Drug Rehab 2022 Round 1 – Filling the Void

Name: Kailee Serna
 

Filling the Void

We often think of addiction in the sense of drug, alcohol, and gambling abusers. However, the reality is, people can have an addiction to anything. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, addiction is defined as “a strong and harmful need to regularly have something or do something.” Common addictions we do not think about include technology, food, shopping, and other adrenaline rush activities. We can even just look at the amount of caffeine our country consumes to see the strength of addiction in our culture. Some of those might seem silly or not a big deal, but the fact is, they are addictive activities. When the human brain is engaged in “pleasurable” activities, it is programmed to release dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that helps us feel good (Shatterproof.org). “Feel good” activities often make us want to repeat them and in doing so, can create repetitive actions.

As a Christian, I believe addiction is a result of original sin and separation from God. We as humans long for something more in our lives; there is a hole we constantly need to fill. A relationship with God, through His Son, Jesus, is the only true thing that is able to fill the empty hole. When we try to be our own gods and reject the true God, we search for sustenance in things that we think will fill us and bring us pleasure. Using drugs and alcohol, as an example, allows people to seek a “good” time and a hope to fill their void. The addict might feel good at first, but eventually, that feeling wears away and all that is “needed” is another hit or another drink to feel fulfilled. This cycle of usage leads to addiction and abuse. Those who seek escape are often met with feelings of guilt and shame, which often restarts the cycle or even begins a completely new addiction. Really, people just want to feel satisfied. Because the body begins to reach a new normal, the user feels the need for more of that substance to get a reaction. This increasing substance abuse leads to overdoses. An example is the opioid crisis, which was the 1990’s American addiction to opioid pain relievers. Nothing on this earth is able to fill those longings in the short term, much less eternally. As society has advanced, people rely on their feelings as a source and determiner of their actions. This fuels the addiction crisis, going back to the feelings dopamine provides. If it feels good, then it must be right.

The consequences of this crisis are a lost people group and a crumbling society. The health consequences of addiction can be detrimental to the addict and those around them, and it can even cost the user his/her life. If we think about it, everyone around the addict is affected. If it is the child who is the addict, then the parents’ hearts are hurting as they watch their child succumb to this vicious cycle of pain and addiction. Friends have to watch their friend change into another person with another personality. The harmful effects addiction has on the brain are sobering. Specifically, with the effects of drug and alcohol abuse, the brain undergoes injuries by losing brain cells and atrophying. There are many cases in which the person overdoses and/or experiences hypoxia, lack of oxygen, and dies. Recovery must be a personal decision and finding programs that walk the addict toward freedom is so important. Accountability and mentorship are also extremely important for the recovery process to be successful.

Personally, I have seen the positive effects of addiction recovery. My grandma is a recovering alcoholic; she has been sober for over 30 years. I remember going to AA meetings with her and hearing firsthand the stories of addiction and recovery; the people were at all different stages of their walk towards recovery. I have seen my grandma jump from food addictions to shopping addictions because of her addictive personality. I know from family history that I have an addictive gene, which is why I have made the early decision to never drink. I know some people are fine with just a few drinks, but since alcoholism runs in my family, I am choosing to avoid a potential problem.

I believe someone must be willing to want help to begin the recovery process. We cannot help someone who has no desire to change, to get better, or to be helped. One cannot hope to change society without changing the people first. The only thing that can fill the longing and void is Jesus. We were separated from God due to sin, but He, in His love for us, sent His son to die for us. Jesus is the only thing that can fill the hole inside and quench our thirst for more. I know this personally because He has given me a new life and has changed my mindset, and my relationship with Him is the only fulfilling thing. Overall, addiction holds a person captive from being able to live fully because there will always be a gap and craving inside of them. Therefore, I believe Christ is the answer to the addiction crisis on an individual and societal level.

Works Cited

Addiction Definition & Meaning.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster,

www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/addiction.

The Science of Addiction.” Shatterproof,

www.shatterproof.org/learn/addiction-basics/science-of-addiction?gclid=Cj0KCQiAxoiQBhCRARIsAPsvo-wR_1MBX2bt4D-3MMFb3fcHl8kvJn7tMu0UZlfNhcdQ_A_OPthVBxUaAkGzEALw_wcB.