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Breaking the Chains of Addiction

Breaking the Chains of Addiction

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Addiction, like many other afflictions that affect us as humans, not only impacts us physically and psychologically but also spiritually. There is a dangerous trend creeping into today’s society of reducing humanity to only its physical aspects, and in the process ignoring any spiritual aspects of our existence. Contrastingly, the other extreme is also seen where there is a move to spiritualise every aspect of human ailments and in the process there is an ignoring of a human’s physical and psychological aspects. This approach can be equally as harmful. Overcoming addiction requires a two-pronged approach – it requires both spiritual struggle alongside medical and psychological support from professionals.

The early church fathers understood humanity in a more wholesome way – acknowledging that a human is made up of the three: body, soul and spirit, and that if one of these suffers then the whole person suffers. In this book, the author presents the wisdom of the ancient church fathers and their spiritual insights about the topic of addiction. When speaking of addiction, it is not only addiction to substances that is in question, but it extends to any of the passions of the soul. This is because we can translate and apply the wisdom of the fathers about controlling your passions to the process of overcoming addiction.  

This book is borne from the personal experiences of the author who overcame six addictions and bad habits, which he had come under the yoke of from a young age. The author was not one to attend church, read the Holy Bible or pray every day, with prayer generally reserved for emergencies. He grew up in a household without bibles, prayer books, or any other Christian written material. But, the one saving grace was that there was an icon in almost every room. Distant from these things of the church, he was told to confess his sins to a priest first at age fourteen while attending an Orthodox children’s camp and then chose to confess a second time at age thirty after he read an Orthodox book. He could not quit any of his addictions and bad habits until he took up the spiritual weapons of confession and spiritual reading, as well as the other suggested weapons included in this book. Through the use of these God-given spiritual weapons the author no longer had a yearning for the six ‘crutches’ which he had ceased to practice. Those weapons thus served to replace whatever support and relief the addictions and bad habits had tried to offer him, but without the harmful consequences.

The people who will benefit most from this book are members of the Church who want to conquer addictions such as: smoking, alcohol abuse or any drug/substance abuse; and addictive behaviours, including gambling, eating disorders, poor anger management, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other psychological behavioural problems. The benefit will be felt as they use the spiritual weapons and methods described within this book. This book contains extensive and frequent biblical quotes because it is assumed that most of the readers have never read the New Testament. The quotes are not only included to confirm and reinforce statements, but also to give the reader a small foretaste of the innate healing power that comes from the Word of God. Some quotes are used more than once due to their multi-faceted relevance. This book is by no means exhaustive but it is, among other things, a practical introduction to the weapons and tactics used in defeating addictions and bad habits.

However, it is important to note that this book is not meant as a replacement to getting medical or psychological help to overcome addiction, but rather it seeks to complement medical and psychological remedies.

Author: Victor Mihailoff


Publisher Name: St Shenouda Press

Publisher URL:

Publication Year: 2022

Pages: 164

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