Guest Author: Chad Logan
College is an exciting time! There are so many possibilities and the future seems bright. It’s an exciting time where you often are just starting to feel some freedom. You start experiencing some firsts. You get to eat what you want, hang out with the friends you choose and experiment with things that have been off-limits until now. Oftentimes college is the place where people experiment with “recreational” drinking of alcohol and using illegal drugs.
It started innocently enough for me. I’d smoke weed or drink every so often like it often starts for college kids. As soon as I was able to make my own choices, I decided to try some things that had been off-limits until now. The more I experimented with these seemingly harmless things, the more I wanted to experiment with any mind-altering substance I could get my hands on. I started trying drugs that I swore I never would. I dabbled with pain pills for a while and then tried heroin.
At first, I would only eat the heroin because it seemed harmless to me. Then I tried snorting it because it seemed to be more effective that way. I swore that I would never use needles. I was deathly afraid of sticking a needle in my vein… One day, however, somebody told me that you could stick the needle in the muscle of your arm. That didn’t seem as bad as sticking it in my vein. So I started doing what they call muscling it and that took the fear of the needle away. Before I knew it, I was using heroin intravenously as well as cocaine.
Where Substance Abuse Leads You.
What started with an every so often weed and alcohol habit, turned into a full-blown addiction. I’m here to tell you, it’s not if experimenting will lead you to harder things, it’s when. It wrecked my life! I was broken and hopeless. I know what you may be thinking, “I would never do that. That’s not possible. I can control it.” I thought that I could control it too. That I would never be one of “those people” that got strung out. But here I was struggling with a deadly substance abuse problem. Never would I have thought that it would have come to that. I thought it was okay to smoke a joint and drink here and there, but I was wrong.
My life had become completely unmanageable. My family didn’t want anything to do with me. I had dropped out of college. I couldn’t hold down a job. I barely had a dollar to my name. I realize now that I should have played the tape out of what could happen and learned from the countless other people’s lives that had lost everything. What at first I thought that I could control, I became completely powerless to. I had to use drugs every day or I would be sick. You may be thinking that this won’t happen to you but it happens easier than you think.
My addiction led me down a very dark road that many don’t make it back from. It took until I was 27 to finally realize that if I didn’t quit using drugs and alcohol, that it was quite possible that I wouldn’t live much longer. I had pushed everyone away from me in my life that cared about me. I felt so helpless. It’s only by the grace of God that I am here today.
Get Help For Substance Abuse!
What I now know is that I started using drugs because something was missing in my life. I realized that I had a huge hole inside of me that was intended for God to fill, but I chose to fill with everything but God. My heart was created to be in a relationship with Jesus Christ. I had been searching all of those years for instant gratification through drugs and alcohol when in reality my heart longed for the love of Jesus. I wanted to feel joy. I wanted the stress and anxiety of this world to go away. I wanted peace. I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin. The drugs and alcohol would seemingly fill me up and make me feel whole, but those feelings were always short-lived. I tried to fill that God-sized hole with all the pleasure of this world.
What followed that short-lived false joy, was complete and utter darkness, depression, hopelessness. Those feelings that seemingly made me feel whole, would be the driving force for me to somehow, do whatever I had to do to feel that feeling again. The feeling seemed like joy but was just a ploy for the devil to keep me in bondage. This created the vicious cycle of drug and alcohol addiction in my life. I was trapped. I didn’t see a way out. I felt as though I was going to have to live the rest of my life always seeking that next high to somehow make the darkness in my life go away.
I eventually got to the point where I knew that I was either going to die or get help. I checked myself into a medical detox and spent a full week there then went to a four-month rehab center. I was willing to try anything at this point. When I arrived at the rehab, I started hearing about this church that sounded awesome! Like a rock concert, they said. So I attended the church the first chance I got. I grew up in church and wasn’t a huge fan of it. It always seemed like it was just a place to show everybody how good you are, so you could be accepted by people, and God would not be mad at you.
ONLY JESUS CAN FILL THE HOLE IN YOUR HEART!
I learned however at this church the very first Sunday I attended that that wasn’t the God of the Bible and church wasn’t a place you go to show everyone how good and holy you are. The church was designed to be a hospital for the hurting, hopeless, broken, and imperfect people. Not a museum for saints where you act like you’re better than everyone else.
I started hearing about the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. That God loved me so much and wanted a relationship bad enough with me, that He sent His son Jesus to die for me; for you! He did this in order to be the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be made holy not because of anything we can do, but what Jesus did on the cross 2000 years ago. I wasn’t sure about the whole thing, but I had a small amount of faith that this may be what I need. It felt like my last hope!
That was some good news because I needed to be saved! So that day, I took a chance on Jesus and put my faith in Him for my salvation. I started to feel the joy that came from a relationship with him. That part inside of me that had been empty for so long was finally full and actually overflowing with joy. I was redeemed! I was made brand-new! I was finally saved from myself!
JESUS IS OUR REDEEMER!
I learned that what had happened to me is mentioned in Psalm 16:11 NIV. It says, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” God started showing me a way of life that turned me in a completely different direction. Just simply putting my life in the hands of Jesus gave me the joy I had always longed for since I tried my very first drink and drug.
I learned that true pleasure comes from His presence!! Culture told me that I had to be high or drunk to have a good time or fit in, but that’s a huge lie. I’m having more fun, and have more friends now than I ever did when I was drinking or doing drugs. When I was using drugs and alcohol I was causing severe damage to my brain and body operating system. Also, damaging all of my relationships. That’s not fun.
I wanted to write this to you to save you the time and the heartache of going down the same road I did. Drugs and alcohol may seem fun now, but they lead down a treacherous road that many don’t come back from. I was delayed in writing this because a friend of mine passed away from an overdose yesterday. I was working with his family and loved ones all day. He started like many of us do. Drinking at parties in college. Experimenting with marijuana. It led him down a road that killed him though and I just don’t want that for you.
Substance Abuse Help!
After God miraculously saved me I wanted others to experience the same joy. My wife and I started The Hope Project in November of 2018. It’s a nonprofit ministry that seeks to help people who suffer from any kind of addiction or compulsion. The addictions range from drugs and alcohol to porn and sex addiction. There are all kinds of addictions. We also work with the families of those who struggle with addiction.
If there is ever any way that I can serve you or someone you know, please reach out to me. Do not suffer in silence. Do not suffer alone. There is no judgment here. Only love and understanding. I believe that my calling is to help people that are hurting so I’d love to connect if that’s you. I’m also an open book if you ever have any questions or have a loved one who is struggling and you’d like to learn how to help them.
Our ministry is like an ER for the hurting and hopeless. I also speak at rehabs, schools, churches, jails, and anywhere else where people want to learn more about the love of Jesus, the disease of addiction, and the way out.