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Lord, Help Me Break Free From the Chains of Addiction

Updated: Mar 11, 2023




"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."

-Corinthians 10:13


I was in the 4th row. The music was so loud that I couldn't hear my friend next to me. She was trying to tell me how much she loved the song "Jeremy" that Pearl Jam was singing. I said "I know, you tell me all the time. I like it as well." Just as I was getting into the music, all of a sudden I was getting lighthead, dizzy and different shades of red and blue appeared in front of me. Then I was in a "fun house" where the walls were different shapes. I couldn't get out!! Panick set in and I couldn't breathe. My friend said, "lets get out of here, maybe to the bathroom!" We managed to get into the corridor of the civic center. We could still hear the music. We found a spot to sit down and she got me a bottled water and a slice of pizza. I told her "I don't know what was in that joint, but it made me feel weird." She asked where I got the pot from. I told her it was from someone I knew at school. I thought he was trustworthy?


Those were the days when I thought smoking marijuana was cool, fun and an escape from reality. Fast forward 25 yrs, and it seems (at least here in New England) that every billboard on the highway has an ad for a cannabis dispensary. Connecticut is one of the states where it has been legalized. It can be bought for recreational and medical use. It's so widely used today that the smell is overwhelming every time I drive into Chicopee, or Springfield, MA. So, what is with all the hype? Why so many dispensaries? And what about people saying that it cures anxiety, or helps them with their problems?


To answer the question on dispenseries and legalization has to do with greed. Many states see it as a money maker. A way to bring in revenue to pay the bills. To answer the second question on anxiety...smoking marijuana does not cure it. Smoking it actually makes anxiety worse. As with most drugs (even prescription ones) have side effects. The major ones for marijuana are paranoia, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, and short term memory loss. Taken in high doses can cause hallucinations and delusions. People who use is it chronically over a long period of time can develop a condition called Cannabinoid Hyperemesis which causes severe cycles of nausia, vomiting and dehydration. Not only does marijuana have physical effects but it also has mental and spiritual ones as well. People who smoke pot experience lower life satisfaction, lethargy (not wanting to do anything), relationship problems, lower academic success, absinteeism at work and school and linked to some injuries. And spiritually it kills the soul which brings it further and further away from God.


With all of these side effects, who would want to continue using this drug? Many people who start using drugs and alcohol want to escape from reality. They want to numb the pain, forget about past memories or trauma. When reality is too hard to handle, picking up a drink or smoking a joint is a temporary fix. Afterwards, the high is gone and depression and guilt set in. So when is enough enough? When do you say "I need help" or "I want to live a better life." That decision is up to each one of us. We all have free will to choose what is good for us and what is not. Working in the mental health field for 18 years I have helped people with positive coping skills, and have listened to their problems. But it wasn't until I worked at a Faith Based Recovery Program where I have seen many people turn their lives around and make a long lasting recovery. When we invite Jesus into our healing, true freedom happens. The chains of addiction are broken and the soul is no longer in a prison. I know, because I have done this myself when I went through my own healing many years ago.


Jesus heals the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18). He knows what we are going through and He knows all about suffering. Just look at His death and how he was mocked, ridiculed for preaching love, compassion and rightousness. When we unite our suffering with His, we expereince peace, joy and love. Who doesn't want that in their lives? We are now in the season of Lent. A time before Easter where we take an inventory of our lives and reflect on where we are in our relationship with God. Are we close to Him or are we far away? Am I living a life that will let me enter Heaven? Are there any vices I need to work on? We give up things whether it is chocolate, TV, social media or marijiana (any other drugs) as a sacrifice. When we give up something, we are supposed to substitute with prayer or doing a good deed.


If you have been thinking about quiting smoking pot, tobacco or any other drug, know that God has your back. He wants to help you with your problems. All you have to do is ask. Traditional therapy can help to a certain degree, but long lasting recovery only comes from God. Jesus is the Divine Physicial and He is very merciful. So, let this Lent be a time for change, a time to finally break free from the chains of addiction.


About the Author: Donna L. Marotto is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Director of Faith Formation and a Lay Franciscan. She provides counseling and leads healing retreats. If you would like to contact her, please email her at marottodonna8@gmail.com or visit her website at Youarelovedministry.com

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