Category Archives: addiction

Healing addiction through spirituality

Jul.'16 RR theme poster - Out of the darkness of addiction--into light

The following article by Don Alusic was published in The Telegraph, Nashua, NH on July 29, 2016

Milford Christian Science group turns to spirituality in battling addiction

by Don Alusic

When I attended the interfaith panel event titled “The Drug Crisis: A Spiritual Response” at the Harbor Care Health and Wellness Center this past May, I was struck by how central the spiritual element is in handling addiction.

Many conferences involving city, state and federal representatives have looked at addiction. The spiritual dimension is rarely mentioned and is in general missing from the dialogue.

At the Milford Christian Science Reading Room, we would like to offer to the ongoing dialogue – written, published testimonies of healing of addiction through spiritual means alone.

We will be using these testimonies to focus on “Out of the darkness of addiction – into light,” from 2-3 p.m. Fridays, July 29, Aug. 5 and 12. Insights gained from these testimonies can aid other approaches to healing addiction that look to the spiritual universe as well.

When Mary Baker Eddy, a spiritual pioneer in the late 1800s, had a quick healing of a very grave injury, she later described the incident as follows: “My immediate recovery from the effects of an injury caused by an accident, an injury that neither medicine nor surgery could reach, was the falling apple that led me to the discovery how to be well myself, and how to make others so.” (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 24).

Like Newton, she discovered that her healing was based on laws, spiritual laws that she named Christian Science. She was confident that these laws are available to everyone and initially “Cherished sanguine hopes that Christian Science would meet with immediate and universal acceptance” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 330). When this did not happen, she realized that to have her discovery preserved, she would have to found her own church.

Her initial healing came when she read from her Bible one of the healings of Jesus in the New Testament. As she studied and continued to see more healings, she realized that the spiritual laws that had healed her and others, are the same spiritual laws that were in operation when Jesus was on earth. They are the basis of his many healings and other wonderful works including his resurrection from the dead and ascension from this human experience.

These same laws are the basis for the promise and realization of healing today which includes the healing of addiction. The church that Mary Baker Eddy founded includes The Christian Science Publishing Society which has been publishing articles and healings based on Christian Science for over 130 years.

In the Milford Christian Science Reading Room (87 Union Square), we have a selection of articles about the healing of various forms of addiction. We also have internet access through www.jsh-online.com to the articles and healings published during the 130 years. We can help you find other healings of addiction and many other human challenges. Also available are Bibles and the published works of Mary Baker Eddy including “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” and much more. Everyone is invited to join us.

Don Alusic lives in Amherst, NH.

Interfaith response to drug crisis

May'16 Senator Ayotte Nashua drug lecture
United States Senator Kelly Ayotte

Nashua church offers spiritual response to drug crisis
by Laurie Toupin, First Church of Christ, Scientist
Published in the Nashua Telegraph, May 28, 2016

“Faith communities have an important role to play” in the battle against drug addiction, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., told attendees in introductory remarks at the “The Drug Crisis: A Spiritual Response” Interfaith Panel Discussion on May 14. The event, sponsored by the First Church of Christ Scientist, Nashua, was held at the Harbor Care Health and Wellness Center.

Overdoses resulted in 438 deaths last year in New Hampshire, Ayotte said.

Four out of five people start by misusing opiates. But people won’t seek help because they see it as a stigma, she noted.

The religious community has a special voice that can save lives, she said. This role can’t be filled by government.

Four speakers talked about that special voice by presenting solutions to the drug situation based on their job and journey where God and prayer often took center stage.

Lock it up

Janet Valuk, director of the Nashua Prevention Coalition echoed Ayotte’s dire description saying that New Hampshire is ranked first in the nation for the number of drug overdoses and 48th in the nation for treatment facilities.

Her solution? Prevent drug use in school age children.

As a teacher, Valuk has seen the easy access many children have to everyday medications at home. The number one way youth are getting access to these drugs is through parents and grandparents who leave drugs in accessible places, she said.

To confront this, her group’s latest initiative is the Lock It Up! Campaign. The group promotes using a Prescription Lock Box sold at some Walgreen Pharmacies and online. In addition, they stress the importance of disposing unneeded medications quickly. Many communities have Medicine Drop Boxes in their Police Departments that are accessible 24/7. The DEA also sponsors a Drug Take-Back Day in the spring and fall.

An internal solution

“Substance abuse disorder is a internal problem,” said Ryan Gagne, founder of Live Free Structured Sober Living in Manchester. “People don’t fail. They simply try treating the internal problem with an external solution.”

Gagne shared his journey of how he overcame his cocaine and alcohol addiction. As a teen, Gagne felt like he didn’t fit in. He had a good home, but said jokingly “I kept waiting for the alien ship to come back for me.”

He started hanging out with others who felt isolated like himself, and who filled this void with drugs and alcohol.

