That definition contains some heavy words.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse says, "Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long lasting and can lead to many harmful, often self-destructive, behaviors." That is weighty, too.
Today one of our favorite baseball players disclosed to MLB that he had relapsed. His career, his family, and his health are in question.
Everyday someone in your circle of influence is struggling with an addiction. It may be drugs, alcohol, pornography, or dozens of other things. Not everyone will seek help.
I believe in the power of prayer and I believe in the power of God. I also believe that God uses skilled doctors and counselors to affect healing in addicts. And I believe in the power of friendships.
Most of us can pray. Most of us can be the friend that walks through recovery with someone we love. Most of us can encourage the addict to get help.
It seems the MLB star came forward on his own - or at least without a failed drug test about to be released. More details will come out in the next hours and days. But he's seeking help. His story includes relapses and recoveries so he knows there is a way of hope. He has a testimony of Christian faith. It would be easy to throw rocks at him, cast him on the trash heap, and look for another hero.
My own faith-journey tells me that there is always hope. Yes, there may be relapses into whatever sin you struggle most with, but the hope is in knowing that Jesus forgives us when we turn to him, he accepts us with all our faults, and he works in us to make us something new. If I cast this player on the trash heap I might as well join him. How can there be hope for my sin if there's no hope for his?
Look around you for that person who needs someone to believe in him. Find the addict in your circle and pray for her. Encourage them to seek help.