Addiction and the Power of Faith, Hope and Prayer

September is National Recovery Month. Learn what Guideposts is doing in this war against addiction.

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Posted in , Aug 28, 2018

Addiction and Recovery

Adapted from Edward Grinnan’s Editor’s Note for the September 2018 issue of Guideposts. If you’d like to subscribe, click here.

I was still new at Guideposts when I pitched the idea of a series focusing on narrators who had struggled with addiction—either themselves or in their families. My editor shook his head and said, “I’m not sure enough families identify with that problem.” Maybe my own experience with addiction skewed my thinking, I concluded.

American families affected by alcoholism, drug dependency and other devastating addictions now number in the tens of millions. Surveys suggest that addiction has touched as many as a third of all families. America is undergoing an epidemic of addiction. Then there are the conditions that are brought on or worsened by addiction: heart and liver disease, diabetes, cancer, depression and dementia, to name just a few. Suicide rates are on the rise as well. The medical cost of addiction to our society is estimated to exceed 600 billion dollars annually. That’s almost as much as the Pentagon gets. The cost in lives is incalculable. We are literally at war.

The stories in our Overcoming Addiction editorial series prove it is a war we can win with faith, hope and prayer. With compassion and understanding. With a commitment to loving the addict or alcoholic until he can love himself. We must believe that no addict or his family is beyond hope because hope is the lifeline we offer. As I recounted in my book The Promise of Hope, for years I lived a life devoid of any existential imperative other than the next drink or drug until I found that hope in the stories of others, initially in a 12-step group. Guideposts was meant to be my “recovery job” early in sobriety. I was only supposed to stay a year. That was 30 years ago. Your stories are why I stayed. Your stories helped keep me sober. You helped save my life.

September is National Recovery Month. Learn what Guideposts is doing in this war against addiction. For one thing, we are launching an initiative called Resolve to Quit by partnering with leading recovery and advocacy groups. There’s so much to be done, and we are counting on your help. I know how much it has meant to me.

Join Edward in our Facebook Live event on September 12, 2018 at noon (ET) to celebrate National Recovery Month: facebook.com/guideposts.

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