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Addiction & the Devil's Battleground: Knowledge is Power

Angeline David DrPHMHSRDN

Presenter

Angeline David DrPHMHSRDN

Health Ministries Director for the North American Divison of SDA

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Conference

Recorded

  • June 19, 2019
    8:30 AM
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Father in Heaven Lord we're so grateful that you are a god of answers. That you know what is needed and when it is needed how it is needed and large we're so thankful that you haven't given up on any one of us. But your arm of mercy is stretched out. So we invite you here in this room we invite your spirit to soften our heart and we invite your angels to to enjoy our presence with them here and we pray Lord that you will rebuke the devil that we will hear the message that you want to hear we thank you for your healing power and we thank you for being with us. Jesus name. So as we talk about the issue of addiction. I wonder I ask the question already home of you are how many of you are addictions sessional there are help support others were going through addiction I wonder how many of you know someone who is struggling with an addiction. To your hand you know someone now that might be mean you know yourself. But the majority of you raised your hand and said that you know someone who's dealing with addiction of the people that you are thinking of how many know someone who is in the administration who is struggling with an addiction Ok almost the same number of hands so this is very relevant to us to the church on multiple levels one because God did they go into all the world. And so we have responsibility to everyone in the world. And also because we're connected to people who struggle with this. We know them they probably sit behind us in the pew at church or we associate with them in other ways so this is a really important concept that I think it's important to understand with addictions that it's very real it's very personal and these are human beings. These are children of God They may not know it yet but they are children of God and I think it's really important that we put that human face on the issue of addiction because though often what we do is we kind of separate ourselves from them we kind of say oh you're the addict you're the the problem. That is one of the most dangerous things that we can do is put that label on them and to kind of unintentionally though it may be to kind to separate ourselves from the what a lot of what I will be doing is trying to connect a back to the humanity of what the issue of addiction is about. You know we could probably spend the rest of our time talking just about that video and going point by point about what that young boy discovered about the issue predictions and we can learn a lot that you know some of the key things that I picked up was when the teenager said when the young boy said did you want to become addicted said no and I can probably I've not talked to every single person who's ever been addicted but I could probably guarantee that nobody ever wanted to become addicted to whatever it is. And I think that's really key as we think about well how do we think about the people this was not a path that they intended. So let's look at what was it really took them down that road so 1st of all some key terms as we talk about the area of addictions there is substance misuse substance misuse which isn't technically an addiction but it's using a substance and as will see it could be also a behavior that using something inappropriate to to an extent where it's starting to harm you but you may not necessarily be dependent on the drug or the behavior of the person whatever it is so it's good to know that there is a distinction because the earlier we start intervention when they haven't reached the point of addiction or dependency earlier we can help them the better their chances of recovery and the less damage that they have to recover from substance use disorder is a technical definition recurrent use of substance causes clinical and functional significant impairment so this is where it's really start causing problems for you in your life. Based on it they look at impaired control so you have no you no longer have control when you have substance misuse you often still have control over your life you actually can still make the decision you have that decision making power when we get into use disorder that's where you get to a place where you can no longer control it controls you. There social impairment with a substance misuse you may not realize that people are actually having problems because they seem to be falling they're acting just as normal they're coming to church regularly they're doing they're going to work regularly they have the normalcy of life. But with a disorder that's when you see their reclusive they're starting to pull away there's erratic behavior that you can explain. And and also there's pharmacological criteria there's you know certain chemical dependencies there are also physiological things happening that are deeper now opioid use disorder anybody hear about recently it's a huge issue right so we are going to spend some time at the end of today hopefully to talk a little bit more about the opioid issue as well because I know it's such a massive issue right now also understanding the difference between dependence and addiction is important a dependence is when you or you have a physiological adaptation in other words your body physical is the coolie needs whatever that is but with an addiction it's just much more severe it's just. The intensity is greater and the dependency often leads to an addiction and depending on