May 2019 Newsletter - "I Can't Help It" by Roni Burton, MD
Hi everyone. Have you or a friend or family member made that statement? I just “can’t help it.” It could be about anything. Eating too much food, buying the other pair of shoes, saying something you didn’t intend to say, going to a website that produces shame instead praise of Yah. Anything in our human experience can fit the bill. I had a patient once who had such a “love” for sweet potato pie that he ate a whole pie at one sitting. I happen to know the pie shop and that their sweet potato pies are delicious. Thing is, this person was diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, and a few other things. His blood sugars “spiked,” blood pressure was out of bounds, and he had mental confusion all because, “I just couldn’t help myself.” Some addictive substances can have significant physical and psychosocial consequences. Some examples include alcohol, opioids (vicodin, morphine etc.), cannabis (marijuana), cocaine, and anxiolytics (e.g. Xanax, Ativan etc. for anxiety). Impaired drivers have died or caused the death of others. Other consequences may include loss of jobs, of finances for example due to a gambling addiction, dysfunctional relationships due to one or both spouses being impaired by addiction. The medical management of addiction include several modalities such as counseling, psychotherapies, pharmacotherapy (drugs), mutual help groups and more. (1) But beyond just stopping the destructive behavior or patterns, “addiction causes predictable and persistent structural and functional changes in the brain. Volume loss of numerous types of brain tissue and structures have been found in alcohol dependence, cocaine dependence, opiate dependence and polysubstance abuse. Numerous neurotransmitter systems involved in reward and stress pathways in the brain are affected by chronic use of alcohol and other drugs…” (2).
How does one get to the place where they ‘can’t help it’? That answer is goes back 6,000 biblical years to a garden where another question was asked. “…Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Gen 3:1)
An ignorant answer was given, and the Divine Mind was stripped from them (Gen 3:6 & 7). Instead of the Divine nature covering them, they had now covenanted with shame, nakedness, and fear (Gen 3:10). A different DNA other than Yahweh’s was implanted in their minds. Instead of the power of the Holy Spirit, the love of the Father, and the sound mind of Christ, they were now enslaved to the spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7). No one plans to be addicted to a substance, or a person, or destructive behaviors, cycles and patterns, many of which are in the generations. So, what’s the solution? I’ve been blessed to see both sides: what medicine offers and what the Word/Christ offers. Most addictions start with some emotional trauma or curiosity leading to experimentation establishing a pattern or predisposition based on family history or some other reason; there is a perception in the mind leading to an action. The Word says, “Let this mind be in you which was in Christ…” (Phil 2:5). “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Rom 12:2). There must be an impregnation of the living Word. That Word is the “seed of God” (Luke 8:11). The Seed is Christ (Gal 3:16). It’s not the dead letter word, which kills, but the Spirit which gives life (2Cor 3:6). The Word is spirit and life (John 6:63). When the addicted receives “with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21) and “bridle the whole body” (James 3:2), there is a restoration of the whole. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Tess 5:23).
There are no side effects to the medicine of the living Word, just “fullness of joy and…pleasures for evermore” (Psalms 16:11). We have numerous testimonies of His healing power over addiction here at Forerunner Intl (check out the testimonies). No more will anyone have to say, “I can’t help it” because “of the glory of this mystery…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27). So “prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers” (3 John 1:2).
Until the next time; blessings!
1. Continuing care for addiction: Indications, features and efficacy, Author: James R McKay, PhD from UpTodate.
3. All scripture references from King James Version of the Bible.