Addiction is characterized by a progressive loss of control over the use of a substance or behavior. As control is lost obsession for the substance or behavior replaces it. When the confronted with the obsession, the person may deny there is a problem or excuse it with something like, “That’s the way I am.” Even when the hurt becomes apparent the addicted person often ignores the problem that facilitated the addiction.
One does not start out life as an addict. So, what are the changes in in one’s life that make the opportunity for it to start? Also, what is the pattern once it starts?
The necessary condition is that one or more needs are not being met. The fundamental needs are for significance and security. Often both of these needs are not met. However, usually one or the other dominates because of circumstances or personality.
When security need is not met the motivating emotion of anxiety remains active. When the need for significance is not met, the motivating emotion of depression remains active. If this state continues for a significant period and one is not under another’s control, such as parents, a chance use of a drug or a behavior will be found to end the anxiety with peace, which is the reward emotion for security, or end depression with a joy, which is the reward emotion for significance. This is the beginning.
Since the reward emotions are not obtained by right living, the thirst for satisfaction increases. Consequences begin to affect the person as the obsession intensifies.
The solution to this in a word is purpose. That is, discover and fulfill God’s purpose for life. Since obsession and pain and all that is associated with the life controlling problem blocks a straightforward cognitive solution, the healing method uses a complex mix of approaches delivered in a godly, loving family environment. That is Hope Teen Challenge
The faith-based approach of Hope Teen Challenge replaces those addictions with a fulfilling and life-affirming experience with Jesus Christ. In other words, we believe that the a new identity in Christ fills the void which people fill with addictions.
Teen Challenge understands that there are many other problems, in addition to drugs and alcohol, that have the potential to do just as much damage as substance abuse. In fact, substance abuse is often symptomatic of a much deeper life-controlling problem.
Some of these include: poor self-image, violence, eating disorders and sexual addiction.
Underlying all of these life-controlling problems is a broken person in urgent need of compassionate, holistic, and empowering help. Teen Challenge, through our Christ-focused approach, offers the time and space for broken people to experience God’s grace.
Drug addiction is a progression that begins with one-time use of a chemical substance which leads to full dependency. At Teen Challenge we recognize that addiction is a serious and overwhelming issue – hopelessness can be debilitating. Abusing substances like meth, heroin, pills and alcohol is like racing down a path to destruction.
Change is possible with the right help. The path back to recovery may have detours and set-backs, but a new life is worth the effort.