a number of different character different issues whether or not the dependency actually transitions to an addiction. Addiction involves changes to your brain will talk about. Compulsive seeking of the drug or whatever it is in spite of negative consequences and will seem a little bit about why that happens as well. Another going on it's difficult to distinguish between dependence and addiction you need thorough assessment for this so the our goal our goal is to get the people help. To help them recognize that you know what whatever the constituency ssion just to see if you can get them help and this is very difficult because. Difficult for any of us to accept help when we're not ready for it isn't it all the more so when there's an addictive process happening there's a lot of denial that's happening hell aren't an withdrawal are too important aspect to to keep in mind tolerance is where you need more and more of the let's just use alcohol you need more and more of it to get the same kind of effect those happy euphoric effects and withdrawal is when you take it away and those terrible thing to happen the sometimes the withdrawal process the so painful that individuals are not able to stay on withdrawal being they go back to the drug because they may not have the the type of support surrounding them to help them that. And I've listed on here some of those symptoms dressed in by the Depression Natia meting muscle aches cramping I mean those sound like things that anybody can be going through but all the more intense for individuals who are going through withdrawal. So can you imagine stop drinking have users I mean what are your choices here. You know it's a life and death issue either way either way though definitely needing very intensive care for. Ok the addiction problem this is a research study that was published in 2011. Titled prevalence of addiction. The majority or the minority what do we think our addictions like really rare really really rare. Ok you already know that they've looked at 11 types of addictions addiction to tobacco alcohol illicit drugs those are the ones we think of right those are addiction but also addiction to eating gambling the Internet addiction to love or sex addiction to exercise to work or shopping. Shopping addiction. Yeah it's possible exercise addiction absolutely Now let me ask you this question How many of those things on the list are necessarily evil inherently bad yeah really just the 1st 3 right I mean the other things are are well the internet's not necessary for life although it has become that way well Ok gambling we can put that on the go for things. But the other things are normal parts of lying and yet they can become addictive truly addictive and now we're talking not we're not talking about you know just throwing out the word addiction right oh I'm addicted to chocolate. Or oh I'm addicted to you know I just love this so much we're talking about real cool in the coal issue here so as they did this study what they found was that 47 percent of adult suffer with anyone a-D. over a given 12 month period already. So I hate to think this for 47 percent of the people in this room some point in the past 12 months have struggled with an addiction that's how real and how close to home this really think a 47 percent of the people in your church don't think of specific people. About 47 percent of the people. Think about 47 percent of the people. You know the shopping mall or at your child's school course this research was done with adults not children to think about what that really means and what that looks like and this was published a few years ago 8 years ago so. I don't think things have gotten better since then Ok So types of addictions we are very familiar with the substance abuse right we know about them we've been hearing about these and you know the I've been a strict has a strong history of working in this area we had our 5 day plan to stop smoking we were very strong proponents of program Bishan we worked with the women's temperance movement because the Hudson church really recognized the need to be working in this area. But we also have what are called process or behavioral addictions and these are the ones that are a little bit more difficult to identify and they're a little bit more sensitive because anybody can fall under any one of the. You know and this is a short list by the way it's just about anything just about anything in fact this is what we can get addicted to anything we can we feel we cannot live without and leaves us to live in an balanced life regardless of the harm it causes or others we can be addicted to anything we can be addicted to our car. Our computers to our friends. Co-dependent relationship we could be a decade to our phone. Now I want to pause here and say that you know this doesn't mean that because you know we check our phone 1st thing in the morning that doesn't necessarily mean you're addicted to it kind of throw that out there we want to be careful because sometimes that minimizes the actual addiction and the people who are truly fucked suffering and struggling we don't want to do that but we also want to recognize that basically any one of us are prone we're all prone to arming addictions So what is an addiction. Now this is sort of the the official does a good definition from the American side Society of Addiction Medicine they define it as a primary chronic disease of brain reward motivation memory and related circuitry let's teach that apart a little so we understand a little bit more so it's primary that means in medical terminology that means that it does not have an underlying other health problem that's causing it so the addiction is the main problem so for example if someone has