Substance abuse causes more problems than it solves

We can get into all kinds of trouble as singles. Substance abuse is one of the worst.

The truth is that sometimes you feel so miserable that you want to do anything to numb that feeling away. But that's like stepping off a cliff to get off a thorny path.

It isn't just drugs. We can abuse anything, from alcohol to cheeseburgers. I don't know enough about psychology to explain the self-punishment drive, but it figures in there somewhere too.

Millions of singles are using, including Christians. How do we avoid this trap when we feel down? Substance abuse is a problem for singles

Watch your friends

You're probably old enough to buy alcohol, but drugs don't materialize out of thin air. You have to get them from somebody. A friend who gives or sells them to you is not a friend, even if they claim "this is what you need." Real friends look out for your safety. They don't lead you astray.

So many things are easy to rationalize today under the excuse, "Everybody's doing it" or "A little won't hurt." Really? Look at the celebrities and professional athletes who thought that. Or even people you know. Everybody thinks they can control it. Now that's being naive.

We all have a friend or acquaintance who died before their time because they couldn't control it. Their death is a warning, if we're wise enough to understand.

Substance abuse only treats symptoms

An aching tooth is miserable. We want the pain to stop, and as soon as possible. But we all know the pain is just a symptom. For permanent relief, we have to treat the cause.

We don't see our life that way. Or maybe we do, but it's easier to treat the symptoms by numbing them out.

The problem, of course, is that we do the numbing more often and in bigger doses until it becomes an addiction. Then life really gets rotten.

How can singles avoid substance abuse? How can we fix it if it's already a problem?

Getting real is where it starts


Just as it's naive to think "I can control it," it's also naive to think "I can't break this habit."

No matter how tight a hold substance abuse may have on you, a program exists to help you beat it. It's become a cliche to say that the first step is admitting you have a problem, but that's where it starts. A visit to your medical doctor is in order, because this is a health problem.

She'll help you understand it better and can guide you toward effective treatment. The key to solving any problem, including substance abuse, is to get fed up enough with it to take action. That can be something as simple as taking one small step.

You are worth rescuing

We all get stressed out. Depression is common among singles. Too much loneliness can make you feel hopeless.

In the midst of all this pressure, God is your Protector and Comforter. Even when you feel as if your prayers are not getting past the ceiling, God is listening and acting. He is not indifferent. He loves you and wants to keep you from harm.

The difference between God and any substance we turn to is that God has the power to repair your life. Those other things don't.

Today may be a bad day. Your entire life may be terrible, but things can turn around, if you persevere. God believes you're worth it and wants you to know that too. Hard times can drag you down, but they don't have to keep you there. I know, because I've been through my share of them.

Quick, supposedly easy fixes never work, especially alcohol and drugs. I managed to avoid them by never starting in the first place. That's a hard, lonely road to travel, but after a lifetime of no alcohol, no illegal drugs, I can tell you it's been worth it. They're just too dangerous.

Seek the way through your troubles--the right way--asking God to lead you. He has brought me through the darkest days of my life. If you hang on tightly to him, he'll do the same for you.

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