To truly heal, Gagne said he had to fill that void with something else. For him, recovery and spirituality go hand in hand.

He went through a 12-step program and felt, for the first time, that he had a purpose.

On November 22 2015, Gagne opened his facility for men such as himself – who needed a place to transition from treatment to recovery.

“If you are not treating the internal problem with an internal solution, people are at risk for the cycle of abuse to continue,” he said.

A spiritual connection

Ann McIntyre, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, agreed that a spiritual connection needs to be made. McIntyre and her husband run an addiction recovery weekly support group, meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesdays at 110 Concord St., in Nashua.

The program, based on the 12-step program from AA, has a deeply spiritual foundation. McIntyre said, “With the Savior’s help, we can overcome our addictions and find new meaning to life.”

The program is also open to family and friends. “Family and friends can learn to rely on the Savior for healing and to help them support their loved ones through recovery,” she said.

Support groups are held in Nashua, as well as other towns throughout New Hampshire.

A vertical approach

John Adams, CSB, a teacher and practitioner of Christian Science, summed up the underlying message of all the speakers. “This is not only a horizontal (human) effort, but a vertical (spiritual) effort to lift up one’s thought to the understanding that he or she is created in the image of God,” he said.

At 15, Adams began drinking with boys older than him. It wasn’t long after that he began smoking pot which led to indulging other drugs.

In his mid-20s, he visited his grandmother. She was a Christian Science practitioner, one who devotes his or her life to helping others through prayer. She gave Adams her copy of a book titled “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy. “Read this,” she said. “It will change your life.”

Adams was not inclined to read the book and struggled with his grandmother’s request.

But soon after he read it, “It totally altered my course of reasoning.” He read the book three times. By the third time, Adams completely lost his desire to do drugs and was fully healed.

This led him to look beyond himself, asking instead, “Who or what can I bless today?” This gave him a sense of purpose, integrity, and dignity.

“The people doing this work are motivated by love and a strong desire to help others struggling with a drug problem,” Adams said. And together, we can solve this.

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/neighbors/1081206-478/nashua-church-offers-spiritual-response-to-drug.html

Can prayer heal addictions?

Courtesy of Biblos Foundation

An abbreviated version of this post was published in the Concord Monitor (click to read). It also was published on Concord’s Patch.com

According to news reports, pop singer Prince had been dependent on opioid painkilling medication, and that he was treated for a drug overdose a few days before he passed on in April. He had made an appearance at a party the next day, telling his fans to “wait a few days before you waste any prayers.” His tragic death shows the need to take our faith and prayers seriously, to continue praying, and never to stop.
 
While the human reasons for drug dependency are many, and the pull of addictive substances may feel insurmountable, divine help is beneficial and is always at hand. Prayer can be helpful in healing the most difficult situations, even severe drug addictions. Not to appreciate the value of prayer in the most challenging situations would be a mistake, especially when there is documented proof of its effectiveness.

Even medical schools are teaching the benefits of spirituality and many hospitals have spiritual care chaplains. These support wellness and healing. The popular 12 Step Program is helping many carefully think through the root causes of addiction, address them, and through a higher power find healing from within.

I’ve found that effective prayer includes inspired thinking and reasoning, inspired study and listening – from a spiritual basis. More than asking the Divine for blessing, it’s acknowledging that God is good and pure, and that it is natural for us, too, to be good and pure, whole and complete. Prayer helps us to align our thinking toward this fact.

Addiction is something we can all defeat with God’s help. Although it may seem that the body and brain are craving a drug, the temptation and decision to take it is mostly a mental thing. Prayer can heal the seeming necessity for a drug, be it pain or pleasure, and prayer can help overcome any withdrawal symptoms. God provides the spiritual strength to resist and defeat what is addictive.

The apostle Paul promised: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (I Cor. 10:13)

A friend was quickly healed of a lifelong smoking habit through prayer as taught in Christian Science.  While this habit was not as severe as an opioid dependency or addiction, the healing was significant for my friend. He came to understand that God is Love and that man is made in Love’s image and likeness, as the Bible says.
 
There is nothing loving about addiction, so divine Love does not and could not lead its children into the temptation to smoke or into bondage to any form of matter. Love provides satisfaction and completeness, health and wholeness. The realization of these spiritual facts freed my friend from smoking.

When we realize that these truths are true for ourselves, we can demonstrate dominion in our experience right now. We can heal addictions through prayer.

Tony Lobl, a colleague from England, was recently interviewed in an article titled, “Release from addiction.” Tony says, “What you’re proving through your healing journey is that addiction has no power over you. You’re proving that there is one power, one true influence, one God. And this belief that your addiction has a power over you is proved to be totally false because there is no duality; God has all the power, and we actually are governed by that power, and that’s what we’re proving in our healing practice.” Tony’s entire interview can be read by clicking here.

© 2016 Christian Science Committee on Publication for New Hampshire.
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