diabetes. Obesity maybe the thing that that is pushing the diabetes or maybe hypertension started it off and they got to other diseases and they're sort of like this one disease causing another but there is something that with addiction there were no other medical problems that were really causing it makes you wonder what was the cause is there a cause we'll talk about chronic to the chronic disease meaning just like diabetes just like heart disease just like high blood pressure just like obesity Maybe not but it's a long term. It's a D's these that basically you're going to have to be careful with for the rest of your life. And it includes the brain we're going to talk about that. We'll talk about the brain a little bit dysfunction in the circuits need to characteristic I really appreciate what they put on the clip dysfunction lead to biological psychological social and when. Their actual manifestation. These are the official people who work in addictions they're saying that addictions have its spiritual implications and I think this is really important because it means that we as a church have something to say about this we have something to do about this because we are a spiritual body and they're talking also about biology that's our physical frame psychology our mental functioning social our connectedness and spiritual the 7th Day Adventist Church believes that there are core components to our health to our wellbeing they are physical mental social and spiritual addictions is all about that and with addictions. Every single one of those areas are hit every single one so it's like addictions are the extreme but worst case scenario of health problems because every single one is. Going on they also say this and we talk about this addiction is characterized by the inability to consistently abstain consistently so they may be able to you know get off her a couple of days maybe even a week but they had to fall back into it so they're not able to be consistent and stay away from the addiction. There's impairment in behavior control they're not able to control their behaviors the cravings there's inability to recognize significant problems with your being here there's nothing wrong with me I don't know what you're talking about I'm fine. You know they may have lost their job they may have lost their house and have lost whatever else but their inability to see that that's a problem there's a problem with their interpersonal relationships dysfunctional emotional response how they respond emotionally to you know the death of a loved one or or bad news you know the response is just oh I thought you wouldn't expect that like other chronic diseases addiction involves cycles of relapse and remission so they get off they go back to get off they go back and the key point here again is that just like any other chronic disease it's a cyclical issue so a key point with that is that if someone with say diabetes they do well they take care of themselves for a while they kind of decrease their medications they're doing well but then something happens tragedy strikes and then they have to go back on the meds the same kind of situation is happening to someone who has an addiction and yet our response to the person with diabetes is very different from our response of the person who's struggling with addiction the way we think about that person is very different although there are things happening that that individual actually can't control. Addictions can result in disability or premature death. Ok Usually when an addiction is being. Diagnosed what they look for are 3 or more of the things happening in a given 12 month period and the diagnosis really depends on the addictive substance or behavior it depends on on the tools they're using but what what we look for is their stall or Enson withdrawal which we talked about earlier they use in larger amounts than intended Oh I'll take a little cup of this take one cigarette I'll just you know do I'll just spend 5 minutes on the computer whatever it may be but it ends up being much longer than they really intended their desire or they have a desire or they have an unsuccessful attempt to stop so they're trying really hard or they want to they really gotta stop I really wish I could stop or they've tried to stop or to or to just cut back spending a lot of time procuring the substance there's a preoccupation everything about life is all about I need to make sure I can get that they say planned the schedule they plan you know their whole life through is revolved around having to get whatever it is and a decline or elimination of social occupational and recreational activity they become very isolated and that's one of the most dangerous things that could happen to someone in addiction so we can alter chemical pathways in the brain. Let's talk briefly about the 5 stages of addiction the way that you care for a person depends on where they are in the stages and again earlier the earlier we catch them the better able we are to help them so experimentation this is where you know unfortunately a lot of time our children get this pool you know someone is kind of just passing it around on the playground and this is when they may just try it and they don't realize that they're kind of setting themselves up to unfortunately about the worst pathway this is often not noticed but we want to you know as we talk this is really important keeping communication open with our. Teenagers how easy is that. Sometimes the communication is just letting them know that your beer when they need you the communication doesn't always have to be telling them what they should or shouldn't do because that may actually push them away but letting them know that you are there to help them or to