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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Limbaugh Story Shows Addiction Can Hit Anyone
Jimmy Moore
October 13, 2003

Conservatives everywhere were deeply saddened over the weekend by the sudden announcement by Rush Limbaugh on Friday that he is addicted to painkillers and would be entering drug rehab.

As someone who has listened to Rush for more than a decade, I was amazed by the news of his drug addiction.  I mean, he certainly never suffered any apparent ill-effects from an intellectual standpoint on his radio show. 

Other than the brief problems he had while he performed his job in total silence for three months in 2001 when he suddenly became deaf, I cannot remember ever hearing about Rush stumbling in any way.

Until now.

The fact of the matter is that there are literally hundreds of thousands of people addicted to painkillers today.  Most people think of cocaine, marijuana and heroin when they hear the phrase "drug addiction."  But painkillers are much more prevalent as the kind of drugs abused most often.

I recall a Christian singer named Michael English, a man who in the mid-90's won a Dove Award (a Christian Grammy Award) for his song "In Christ Alone" but gave back the award after admitting to having an extramarital affair, became addicted to hydrocodone because of a recurring back problem he was experiencing. 

English, like Rush, was suspected of illegally obtaining the drugs without a prescription.  My article otday does not pertain to the speculation over the criminal charges that Rush may be facing when he gets out of rehab in November.

This story simply proves a point I have been making for years.  Nobody is incapable of being affected by addictions.  NOBODY!  Addictions can become such a stronghold in our lives and we may not even realize it.

The bondage that comes from being addicted is something that can only be overcome by the strength found solely in Jesus Christ.  While the traditional 12-step programs describes Him a "higher power," Christians know that their higher power is God Himself.

With the Rush revelation, I pray that others who are suffering with this addiction will find the courage to be set free from the same bondage and find help immediately for their dependence upon painkillers.

Lest I forget to mention it, drugs do not hold the monopoly on addictions.  There are also addictions to food, smoking, alcohol, gambling, sex, shopping and work, just to name a few.  ANYTHING can become an addiction in your life if it takes complete control of your life.

Interestingly, a popular contemporary Christian artist named Carman used this idea to pen a popular song called "Addicted to Jesus" in the mid-90's to counter the drug culture that demanded drug use. 

Carman said in his song that Christians should become completely "addicted to Jesus" in order to find that giving Him complete control of their lives is the ONLY way to find lasting joy and peace without having to rely on external sources, such as drugs, to fill that void in their lives.

There is no more effective way to destroy someone's life than to have them become addicted to something.  It may begin as something small and seemingly harmless.  No big deal, right?  But isn't that how all addictions start.

Let's be honest here.  The reason why people become addicted to something is because they want to escape reality.  And EVERYONE has an addiction to something to help them escape into another world.

While it may not be drugs or alcohol, it could be food (which I have battled as an addiction for my entire life).  If it is not food, then it could be sex.  Everyone is different and responds to different forms of addiction.  But the fact is that EVERYONE will likely become addicted to something during their lifetime.

What makes addictions so harmful is the bondage they place on people's lives.  The addiction may be related to one part of your life, but it may soon take over EVERY area of your life.  Your relationships suffer and so does your health.  Life itself is sucked out of you and your valuable time on earth has been wasted. 

For Christians, it means less time spent with God and susceptibility to becoming even more addicted as temptation from the enemy persists.  And being separated from God, which is what the sin of addiction does, is the worst thing in the world that can happen.

The act of getting "high" for the sake of escaping from reality is actually not an escape at all.  The problems are still there, but they are just blocked out for a short time.  In reality, the problems you had before your addiction will begin to multiply after the addiction begins because of the harmful consequences it can cause.  And so the bondage continues.

Young people often experiment with addictive things out of curiosity, which opens the door for Satan to grab a foothold in their lives.  That is literally inviting the Prince of Darkness to come into your home and live with you.  That's the same thing as putting a sign on your front door telling anyone and everyone that they can come and go as they please in your house. 

As people get older, the real addiction begins to set in.  Surprisingly, most addicts function as normal adults like Rush Limbaugh has for the past 6 years.  But the addiction is so strong in their lives that they have been able to fake their way through life as if nothing is wrong.

They have fooled themselves into believing they cannot possibly live without their addiction.  Once the enemy grabs a hold of someone's life, he doesn't let go of it easily.  Most young people would never experiment with things if they knew the damage it would cause later in life.

People who are addicted to something must end their addiction.  It won't be easy and it may take a long time to overcome.  But it can happen.  Most addictions are used to escape the realities of life.  But if people should face up to their problems through a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ rather than running away from them, then their lives will be much better off.

There are some great Christian recovery ministries in the Upstate, including one conducted by Brookwood Community Church in Greenville. "Celebrate Recovery" meets on Friday nights at 7pm, where they serve supper, have a time of praise and worship, break into small group study groups (like 12-step program) and socialize. 

Thousands of churches across the United States are doing this program week after week, helping people overcome the hurts, hangups and habits in their lives.

When I lived in Virginia Beach, my wife and I were involved in the contemporary praise team for a recovery ministry at our church there.  I personally saw the dramatic tranformation that took place in people's lives once they allowed Jesus Christ to take control of their addiction and break the bondage it had on them.

The Bible says that "no weapon formed against us shall prosper."

Whether it is Rush Limbaugh or John Smith, deliverance and victory over drugs and other addictions can happen.

Just as they chose to experiment with things that caused the addiction, so can people choose to get help.

I'm praying that Rush and other addicts can find the peace, love and joy that will sustain them for the rest of their lives.

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Jimmy, while I am in total agreement with everything you said, I would like to comment on one thing, if I may. For some reason, the term, "addicted to Jesus"bothers me. In my experience, I have seem too many people hide behind the church. . . .

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