Addiction is complicated. Kids grow up associating addicts with villains. Maybe no one teaches it, but movies, tv shows, commercials, and documentaries seem to indicate that addicts are bad people.
It's also complicated for adults who have never been directly affected by the struggles and sufferings related to addiction. We usually end our poor attempts at discussions on the topic by saying things like, "I just don't get it. If he really wanted to stop, he would."
This summer, my daughter has decided to watch the television series Lost. With the remote in hand (so I can skip over the few steamy love scenes), we watched the first 8 episodes last week. One episode focused on the heroin addiction of the character Charlie. As this "addict" battled withdrawals, my son started asking questions. I explained how Charlie was addicted to a powerful drug. My son asked, "So is he a good guy or not?" To his credit, he quickly explained how he knew drugs didn't make someone a bad guy. But, his initial response is evidence of the problem.
We're all flawed. Damaged. Imperfect. It doesn't make us bad. It means we're broken.
As my kids grow and mature, my hope is that their first question is not "Is he a good guy or not?" Rather, I hope their initial response is, 'How can I help?"
If you're struggling with addiction of any kind. Drugs. Alcohol. Porn. Sex. Food. I can tell you with great confidence the following things:
1) You can win this fight
2) You are important to God
3) You are not alone