Something Better Than Drugs
WHEN Lena, mentioned in the first article, was 32 years of age, she was “consumed with guilt, doom, and death,” largely because of her drug problem. “As a wife and mother, I wanted to be good,” she wrote, “but everything in my life and in the world was so sad and pathetic that there seemed to be no reason to be good. And the few times I tried, I failed.”
Then Lena began to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Before long, Bible truth gave her inner peace and relief, which she described as “the most tremendous feeling I have ever had.” Insight into Bible principles and a wonderful hope for the future motivated her to clean up her life and conquer her addiction.
Principles for Life
The laws and principles found in the Bible were tailor-made for us by our Creator, Jehovah God. Says Psalm 19:7, 8: “The law of Jehovah is perfect, bringing back [reviving] the soul. . . . The orders from Jehovah are upright, causing the heart to rejoice; the commandment of Jehovah is clean, making the eyes shine.”
For instance, 2 Corinthians 7:1 exhorts us to “cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit.” Lena took that Bible verse to heart, and this helped her to break her defiling habit. The same was true of Myra, also mentioned in the first article in this series. You may recall that she became addicted to the drugs prescribed for her headaches. How did Myra address her problem? She discussed it frankly with her doctor, who then helped her to pursue other medical treatment. * Additionally, she took advantage of the spiritual encouragement provided by the Christian congregation.
Both Lena and Myra also sought help through prayer. Says Philippians 4:6, 7: “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers.” A servant of God in ancient times who experienced that inner peace wrote that when his “disquieting thoughts became many,” God’s reassuring words gave him calmness, consolation, and inner joy. (Psalm 94:19) Comforting words like those can be found in the pages of the Bible and in the personal encouragement and support of wholesome Christian associates, including Christian elders.
Sometimes, though, because of a drug problem, a person may feel totally unworthy. Janice, a Christian who had been addicted to prescription drugs for many years, wrote: “Addicts may be so spiritually bankrupt and so full of self-hatred that on their own they find it difficult, if not impossible, to turn to Jehovah for help.” Under such circumstances, it is especially important for them to seek the aid of mature Christians. Their loving, patient encouragement and their prayers of faith can “make the indisposed one well.” (James 5:15) Of course, if the addict is a child, the parents should take an active interest—spiritually and medically—in his recovery, lest he relapse.
Janice entered a treatment center, overcame her habit, and has remained drug free ever since. “I rely on Jehovah to get me through the rough times,” she wrote. “I now have serenity, and my old fun-loving personality is coming back.”
When Our Problems Will Be Gone
The day is coming when drugs of any kind will be a thing of the past. How so? Revelation 21:3, 4 answers: “The tent of God is with mankind . . . And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things [which include today’s problems] have passed away.”
The Bible likens the Christian hope to “an anchor for the soul, both sure and firm.” (Hebrews 6:18, 19) When beset by a storm, sailors in ancient times would lower the ship’s anchor. If the anchor took hold of the seabed, it would help the ship ride out the storm, away from dangerous reefs or shorelines. Similarly, the “sure and firm” hope set out in the Bible can help us to keep our emotional, mental, and spiritual equilibrium when stormy trials arise—as they undoubtedly will!
Why not examine the Bible and see how relevant and encouraging its advice and teachings are? Jehovah’s Witnesses would be delighted to help you, and you will not be disappointed.
^ par. 6 Not all situations are the same as Myra’s. For example, some people may be enduring a painful disease for which relief can be found only through strong, potentially addictive drugs administered under medical supervision. Such a patient is not seeking a euphoric high, nor is he indulging an addiction.—See Proverbs 31:6.
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“Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication . . . , let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God . . . will guard your hearts and your mental powers.”—Philippians 4:6, 7
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PRACTICAL WAYS TO ENHANCE WELL-BEING
Exercise can “temporarily lift your mood and provide a brief respite from depression,” says the book Managing Your Mind—The Mental Fitness Guide. A change in diet and habits—physical and mental—can also help. Consider the example of Valerie, who was abused as a child. She became addicted to at least 12 different prescription drugs. Nevertheless, she was able to overcome her habit and lead a relatively normal life. Her secret?
Instead of watching TV and reading questionable novels, Valerie established a good routine of Bible study and made time to read Bible study aids published by Jehovah’s Witnesses, including this magazine. Also, she prayed incessantly to God for strength, availed herself of the support of the Christian congregation, and filled her days with such wholesome activities as sharing the Bible’s comforting message with others. Besides that, she made major changes in her physical diet, which had included a lot of junk food. The result was a recovery that amazed even her doctors. She has now been drug free for many years. *
^ par. 21 If you take prescribed medication for clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or some other mental condition, your situation is likely not the same as Valerie’s. So do not make any changes without consulting your doctor.