What Does the Bible Say About Drugs & Alcohol?
Recently, I heard an interview between Joe Rogan and Dr. Phil. One of the topics of discussion was the rise in drug-related deaths in the US. They highlighted a statistic released by the CDC that was stunning, concerning, and heartbreaking:
Fentanyl overdose is now the leading cause of death for adults ages 18 to 45.
Dr. Phil clarified that for many young people, fentanyl is so deadly that the cause of death is more likely by poisoning, not by overdose. He compared the amount of fentanyl similar to a pack of sugar would be enough to kill about 500 people. Fentanyl is accessible, addictive, and cheap, so it ends up in many “street drugs” made by dealers who may not know how lethal it is. He warned kids, teenagers, and parents never to use drugs that a doctor has not prescribed because you don’t know where they’re from or what’s inside.
Of course, Rogan and Dr. Phil are not experts in this field, and we must use discernment with every source of information we encounter. However, this wasn’t the first time I heard about the dangers of fentanyl, and it’s probably not the first time for you either. But hearing how many people are dying because of it gripped me.
Why are humans vulnerable to substances like this? What does the Bible say about it?
Scripture gives clear warnings about drunkenness. A deeper study of the word “drunkenness” shows a better understanding of its meaning. Drunkenness means “to become intoxicated” by abusing a substance like drugs or alcohol (this does not refer to taking medicine as prescribed by a doctor).
Why is being intoxicated a big deal?
Becoming intoxicated by a substance diminishes a person’s physical and mental control. Diminished physical and mental control can cause a person to be susceptible to making bad decisions that have lifelong implications.
Here are a few scriptures to consider:
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink a riotous brawler; And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1 AMP).
“Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life” (Ephesians 5:18 NLT).
Some may argue that Jesus must have been fine with drinking alcohol because he turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2). But here’s something to consider. The miracle provided wine for a wedding which was a special celebration, not an opportunity to get drunk.
“A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls” (Proverbs 25:28).
This is the biblical principle I see:
Don’t become intoxicated by a substance that has the potential to ruin your life. Instead, grow in self-control.
Self-control is learning to put guardrails in the safety zone to keep you from drifting into the danger zone.
When it comes to any substance, here’s how to grow in self-control:
1. Set your personal guardrails.
2. Identify your personal danger zone.
3. Where and when are you most susceptible to drifting?
Answering the last question may be the most important. Often when a person is tired, stressed, or experiencing decision fatigue, they are susceptible to looking for something to reduce the stress. Share your guardrails with a trusted friend and invite them to keep you accountable. Vulnerability and accountability can lead to freedom.
If you’re personally struggling with an addiction or walking with someone who needs professional help, you can contact a pastor at 717-656-4271, and we can help direct you to the professional service you need.