listen to them that is one of the most important things that we can do is just letting them know I'm a safe place you can come to me whenever you need. The next stage is. Ok regularly use so they're no longer experimenting it becomes you know maybe a daily or weekly. Comes part of their every day life this could be difficult to discover or this is when some of the signs start showing up they may start lying a little bit about where they've been or what they were doing you might see signs of things you know in the room in the bedroom and you wonder what what was that. And you know you're just not getting clear answers for. The 3rd stage is risky use so this is tough because everyone has a different definition of what risky is but being aware that things could be ethically their behavior alarms you when they do something that well I don't expect that from you that's not usual it's not normal clears fine but there could be something wrong and we want to discover ways to help at that point we really want to get help at that point dependence we talked about the tendency of support stage and they really need help at this point this is we do not want them to go past pendants and this is challenging because they may not feel that they need help this is the 1st stage where they still are in control of their view they're still making choices but they are dependent and so it's very difficult to actually get them a place where they will get help and finally the addiction. And we really definitely need help at this time I want to say at this point that it's Ok to get help. I feel like we should all champ. Champ but we should say it we should we should all be Ok with getting help it doesn't matter if you're talking about an addiction or what it's. You know even Christ when he was in the garden of get some money he said to his friends want to stay up and pray with me he was crying for help and nobody was there for him it's Ok to ask for help and we need to let them know that too it's Ok. If you need help but it's not Ok to not get help because things only get worse the process of addiction it really depends on the user Ok what is going on in that person's life and their health other health issues their. Age of onset personality. Very you know it is there are some genetic predispositions for of her addictions as well so the genetics not only because you know your family does things certain ways so it's behavior but it's also what the the what your family passes on to you in terms of what you like the things that you hey those are all part of that the drug itself you know opioids have been around for how long. Right I mean I'm sure you probably remember hearing stories from. East to the East Indies how they brought opioids and you know all of these smoky houses Well those drugs were so the potency was so little compared to what we have today. The dosage that we have today is enormous compared to what they were dealing with and so there's no no wonder that we have a problem today it was a problem then too but it's so much work now the environment this is another component that we often forget the environment that the individual is in effect there progression the social setting group expectations cultural context I look around the room and I see a number of different cultures represented here and every single culture has their own expectations but is there also a Christian culture expectation is there a cultural expectation within the end been a church is there a cultural expectation within ad been a sleeping in Michigan wherever you go whatever pocket of people you're talking about there is a culture and so all of those are important to consider and sometimes what we need to do is advocate to break down that culture because it could be putting people at risk there are good things about every single culture but there are some things that every single culture other maybe look at again and see if it's actually benefiting. Ok that's another sub addiction in the brain we have just a few minutes left so we're going to go through this quickly and it's late afternoon you don't want to hear a lot of science so addiction in the brain it's important to know that addictions do affect the brain there's something called the reward pathway and any time there's anything rewarding that includes food water and sexual relationships with yourself those are good things that God gave in the Garden of Eden that they're not that in the right context and God programmed our brain that when we get those things that our brain actually get happy and our whole body gets happy and in fact they can be healing to our body well but over time when we're looking at drugs they also affect the same toward pathway in the brain over time the drug the person is not able to choose whether or not the drug is a good idea and let's talk about why so here's one area of the brain that that's affected the nucleus accumbens it's very much involved in addiction and pretty much all addictions affect this area we also have the or bitto frontal cortex you've heard a lot about the frontal cortex I'm short the orbital frontal cortex is you can see on the picture it's just the low the prefrontal cortex it is it. Regulates the ability to appreciate the consequences of your actions so it tell you whether or not that was a good consequence. And. It also help you decide if something is a trivial or a critical decision for example you're out at a restaurant you can't decide what to order that's a trivial decision but your You're at a crosswalk and there's a 16 wheeler coming down the road whether or not you cross the road at that time that's a critical decision well with drug use or with addiction that ability is diminished you can't How is this an important