Does Evil Exist in Drug and Alcohol Addiction?

Does Evil Exist in Drug and Alcohol Addiction?

You may have heard the saying to “slay your inner demons” with regard to vices and bad habits that trouble us, but do demons really exist in addictions to drugs and alcohol? As Heaven, Hell, angels, demons, good and evil are all under the realm of the spiritual, theological and supernatural, the laws of contemporary science don’t directly apply to them. As such, there are no scientific conclusions in applying spiritual terms to drug and alcohol addiction.

Science is the pursuit of explanations of how the natural world works, and until spiritual entities can be scientifically proven, most scientists and doctors will exclude the supernatural from their research and examinations. However, for people of Christian faith, including the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith (Bill W. and Dr. Bob), God (i.e. a “higher power”) is integral to Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps program that they created. They believed that addiction is so powerful that people cannot overcome it on their own without the help of a higher power. Bill and Dr. Bob don’t view AA as a religion, but when Bill met with Catholic Jesuit priests at the Sodality Headquarters, he discovered that the renowned Catholic theologian St. Ignatius had comprised a list of Spiritual Exercises that paralleled the Twelve Steps.

What Does the Bible Say About Addiction?

Many Christians believe there are individual demons associated with vices like lust, greed, vanity, sloth and the other Seven Deadly Sins. Jesus and his disciples drove “unclean spirits” and demons from people, freeing them from their vices, their “addictions” and their way of life that would otherwise have led them to certain death.

Though drug and alcohol use may not cause demonic possession, it can invite demonic possession, according to the following scriptures: Galatians 5:19-20,“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery (in Greek, pharmakeia), enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions…”Revelation 18:23,“and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery (Greek, pharmakeia).”

In both of these passages, the word sorcery is translated to the Greek φαρμακεία pharmakeía, which is where we get the word pharmacy. In Greek, pharmakeia is defined as sorcery, black magic, and the use of magical incantation with drugs. Sorcery is also associated with demonic activity in the bible as it uses unbiblical means to summon spirits, cast spells and foretell the future. It is not permitted by God.

Fallen Angels of Addiction

In the Christian tradition of Heaven, when “fallen angels” were cast out of Heaven by Archangel Michael, these fallen angels became demons that “prowl about the Earth seeking the ruin of souls.” They will attack weakness in humans and anything that God loves, and when a weakness in any human is present,Christians believe it will draw the attention of demons as an opportunity to destroy that person’s eternal spirit. Hence the warning in Galatians to avoid behavior that can make one vulnerable to evil.

The Spirit of Success over Addiction

For the faithful, there is hope. Demons are limited, created beings and can never match the omnipotent power of God. The founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, aren’t theologians or experts on theology, and they didn’t publicly talk about evil in addiction.

However, they found recovering alcoholics achieved more success when they called on the help of God as a higher power to give them strength and freedom to help them overcome their addiction. Bill and Dr. Bob found through experience that when the spiritual content of the Twelve Steps is ignored, alcoholics can seldom remain dry. “That is our A.A. experience,” said Bill W., “We stress the spiritual simply because thousands of us have found we can’t do without it.” (N.Y. State 3. Med., Vol. 44, Aug. 15, 1944)

Sex, Drugs, and Dave Navarro

Sex, Drugs, and Dave Navarro

Jane says… I’m gonna kick tomorrow…

Dave Navarro, lead guitarist for the punk rock band Jane’s Addiction, found his “tomorrow” in the late 1990s when he kicked an addiction to cocaine and heroin. He says he hasn’t intravenously used drugs for 15 years and has been sober for the past four years.

In 1983, when Navarro was only 15 years old, his mother and his aunt were murdered by the boyfriend of his mother. Navarro says if he wasn’t at his dad’s house that night, he most likely would have been killed too. He attributed his drug use as a means of escape from the trauma of his mother’s death. Navarro joined Jane’s Addiction in 1986. His entire life has been one challenge after the next, walking through fear to emerge on the other side. One of his greatest challenges was meeting his mother’s murderer in prison. After the meeting, Navarro commented that he can now tackle the rest of life’s challenges more easily.

Mourning Son

Dave Navarro tells his story of fear, loss, trauma and drug addiction in a new documentary, Mourning Son. His goal with the film  is to help others face their fears and become successful in their own addiction recovery.  Navarro explains in the film’s trailer, “I have never been one to not share what’s going on with me emotionally. I think as an artist and a musician, that’s just inherent in what we do. It’s the most profound moment of my life and I do not think I should just sweep it under the rug anymore. It was just the darkest, most horrible moment of my life.”

Creating the film was a cathartic endeavor for Navarro, and it led him to find even more healing. He is hoping his experiences will lead others to find healing from trauma and addiction. Navarro said in a press release, “Many of us invent our own coping skills. Mourning Son is my journey of discovering which of these mechanisms might send me further into suffering and which would help me recover and heal.” Mourning Son isn’t Navarro’s first foray into filmmaking, though. He directed the adult film, Broken, and won the trophy for Best High End All-Sex Release at the 2008 AVN Awards. Ironic that he’s never won a Grammy, but brought home the gold for porn!

Fearless Innovator

Navarro’s music career really began when he was in a high school marching band. It was there that he met Stephen Perkins, who later invited Navarro to join Jane’s Addiction. After Jane’s, Navarro played for Red Hot Chili Peppers, and scored his biggest hit with “You Oughta Know” when he teamed up with Alanis Morissette on their multiplatinum album ‘Jagged Little Pill.’ He had the opportunity to join Guns N’ Roses upon guitarist Izzy Stradlin’s departure. Navarro cited his heroin addiction as the reason for not joining Guns N’ Roses.

Navarro also achieved success in reality TV as a judge of CBS’s singing competition franchise “Rock Star,” and as an author with the release of his 2005 autobiography, Don’t Try This At Home. Navarro is now an advocate for domestic violence and admitted he was unaware his documentary is about domestic violence until they were halfway through producing it. The film is a cautionary tale about domestic violence and addiction, and explores alternative methods to move through those traumas.

Mourning Son is currently available but a word of caution: The film depicts graphic footage of Navarro using early in his career, and may be a trigger for some.