ARLINGTON, Va, November 22, 2011—According to the website aboutrecovery.com, it is estimated that nineteen percent of Americans suffer from a serious addiction. This includes 5.5 million of our countrymen with gambling compulsions, 15 million with sexual addictions and 25 million who are substance abusers.
The indication is that roughly one out of five Americans is living in some form of pain and agony caused by “a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior or substance.”
In her recent Sunday sermon, Reverend In Jin Moon made some important points about addiction. One was to remind her audience that if a family has a member who is suffering from an addiction, an effort to cover up for this person helps neither the addict nor the family as a whole.
Mrs. Moon explained that out of a sense of love, many people try to endlessly forgive the addict and clean up the mess and hurt they cause in the family without insisting that they concretely change their destructive behavior. This is a misguided kind of love, because it allows the addict to continue destroying himself or herself as well as destructively affecting other members of the family.
Moreover, although prayer in many situations can bring powerful results, dealing with an addicted loved one definitely takes “prayer plus action.” One must be willing to encourage the addict to change, and in many cases, to insist that they seek assistance from professionals who are skilled in helping people free themselves from compulsive behavior.
At some point if the addict either cannot or will not change, the concerned spouse or parent must let the loved one know that if they do not change, there will be consequences. In extreme cases if an addicted spouse’s behavior continues to harm the family, one must be willing to dissolve the marriage.
In terms of how one can break free of an addiction, Mrs. Moon suggested several common-sense steps which have often brought good results, and are favored by some psychologists. The first is to identify “triggers,” which can include such things as sounds, smells, sights or situations that tend to spark the onset of an unwanted, habitual behavior.
As one becomes more self-aware, it is also possible to recognize warning signs even before the triggers occur, thus giving the addict more chance to resist the habitual impulses and preempt the unwanted behavior.
To resist and ultimately defeat addictions, the addict can learn to use “coolers,” simple techniques such as deep and focused breathing, meditation or even counting in order to regain steadiness, stability and a connection with one’s conscience. These techniques can help the addict to free himself or herself from compulsions and become able to follow his or her true desires, free to create a happy life.
The aboutrecovery.com site posts a hotline that offers 24-hour confidential help. Their telephone number is 1 877 345 3370. For the sake of clarity, the aboutrecovery organization has no connection with the Unification movement; however, it appears to be a very effective group.
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