ears, but unless they had spiritual insight into what Jesus said, they were unable to comprehend His parables. Many heard the voice of God the Son that day, but they were unable to receive the truth He spoke. Unless a person understands the symbolic meaning of the natural elements used in the parable, it remains a mystery.

When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’” Mark 4:10-11

Except for the followers of Jesus, the Jews had committed blasphemy of the Spirit. They attributed the glorious working of Jesus’ miracles by the Holy Spirit – to the power of Beelzebub.  Therefore, Jesus began to speak in parables in public so that the secrets of the Kingdom were hidden to the masses.

Once in private and away from the crowd, it says in verse 13:

…  Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?”

The reason that understanding the parable of the sower is primary is that it emphasizes the key to unlock the understanding of the other parables. The key is that elements related to the natural world such as soil, seed, thorns and fruitful crops are symbolic with spiritual applications. There is a natural as well as a spiritual application in God’s Word.

The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” Mark 4:14-20

Seed must be planted in good soil means that the Word of God can only take root, grow and bear fruit in a softened heart and compliant heart. The hardness of the soil of the heart must be broken by humbling oneself, repenting of sins and forgiving others. The stones of bitterness and selfishness need to be removed. The heart must be watered by the Word of God and softened by the oil of the Spirit. When properly prepared and received, the word of God will bear much fruit.

There are two types of fruit. The first is the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 The fruit of the Spirit is the character of Christ being developed in the believer so that the person is conformed to His image. The second type of fruit – is bearing fruit after its own kind by leading others to Christ. Fruit contains seed. When a single seed falls to the ground which is prepared to receive the seed and it is watered, it grows into a plant. When the plant matures, it bears fruit that contains many more seeds. Therefore developing a godly character that producers a good witness will bless both the messenger and bring conviction to many of those hearing the message of the gospel.

If you are abusing alcohol or other drugs and want to lead a victorious life and be set free from addiction you need to have a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. To find forgiveness and freedom,  pray the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words –

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins. You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:

•Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)

•Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).

•Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)

•Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.

•Share with someone what God has done for you.

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

Forgive and Be Set Free from Addiction by Renewing Your Mind

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7a

Addictive and Compulsive Behavior are the Result of Addictive Controlling Thoughts.

Past hurts and emotional wounds often are at the root of addictive behavior as the abuser uses drugs and alcohol to temporarily medicate away the pain of rejection. An important key to freedom and healing is found in forgiveness. To be set free from addiction, there needs to be a release from addictive thoughts. That release is found through forgiveness and renewed thinking.

In Romans 12:2 we are urged not to be conformed to this world. Instead we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The Greek word translated as “renewing” is, ajnakaivnwsiß (anakainosis). Anakainosis means a renewal, renovation or complete change for the better. What needs to undergo a renovation, so that it can be changed for the better, is our “mind.” Our mind is the faculty that enables us to think, understand and perceive. When a person is born-again, he/she is delivered out of the dominion of darkness and has been brought into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). We no longer are to follow the behavior and customs of this sin-stained world. Our behavior is the reflection of our thinking. As a new creature in Christ our spirits have been regenerated and are perfect, but our souls (our minds, wills and emotions) need to be sanctified (set apart for the holy purposes of God).

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

Purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, we need to put off the old worldly ways of thinking and no longer submit to carnal desires. We need to be made new in the attitude of our minds.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31

We are exhorted to renew our minds and be free of hatred and strife but how is this accomplished?

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,Ephesians 5:25-26

The church or universal body of believers is cleansed (sanctified/made holy) by replacing worldly and fleshly thoughts with the Word of God. If we are to be true followers of Christ, then we must think and act like our Master. To think and act like our Lord, we must learn about His life and character. By studying the four Gospels, we will learn about the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16

By regular and faithful reading of the divinely inspired Scriptures and applying the Word of God to our lives, we will transform our minds. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, we will progressively be freed from worldly thinking and carnal desires.

A second essential key to renewing our minds and enabling us to put away our bitter, malicious and wicked thoughts is our willingness to forgive those who have caused us bitter suffering.

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27-28

Jesus, who was innocent of any wrongdoings, was falsely accused, illegally arrested and unfairly tried, mocked, beaten, scourged and crucified. Yet He cried out from the cross, “Father, forgive them …” According to the Lord’s Prayer we will be forgiven to the extent that we are willing to forgive others. The world teaches us to harbor unforgiveness and hatred, but a Christian who has the mind of Christ will be known by his love.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

 How can you love your neighbor as yourself, if you do not love yourself?  Not only forgive those who have mistreated you, but also be sure to forgive yourself.
We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

TO WIN THE BATTLE OVER ADDICTION WE NEED OUR SPIRITUAL ARMOR

It is so very vital that we understand that there is an unseen spiritual battle that has been taking place throughout the course of human history.

Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Satan has been waging war against mankind.                                                               

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

Our fight is not against human beings, but against the devil and his hierarchy of evil spirits. Satan is the god of this dark world who has blinded the minds of the unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is the prince of the power of the air who now works in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2). We cannot fight this battle in our own strength but must be strong in the Lord and his mighty power.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians from a prison in Rome and used  the physical armor of the Roman prison guards to illustrate the spiritual protection and weapons that are available to born-again believers in Christ.  By learning how the natural armor was worn and utilized, we can better understand the spiritual weapons of our warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4)

Roman Soldier in Full Armor

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with  the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this,  take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:14-17

The Roman soldier wore a tunic or outer garment that served as his primary clothing. It was a large, square garment with holes cut out for the head and arms. It did not provide for body movement unless it was cinched up and tucked into a large belt that the soldier wore around his waist. This cinching was known as “girding up the loins” (or waist). A soldier who was preparing for battle would gird up his tunic into this belt. So that he would be ready to run or move quickly. The belt was also fitted with a scabbard or sheath to secure his sword to his side. In the front it had leather or metal straps attached to help protect the front of the soldier’s lower body.

The soldier’s belt protected his loins from harm. This lower area of the body serves in elimination of wastes and in reproduction. Our spiritual girdle or “belt of truth” protects us in a similar fashion. By knowing and loving the truth – the word of God (the Bible) and He who is the Truth (Jesus Christ), we can discern and eliminate false doctrines, lies and deception of the enemy. By spreading the truth of the gospel, we can reproduce spiritual offspring. People perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Therefore, the first piece of armor and our new life in Christ must begin with “the truth” – we are sinners who need a savior and can be justified freely by his grace (Romans 3:23-24). Jesus himself said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

The next piece of armor that needs to be fitted into place is the breastplate. This breastplate was attached to the belt by leather thongs that passed through rings on the bottom to keep it solidly attached. It protected the upper body and the vital organs including the heart and lungs. Our spiritual breastplate of righteousness is “the righteousness of God” which is imputed to the believer by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22).

 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  2 Corinthians 5:21

Once we have embraced the truth, repented of our sins and believe in Jesus, we are in right standing before God. We need to walk uprightly and guard our hearts because the heart is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). The heart is the seat of our emotions and our attitude. Our attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus who humbled himself, came as a servant and was obedient to the Father (Philippians 2:5-8).

The Roman soldiers’ footwear was called the caligae or military boot often referred to as sandals. The upper is incorporated into the sole construction between two thick layers of leather. These layers are nailed together with iron nails which can be replaced as they wear down. The only stitching is in a position where it is not subject to wear and can easily be re-stitched. Their footwear was constructed to be long lasting and easily repaired. Our spiritual footwear is “our readiness and obedience to spread the gospel of peace.”

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

When we are obedient to be witnesses of Christ and fulfill the “Great Commission,” the enemy will certainly rise up against us. That is when we need to take up our “shield of faith.” The Roman shield that Paul referred to was called the scutum. It was a very large, slightly curved rectangular shield featuring at its center a large metal knob (called a boss). It was made of two planks glued together, the outer surface being then covered first with canvas and then with calf-skin. Its upper and lower rims are strengthened by an iron edging which protects it from descending blows and from injury when rested on the ground. The soldiers would oil their shield to keep the leather covering supple. In preparation against the flaming arrows of an enemy, the soldiers would soak their shields in water. When they came into range of being attacked, packed formations of legionaries would overlap their shields to provide an effective barrier and their water soaked shields would douse the fiery missiles. In a likewise manner we need to keep our shield of faith prepared for the battle with the “oil of the Holy Spirit” and soaked with the “water of the word” (Ephesians 5:26). Then we can stand in faith when the enemy attacks.

A soldier’s helmet protects another vital organ – the brain. The battle of the spirit takes place in the mind. The “helmet of salvation” is the spiritual piece of armor that will help guard our thoughts against the assault of the enemy. The adversary is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). He will place negative thoughts in a believers mind in an attempt to make us doubt God’s love for us and our assurance of salvation. But we are saved to the uttermost because Jesus lives forever to intercede with God on our behalf (Hebrews 7:25).

Finally, we have our offensive piece of armor – The Sword of the Spirit – which is the word of God.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Chemical addiction is not just a biochemical problem, it is spiritual bondage. Alcoholism and other drug addictions are spiritual bondages that result in physical and mental illnesses, crime and death.
In order to become victorious over drug addiction, a person needs the power of God manifested in their life so that they can be set free from the bondage of sin, find true deliverance and save their soul. The battle of the spirit is fought in the mind and our carnal thoughts must be taken into captivity to the obedience of Christ. We must submit our thoughts to Christ’s thoughts and our ways to God’s ways.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

When Jesus Christ is not only your Savior but the Lord of your life and you are in complete submission to Him, then when you resist the devil – he will flee from you!

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

How do we renew our minds?  How can we exchange our ungodly worldly thoughts and attain the holy mind of Christ? This can be accomplished, according to Ephesians 5:25, as we are cleansed by the washing of the water of the Word. We must replace our hunger and thirst for the strongholds that bind us, with a hunger and thirst for God’s divinely inspired Word.

The way we defeat addiction is to repent of our sins, place our trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross, renounce the work of the devil in our lives, seek God’s will and enablement through prayer and the reading of the Bible, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Fight the good fight of faith by putting on the full armor of God each day. Be sure to keep your sword sharpened!

Is it your heart’s desire to see people delivered, healed and set free to serve the Lord Jesus Christ?
Then click on the following link to learn how you, your church group or ministry
can participate in our international prayer event:

 https://justprayno.org/click-here-for-information-on-the-annual-worldwide-weekend-of-prayer/