decision or not and it's a physiological effect on your brain so it hinders your ability to make sound decisions another area in the brain is the anterior things you list cortex and this tells you if your decision matches the result of your decision matches what you were expecting to happen so if you if you for example if you eat something that makes you get a bellyache then most of us know Ok Don't eat that again but with someone with an addiction that ability is compromised and they're not able to judge that that was a bad decision and they shouldn't do it again their ability to make sound decisions come from so the prefrontal cortex also is involved with the addiction process the the brain activity in the prefrontal cortex of the diminished I'm going to get the. The brain because I want to get to talking about the opioid crisis a little bit I want to again put a a real face to this and I want this is a article that was published in The New York Times in on May 31st it's a story of a young girl whose mother struggled with the opioid with an opioid and I'm going to just there you quickly read you some excerpts from this story so late Look Chris Caig the young girl she's a teenager her mother is back home after 3 weeks of who knows where she says she's done with heroin she's ready for rehab and wants to be part of her daughter's life but Layla has heard all of this before and doesn't believe. Layla trust was broken long ago after years of watching her mother cycle in and out of addiction and rehab and it goes on to say that she found needles in her mom's car. 5 days later after that label as Mom is gone again so Aki content which is one of the opioids. They what the author of this article is saying that a generation is growing up amid the throes of a historic at the Dimmick epidemic called them Generation. We've heard about lots of generations right every generation has a name these are called Generation of the children whose families are trapped in their relentless grip of addiction rehab and prison and here in this county which is in Ohio. There's a mix of verdant farmland old mill town where everyone appears to know someone who has struggled with dependent. Sounds a little bit like the Dr I had coming up here verdant farmland old mill town in in this town. Well read this in a nation where more than 130 people die every day from an opioid overdose and in a region in Ohio where the impact of addiction has taken a severe emotional toil on children who is for many children many students a wreck a place where they attend classes but also have access to hot meals hot showers and donated clothes on Friday educators said students can take home a backpack to look at they will go hungry over the weekend. So imagine a town where that is what they have to do for their children. The school has become the home the story goes on to say that the children come to school they will shower at the school they will put on fresh clothes clean clothes and then before they go home which is usually at night dark before the school closes the doors they will change back into their old clothes so that the parents don't take the new clothes and sell them so they can buy the drug now listen to this about the story of Layla's mom not too long ago Layla lived in a middle class neighborhood with her sister her step father and mom they sat down most eating for dinner cooked by her mother who worked then as a hospice nurse. The people who struggle with these addictions. Are not. People they're not people who have been just living a life of vice and crime and have just given their life over to whatever evil the pleasures of the world these are people who have had real jobs. Real Lives reopen am Leigh they've had everything in their life but then something happened. In the case of Layla. It was a job stress. And as a nurse she had access to painkillers and she just took one to help ease the stress. And now she's homeless our children have nothing easier people who are just like you and me but they've had something go wrong anyone anyone can go down that path. So my question for us as we close up. My question for us is what are we going to do as a church. What are we going to do you thing the church can be a place for hope and healing. You think we could be that resource for those children Layla wants to become a nurse or a nurse practitioner when she grows them but look at the conditions she has to live through will she ever make it we really don't know because everything is fighting against her are how are we going to take this insane war this is a huge problem we probably gotten ourselves into a mess but you've got a healthy Well tomorrow we're going to talk about how. We'll look at what are the real true ways that we can recover and find healing for the individuals but also for the community and you know what we also need. Let's close up a word of prayer your Father in Heaven Lord this problem of addictions is too great for us. It's a problem. In this world and the pain in the suffering. Of father you have said Christ. The son will set you free then you are free indeed then we want freedom for our south the people around us I asked that you give us. Our hearts that you. Are a sick. So that we will embrace them. And I help you or do you are the true source of healing. You are the true source of help we cannot do without so we pray that you teach us what we are to do. How we can serve. In that process we will experience healing ourselves. Thank you. Christ. This media was brought to you by audiotapes a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio of course if you would like to listen to more servant leader visit w w w dot audio Verse dot org.

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