(even if you don’t know an addict)
This week, drugs were the theme. No, really. I didn’t plan on it. But first I was talking with my brother about his DDR (drug demand reduction) assignment for Young Marines, and we spent some time researching how much drug problems cost the military. Then I read Premeditated Serendipity, which I’ll be reviewing really soon (like tomorrow), and one of the characters lost a family member to drugs. And I read Reaching Your Addicted Loved One. Even though none of my close family members have drug problems (thank you, Lord), I’ve met many friends in recovery, and some not-yet-in-recovery, especially through church programs I’ve been involved with. So I’m always interested in reading books about addiction. They help me understand the battles so many of my Mpact girls and youth kids have faced as they watched close family members deal with addictions.
This post was originally shared on the Real World Bible Study
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I was excited to read this book because the author, Victor Torres, came through the Teen Challenge program and was mentored by its founder. I’m very familiar with Teen Challenge and the story that birthed this awesome ministry, so I signed up to read Victor’s book.
But before I talk about the book, why should we read books about addiction, even if we don’t have loved ones who struggle with drugs or alcohol (or other non-chemical addictions)?
#1 We Should Read Books About Addiction Because the Drug and Alcohol Problem is Everywhere.
Even if this problem isn’t in your house, chances are, you are going to encounter it. Your kids will see and hear things at school. I hope you make friends at church that have struggled with drugs, because that means that your church is attracting the sick and broken, and also that these people are taking steps to get their lives together! And drugs may even impact your own family…even if your family members don’t drink or smoke or take illegal drugs. (How? Many addictions start with a legally prescribed drug to relieve pain from an injury. As helpful as these drugs can be for their intended purpose, they can also be highly addictive.). If someone you know and love becomes trapped in the snare of addiction, you want to see the signs early. You want to read books about addiction now, so that if this does happen in your family or with someone you know, you’ll be able to avoid panic and take the correct action to help your loved one.
Reaching Your Addicted Loved One is actually intended for the family member in the thick of it, the one who already knows there is an addiction or is starting to suspect it. But personally, I think we should read books about addiction before that situation arises, for the same reason you learn first aid or CPR. Imagine if you had to open a book to read about how to do first aid when someone you love was bleeding all over the floor.
That image. I know. You’re welcome.
#2 Addiction is Both a Spiritual and Physical/Mental Problem
The best books about addiction will address both sides of this problem. If they don’t, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read them, but you should definitely make sure to include both sides of the equation. When your family or someone you know ends up in a drug addiction crisis, the world will be trying to give you their advice. Some of it will be purely physical or mental health related. Other advice will deny the physical side of things and focus only on the spiritual. But both are wrong…or right. We should run to Jesus first. But God made us physical beings, not only spiritual beings, and that means that there will be both physical and spiritual solutions to problems. Reading books about addiction – including both perspectives – will prepare you to approach the problem with both physical and spiritual tools.
#3 Every Addict is Reachable and Curable
When we read books about addiction, we acknowledge that there is hope, whether for our parent or child or friend or the homeless man on the street. We arm ourselves with knowledge of how to pray and how to act alongside those prayers. Learning about addiction will help you have hope and give hope. It will help you have a different view of your loved one who struggles with addiction (or the stranger on the street). You will understand better the choices they made, the choices they need to make, and how they got where they are. You’ll better understand the healing that needs to happen, the resources available, and from that understanding can come great hope.
Would I recommend Reaching Your Addicted Loved One?
Yes, I would definitely recommend this book. It will go on my list of books on addiction, and I’m already planning to recommend it to my little brother for his next Young Marines project. This book was very practical and hands-on. Even though I’m not personally dealing with a loved one in this situation right now, as I read I felt like the practicality would be so encouraging to someone in panic mode, wondering what to do. The book is well-written and easy to read, well-researched with trusted sources. (I recognized many of them from my own research.) You can read the book straight through, or jump straight to questions like “What should I look for in a treatment program?” or “What if my loved one refuses to get help?” I think this book should definitely belong in any pastor’s library as well.
Reaching Your Addicted Loved One is on Tour with Celebrate Lit
About the Book
Author: Victor Torres
Genre: Self-help | Substance abuse & addictions | Drugs
Release date: January 8, 2019
As a teenager, Victor Torres was a gang warlord and heroin addict on New York City’s violent streets. Through the ministry of David Wilkerson and Nicky Cruz, Victor had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ and came to realize that God had a purpose for his life. Victor has spent the last forty-five years helping tens of thousands of young men and women find freedom from drug addiction and gang life. Now, he answers your toughest questions about your addicted loved one. Without pulling punches or promising easy answers, Victor provides wisdom and expertise that can lead you toward success.
Some of the questions Victor addresses are…
- How can I know if my loved one has a substance abuse problem?
- How can I tell the difference between helping and enabling?
- What if my loved one refuses to get help?
- When should I call the police?
- What should we look for in a treatment program?
- What can I expect when my loved one comes out of treatment?
- How do I prepare for relapse?
God did not create your loved one to be an addict or a loser. On the contrary, God created him or her for a better life. Although, for the moment, it may seem like you are losing your loved one, they still have a God-given destiny and a purpose. No matter how bad the picture may look now, there is always hope.
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author
Victor Torres was a junkie, drug-pusher, and warlord in Brooklyn’s meanest streets. Since his conversion, he has ministered Christ to thousands. He and his wife Carmen have traveled to over thirty nations preaching the Good News. Their chief undertaking, however, has been New Life for Youth, which began in 1971 in Richmond, Virginia. This growing work is one of the most respected and largest organizations in the country. Today, New Life for Youth has a ranch in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, which is helping an ever increasing number of hurting young men searching for hope, as well as a home for women with drug-related problems called the Mercy House. Their other resources in the Richmond, Virginia, area include House of Hope, a home for recovering men, and Mercy Moms, which serves women and their children. Victor and Carmen are also the founders and pastors of New Life Outreach International, a fast-growing dynamic church in Richmond, Virginia with over forty nationalities worshiping together. In 2017, his story was made into an award-winning major motion picture, Victor.
Guest Post from Victor
New Life Success Steps
- Pray, pray, and then pray some more. And after that, pray.
- Have faith enough for the both of you. Have faith enough for the whole family if necessary.
- Keep ﬁghting for your addicted loved one until they can do battle for themselves.
- Choose to believe beyond what you can see.
- Picture their future and believe the vision.
- Celebrate your loved one’s freedom—dare to believe!
Healing is yours for the taking. Reach out, ask God for help, and then receive it. Never lose hope that your loved one will be healed. My life, and the lives of so many others, is proof that God can even bring the dead back to life.
Your loved one was made for more than this. Don’t give up!
A Baker’s Perspective, January 1
The Power of Words, January 2
Real World Bible Study, January 3
Reading is My Superpower, January 4 (Interview)
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, January 4
Through the Lens of Scripture, January 5
Artistic Nobody, January 6 (Spotlight)
Mary Hake, January 7
Carpe Diem, January 8
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 9
Simple Harvest Reads, January 10 (Spotlight)
Janices book reviews, January 11
Bigreadersite, January 12
Margaret Kazmierczak, January 13 (Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, January 14