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Finding Freedom from Addiction
Where can a drug addict go for help? Cocaine had taken its toll on him, and he wanted to die. But then God met him. Today he hosts a television show that helps others.

Holed-up in a hotel room in Stoney Creek, Ontario, on January 18, 1998, I truly thought this night would be the last time I would ever drink alcohol and snort a line of cocaine. Actually I thought it would be the last time because I was hoping the cocaine would kill me.

Glenn Allan, host of the Living Clean TV show.

My life had spun out of control; more than 15 years of excessive drinking and a decade of doing cocaine had taken its toll. I had lost jobs, friends, my dignity, integrity, and finally, I lost myself.

Looking back my addiction began innocently enough. It started out as "having fun" and being "one of the guys," but by the time I reached 33 years of age I just wanted to die. I hated the person I had become.

Yet, deep inside I knew I could be a good guy—a good son, brother, friend, colleague, an asset to the community. It's just that over the years I had made so many poor choices, and hurt so many people, how could I even begin to change, and where could I go to get help?

Well, after that night in the hotel room in 1998 I was taken to hospital. After my release, I spent 11 days at the Hamilton Detox Centre, then six weeks in a drug and alcohol treatment centre and a further 23 weeks in a recovery house.

Remarkably my life began to change and the biggest difference came when I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life and be my Lord and Saviour. I have been clean and sober since January 19, 1998. Today I enjoy a healthy balance between recovery, Christianity and life in general. I am married, and my wife Colleen and I have a three year old daughter, and two year old little son, and are expecting another child this summer.

However, there are so many people who are in need of hope and encouragement and that is why I have gratefully accepted Ken Bosveld's invitation to be a regular contributor to Beacon Magazine.

You see, my past was full of unresolved issues and unresolved resentment that included being sexually abused as a young boy. I grew up hiding my shame, guilt and anger. And when my past caught up with me, I tried to numb my feelings and emotions with drugs and alcohol. My pride and ego kept me from asking for help, (not that I knew where to go for help). For the longest time I didn't even think I had a problem, although December 4, 1987 should have been a wake-up call. That was the night I was stabbed and almost died outside a bar in Stoney Creek.

Asking for help is the toughest and most courageous thing an addict can do, and being there for the person in need of help is what Christ calls us to do. He doesn't tell us to be judgmental, or to gossip, or think of ourselves as better. It's amazing what we excuse, justify and rationalize when we don't hold ourselves accountable to Jesus Christ. Talking the talk is one thing; walking it is something totally different unless we seek His wisdom.

Godly wisdom can be evaluated by its qualities. The Bible tells us in James 3:17 that God's wisdom is "first of all pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere."

God's instructions were given to us because they naturally lead to healthy living. Following them, we can find the wisdom required to lead us to wholeness and spiritual growth. This can be one of the standards we use in our continuing daily inventory

Glenn Allan hosts Living Clean, a television show designed to assist individuals suffering with addiction. Living Clean airs live on CTS TV. Each week he is joined by professional athletes who share their inspirational stories of faith. He can be reached at glenn16@sympatico.ca.

Originally published in the Beacon, March/April 2006.

 

 
 
 
 

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