Celebrate Christ Recovery Forum: "The Synergy of Addiction Science and Scripture."
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Why Abstinence Can Actually Hurt Recovery
Jan 12 2015

"If you’ve attended any meetings, you’ve probably heard this joke: “If you sober up a drunken horse thief, you’re just going to have a sober horse thief.”

"One of the most difficult things to understand when you get sober is that getting sober is the easy part. It’s changing your lifestyle that’s the trick. While making the conscious choice to get sober is, in a nutshell, abstaining from alcohol and drugs, that is not the only aspect of your life that needs to be changed."

"Getting sober is only a piece of the larger puzzle that is your life. If you’ve successfully quit using, the next step is changing your behaviors and patterns so that you can live a happy and free life without drugs and alcohol."

"Choosing abstinence alone will not keep you sober. There will always be a “what if” aspect hanging over your head because it doesn’t address the constant obsession over drugs and alcohol."

Read more: http://www.soberrecovery.com/recovery/why-abstinence-can-actually-hurt-recovery/


Stanton Peel, Ph.D, JD, addiction expert states: “The best antidotes to addiction are joy and competence—joy as the capacity to take pleasure in the people, things, and activities that are available to us; competence as the ability to master relevant parts of our environment and the confidence that our actions make a difference for ourselves and others.”
Peele qualifies the variables or importance:

1. Purpose
2. Empowerment
3. Values
4. Mindfulness
5. Pause
6. Community
7. Engagement
8. Outlook
9. Skills
10. Rewards

Can abstinence hurt Recovery? Only if you don't understand the purpose of your life and the cause of your compulsive behavior.

Jesus Christ says, "Love God and Love Others." Matthew 22:37-39, Luke 11:42.
When a person gets their values from the Bible, they have purpose, they have joy and competence and the fruits of the Holy Spirit.  Galatians 5:22-23
Where do you get your values? Do you get them from your, "Feelings," or your thinking. Romans 12:2

Drug addiction is a compulsive behavior, a symptom of something wrong in our lives, not an incurable disease.

Addiction is a behavior fueled by the false idols of chemical abuse. The abuser falls in love with the quick fix or mood changer as a treatment for adversity. Lance Dodes, MD, Psychiatrist says, "Addiction is a symptom not a disease." Addiction is a symptom of something else that is very wrong in our lives. The function (purpose) of addiction is to reverse a sense of overwhelming helplessness. Addiction always serves and emotional purpose. When circumstances in life make us feel helpless, trapped and out of control, some folks attempt to regain control of their circumstance with mood altering drugs. Taking the drug temporarily removes the trapped feeling because the abuser is doing something about it, they are regaining control of how they, "Feel." The treatment is to replace how we, "Feel," with the Values of the Bible.

All hurts, habits and hangups can result in Displaced Behaviors. What Christ teaches us is Direct Behavior, based on the values and tenets of Scripture.

A Displaced Behavior is substitute behavior, always an emotional response to circumstances that cause us to feel overwhelmed, helpless, trapped, powerless and lacking control (Proverbs 29:11). Often, we attempt to regain control of our helpless, trapped feelings with compulsive Displaced Behavior! (Drinking, anger, drugs, sex, porn, codependence, etc.). Virtually every compulsive act is preceded by a feeling of helplessness or powerlessness. Addictive behavior functions to repair this underlying feeling of helplessness. It is able to do this because taking the addictive action (or even deciding to take this action) creates a sense of being empowered, of regaining control—over one’s emotional experience and one’s life.

We can choose Direct Healthy Behavior when we give God control; when we decide to surrender control to Christ. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Simply stated, we regain control (John 14:16) with empowered behavior that,"Honors Christ." We conduct our lives with Christ Driven Behaviors (CDB) when get our values and purpose, from the Bible. (Galatians 5:22-23). When we change our thinking (repent) we can let God change our life. (Romans 12:2)This isn't rocket science, this is the marriage of science and scripture.

"I am a Surrendered Believer in Jesus Christ with Free Will and I CHOSE Surrender (Intelligent Delegation) in my victory over, “Recreational Chemical Abuse, my weekend, "False Idols."
"I chose DIRECT health assertive Christ Driven Behavior (CDB) instead of DISPLACED behavior in order to regain control over feeling helpless, powerless, trapped and lacking control. I changed my, "Thinking," and God changed my life."
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There is no reason why anyone with any hurt, habit, or hang up cannot be helped. The Person-God partnership simply needs to be more powerful than any hurt, habit or hangup.

Behind everything you do is a THOUGHT.

Every BEHAVIOR is motivated by a BELIEF.

Every ACTION is prompted by an ATTITUDE.


With respect to behavior, life is about, emotions, beliefs, thinking and control.

"A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back."Proverbs 29:11 (Displaced Behaviors)

"Do not be conformed by this world but instead by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2 (Direct Behavior)

When you think and empower yourself and surrender control to God, when you Intelligently Delegate Control to God (2 Corinthians 12:9-10),

God returns that control to you with a, “Helper," the Holy Spirit, (John 14:16) a form of Reciprocal Innervation.

You regain control: "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

No longer are you subject to corrupted displaced thinking but instead are transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).

This is where science and scripture intertwine, where Christ Driven Behavior brings, values, control, cause, character and purpose driven behavior, the fruits of the spirit Galatians 5:22-23 .

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.


Proverbs 29:11 "A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back."

Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

2 Corinthians 12-9:“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

John 14:16: "He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—"

Philippians 2:13: "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."

Galatians 5:22-23 "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Ephesians 4:22-23 "...put away the old person you used to be. Have nothing to do with your old sinful life. It was sinful because of being fooled into following bad desires. Let your minds and hearts be made new."

Life is about finding Purpose. When you have a, "Global Purpose," in life, healthy direct assertive thinking and behavior follow.

Change your thinking, change your life!

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