Freedom from substance abuse is about willingness to change


As we gratefully celebrate the freedom that gave us all the opportunity to vote for the first time this month, we should remember that freedom means different things to different people.

For most of us what we celebrate on our Freedom Day on April 27th is vitally important as it focusses on basic human rights, but other freedoms like the freedom to choose, the freedom to simply be ourselves, the freedom of speech and economic freedom, to name just a few, are also important in varying degrees but different for most people.

The freedom to live a normal life

For abusers of drugs and alcohol, a very special kind of freedom is attained when they are finally freed of their addiction. It is the freedom to live a normal life after being imprisoned in a life that has deprived them of most of life’s pleasures.

The affliction of addiction to drugs and alcohol is pretty similar to that felt by prisoners. Once you are unable to choose to be free to stop the habit, you begin to lose everything. You stop living in the normal world. You no longer have the privilege of being with those you love as many drug addicts lose their contact with families and loved ones. Like a prisoner, all you have to look forward to is the next high if you can get it as your life has little meaning or purpose.

There is one thing however that can stop this, both for prisoners and drug and alcohol addicts – it is the same thing that is essential to attaining freedom of any kind – the willingness to change.

As a nation, it took big changes to finally give us the freedom and the human rights we enjoy today. As a human being, there is always an element of change that needs to take place too and this usually happens in three important phases…

Recognising change

The first and most vital thing is to recognise that change has to take place. Many people simply don’t realise that we can gain freedom if we are just willing to change something, maybe we don’t know what at first, but this is the first step.

Willingness to change ourselves  

Having recognised that a better life is possible through change we need to accept that it is us that has to change. You can’t change the world by waiting for everyone else to do it. Realising that you are where the change needs to happen and being held accountable for it is step two.

Acting on change 

Finally, you need to act on making the necessary changes. The reasons you had for becoming an addict may have been authentic and understandable. For most people it is simply from having had lives with no meaning, but knowing you can change that too is a very big step.

Freedom through changed lives

At Transformation Life Centre (TLC) based in Hekpoort Johannesburg, we give people the freedom to live the lives they choose by rebuilding the lives they have destroyed. Our faith-based Drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs focus on the issues that robbed the addict of their freedom to live a normal life in the first place.

It is usually a deep need for a more meaningful, purposeful life and this is only attained through love, the expertise of our counsellors and the integration into a loving Christian community. Talk to us and let us see if we can help you or your loved ones regain freedom through making meaningful – and irreversible change!

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