As a servant of the Lord dedicated to his works, one of my responsibilities is to bring more souls
to Christ. I have encountered many people in the church with different issues. For instance,
some Christians have been struggling with drug and substance abuse, yet they want to go to
heaven. When such people come to me for advice, they often ask, “What does the bible say
In this article, I will examine the Bible’s take on drug and substance abuse. Join me as we
explore this topic and discover how a Christian can avoid drug and substance abuse. Read on to
find out more!
How does the Bible describe substance abuse?
The Bible does not come out directly to describe what substance abuse is. Moreover, the Bible only mentions alcoholic drinks like wine and beer, like in Proverbs 20:1, when warning Christians about substance abuse. Several Bible verses have been used to demonstrate the effects of these substances, how they mutilate the body and how they mess up with a Christian’s pursuit of the kingdom of God.
The Bible might not have described substance abuse, but it has come out to gravely warn Christians against ingesting these substances because they do not glorify God in any way. These substances only satisfy the wants of the flesh and not the spiritual bit that God wants. This is recorded in Ephesians 5:18.
What are the effects of substance abuse, according to the Bible?
The Bible describes several effects of substance abuse, from causing bodily harm to causing embarrassment to some of the great people in the Bible, among other effects.
One effect of substance abuse is that it impairs the body and prevents it from doing what is right. This might lead a Christian to fall into shameful states. When Noah got drunk from wine, he removed all his clothing and remained naked. One of his sons, Ham, saw him naked and ended up picking a curse from his father. In this instance, alcohol embarrassed Noah in front of his sons and led to one of them being cursed forever. This is found in Genesis 9:20-27.
Genesis 19:30-38 gives us the story of Lot and his daughters after leaving Zoar. While at the mountain, his daughters planned to make him drunk and lie with him to get pregnant. For two consecutive days, they gave Lot wine to drink; he lost his senses and did not notice whatever he was doing. Lot ended up committing incest with his daughters. This is a revelation to Christians that substance abuse can lead you to sin unknowingly.
Substance abuse can also lead one astray, as noted in Proverbs 20:1. The verse says, “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” This is a wake-up call that these substances can lead one astray and even lose one’s wisdom.
Proverbs 23:29-35 describes what substance abuse, specifically alcohol takers, appears like and what substance abuse brings to people’s lives. In the description bit, the verse tells us that those who take wine have bloodshot eyes and needless bruises. This appearance is scary and not appealing at all. The ballad explains that despite wine looking good in the cup, it brings woes, sorrow, strife, and endless complaints.
It also leads to impaired judgment and hallucinations since “your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things.” These verses are sounding warnings that substance abuse breeds more negative effects than positive ones in a person’s life.
Proverbs 31:2-9 sounds like a warning that substance abuse leads to forgetfulness of the law and oppression of people’s rights. This specifically warns leaders who partake of these substances to be careful lest they mess up with even the law. The same verse says that we should only give to those who are perishing and living in anguish so that they can forget their poverty and misery.
1st Peter 5:8 says, “be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Being sober means being free from anything that mutilates the normal functioning of the body of a Christian. If intoxicated, you give the devil a chance to work on you. Since the devil’s job is to steal, kill and destroy, he might use drugs to finish you as a Christian. Substance abuse is, therefore, dangerous since it leaves you at the mercy of the devil, who lacks the best interests of Christians.
Being under substance abuse also hinders the holy spirit from doing his job in your life as a Christian. You cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit when you are drunk. Ephesians 5:18 warns us with the words, “do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the holy spirit.” When Jesus ascended to heaven, he promised to send Christians a helper who is the Holy Spirit. However. The Holy Spirit can only fill a sober body.
1st Corinthians 6:19-20 also reminds Christians that substance abuse strains our relationship with God and the Holy Spirit. It says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not on your own. You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies”. The verse talks about our bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit, having been bought at a price. Substance abuse is regarded as a dishonor to God and His temple.
These verses talk about substance abuse in the Bible and how it affects our relationship with God.
Is alcohol and drugs described the same in the Bible?
Alcohol and drugs are not described in the same way in the Bible. Alcohol is widely mentioned, but other drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine are not directly mentioned. However, Christians understand that all substances have one common factor; they alter the common functioning of the body.
Therefore, if the Bible is warning about alcohol, it also definitely sounds like the same warning is against other substances. They all mutilate the body and lead to a strenuous relationship with God.
Bible verses about addiction
Galatians 5:19-21 talks about the works of the flesh, such as drunkenness and alcohol addiction. The verse warns that those who do such will not inherit the kingdom of God.
One peter 2:11 says, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” One of the passions of the flesh is the addiction to substances that ruins the human soul.
Christians can also beat addiction through the power of God, as the Bible says in 1st peter 5:10. The verse says, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” This is a word of encouragement to any addict that God can still restore you if you turn back to Him and ask for help.
Romans 13:14 says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” This verse encourages Christians to embrace Jesus more than satisfying our flesh desires, including addictions to substance use. For Jesus is the only way to heaven but addiction leads to destruction.
These are just a few verses touching on addiction. However, as you embrace the Bible more, you will get more verses about addiction and how God can help you beat this vice that harms the body.
How can Christians stop substance abuse?
There are Christian-oriented rehabilitation centers for Christians who are deep into substance abuse. In these centers, as they help one to quit doing substances, Christianity doctrines are also incorporated into their day-to-day lives. Reading the Bible, singing, praying, and encouraging are given to ensure that one comes out of there free from substance abuse and well-equipped with God’s word.
For beginners, you are advised to quit the bad company, for the Bible clearly says in 1st Corinthians 15:33 that bad company ruins good morals. If your influence was not through bad company, find a Christian-oriented drug abuse counselor to help you quit drugs.
Christians are also encouraged to go to church and talk to the clergy. Most of them are usually ready and willing to pray, guide, and counsel on matters to do with drug and substance abuse. Once the recovery process is successful, join the necessary church groups that honor God by holding Bible study sessions and mission works. This way, you will avoid having idle time to relapse to substance abuse.
Finally, as a Christian, you are advised to pray and fast so that the Lord may be merciful to you and deliver you from the bondage of substance abuse. Since our God is merciful, if we are humble and ask Him to deliver us from substance abuse genuinely, He will listen. This is quoted in Joel 2:12-13. Once you are done with this journey, offer your time and service to God, and He will never let you slip again.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.