How to Help People with a Substance Abuse Problem through the Bible


This is a quest post by Patrick Bailey. If you would like to contribute a post to Attempts at Honesty, please read the guest post guidelines and get in contact with me if you feel that you can work within those guidelines to submit a post.

Note that there is a link in this post to direct those who struggle with addiction to a recovery center. I am not qualified to assess the quality of the care provided by the facilities represented there so the existence of the link does not imply an endorsement by Attempts at Honesty.


At the library, you’ll find multiple books on how a person can recover from a substance abuse problem.

I think this is ironic and also a little sad. Alcoholics, drug addicts, and those who suffer from some form of substance abuse are generally incapable of helping themselves. In fact, it will take a good, hard jolt to make a person with a substance abuse problem admit to this.

On the other hand, there is an army of us Christians for every single one of our brothers or sisters who needs help.

I think that any article that deals with helping those with a substance abuse problem should actually talk to the people around them. It is we who have the Christian duty to help those who have stumbled. Perhaps I too need a bit of a jolt.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

The Bible speaks of helping each other as Christ’s law. Helping each other is a concept my parents taught my brothers and I growing up. My nephews and nieces have likewise learned this even from when they were toddlers. I believe when a person is suffering from substance abuse, this when he or she needs the most help.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

Of course, it probably won’t be easy. I remember when I was younger, lots of times I would shrug off help and criticism. This was the case even though I’d already realized that I was in the wrong and knew I needed help.

Truth be told, now that I am an adult, it is still difficult for me to acknowledge mistakes and accept help. I imagine the same is true for people with a substance abuse problem. They too are ashamed to accept assistance.

It is not unlikely that this person whom we have gone the extra mile to help will turn us away, mock us, and find other ways to hurt us in general. This is the time when we need to ask God for Job’s patience.

“Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32).

This is one of my favorite verses from Proverbs. Who would ever have realized that patience would be such a strong weapon?

I believe the most important and helpful manifestation of this patience, is getting to know the individual that needs our help. We should take the time to understand the best way to approach the situation to be truly effective.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

And even as we acknowledge that the individual needs help, we must also accept our limitations.

Substance abuse is not something that will go away easily. While our love and compassion can set a person on a better path, there are organizations who have studied ways of treating this effectively, where you can receive Christian help for alcohol addiction. I believe it is part of our Christian duty to lead those with a substance abuse problem to this path.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs17:17).

And through all this, let us stay with this person God has given us to aid in steering back to the right path. We should strive to be the light to that helps the individual stay confident and trusting in God’s love.