Summary: Ninth in a series exploring life crisis, based on the promotional materials provided by Outreach in their "Who Cares" campaign. This message explores the life challenge of addiction.

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(Extensive inspiration for the sermons in this series derived from the sermon samples in the "Who Cares" promotional series by Outreach Ministries.)

(Opened this message with the "Who Cares" Sermon Starter on Addiction)

Smoking. Drinking. Drug Use. Sexual Addiction. Food Addictions. They can all be portrayed as cool. Trendy. Even “mature.” But they all carry with them another side. A much darker side. One that leaves the addict feeling enslaved and hopeless.

One news report said it well when it was speaking of an addiction to alcohol and it indicated that “Alcohol is closely linked with virtually every negative aspect of society; suicide, violent crime, birth defects, industrial accidents, domestic and sexual abuse, homelessness, death, and disease. It is the No.1 drug problem for people from all walks of life. It is No. 1 among whites, African Americans, and Hispanics, and it’s No. 1 among poor people and rich people, men and women, and young and old people alike.”

Young and old. In fact, chemical dependency among older adults is a growing problem. A government report stated that up to 17 percent of adults, 60 or older, have a problem with alcohol abuse, and over one-third of these developed the problem after reaching the age of 60. Factors involved in their addictions included: grief over the loss of a spouse or friend, loss of a job through retirement, loss of one’s home, or dislocation of the family.

Alcohol is currently used by more Americans than any other drug. And here is an absolutely incredibly amazing number. About 350 Americans die daily from alcohol-related problems while about 15 to 30 die daily from health effects of illegal drug use. Kind of makes you wonder which one should be illegal.

One member of Alcoholics Anonymous wrote the following:

We drank for happiness and became unhappy.

We drank for joy and became miserable.

We drank for sociability and became argumentative.

We drank for sophistication and became obnoxious.

We drank for friendship and made enemies.

We drank for sleep and awakened without rest.

We drank for strength and felt weak.

We drank "medicinally" and acquired health problems.

We drank for relaxation and got the shakes.

We drank for bravery and became afraid.

We drank for confidence and became doubtful.

We drank to make conversation easier and slurred our speech.

We drank to feel heavenly and ended up feeling like hell.

We drank to forget and were forever haunted.

We drank for freedom and became slaves.

We drank to erase problems and saw them multiply.

We drank to cope with life and invited death.

Despite the world’s best marketing efforts, there is definitely another side. . .a much darker side to substance use, abuse and addiction. Listen to this alcoholic’s testimony -

(Testimony 1 - Had read off stage by congregation member)

I always feel a little strange on Memorial Day weekend. You see, when I was a sophomore in high school, my parents went away for Memorial Day and left me at home alone. Big mistake! I threw the party to end all parties. There were people there I’d never seen before, a band, people drinking beer in every room of our house. Half way through the weekend, our house was a disaster.

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