This book, Addictions Counselling, effectively covers the most important aspects of counselling with people who are suffering from substance addiction. Further, we are going to look at many of the controversial issues and treatment models that go along with substance abuse: the disease model, versus the sin model, versus the social model.
Some important statistics falling under the heading of etiology (the science which describes how diseases begin) are worth considering. The latest statistics indicate that 87% of all Americans are raised in a dysfunctional family. Thus, a very significant amount of the American population has suffered from some sort of severe psycho-social trauma in their upbringing.
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People suffering with addiction do not want to admit these problems. They can include divorce, abuse of various kinds, being raised in an alcoholic or drug addicted family system and/or being raised in a family where one or both parents were or are mentally ill.
These life circumstances can cause a great deal of difficulty for people. Even if the parents were not alcoholics, if personal primary needs were not met, any person can fit into the category of being dysfunctional. One primary manifestation of this pattern of dysfunctional family interaction is the increase of alcoholism and drug addiction. There is probably not one family in America that is not immediately impacted by the abuse of, or addiction, to drugs and alcohol. We all know people that have been or are presently addicted to some type of substance or compulsive behavioural patterns that enables them to “survive” life. However, these learned dysfunctional behaviours do not help any of them to function adequately in life as a whole.
Almost all families have at least one member usually hidden “in the closet”: a homosexual, drug addict, alcoholic, habitual criminal behaviour, etc. To achieve a better understanding of this dynamic of dis-ease in family life, we are going to look at the natural mind, family dynamics and the psycho-social medical models of substance abuse, along with their treatments. Furthermore, we will investigate the scriptural revelation of substance addiction and abuse, co-dependency as well as providing a broadened theological framework for treatment and ministry to the abuser and the family.
Substance abuse is one of many forms of compulsive behaviour, where people attempt to meet legitimate needs in illegitimate ways. Our responsibility as spiritual leaders in a world of physical pain is to minister God’s grace and mercy with knowledge and understanding to the wounded, especially for those caught in the destructive pattern of alcohol or drug abuse.
In this way desiring to declare more fully to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, God interposed by an oath, so that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us, which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil, where the Forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Heb 6:17-20)