I appreciated the article by Tim Lane in the recent Journal of Biblical Counseling: Godly Intoxication: The Church Can Minister to Addicts. Christian churches should be places where addicts (and other sinners!) can go to hear the gospel of forgiveness preached all the time. Many people today struggle with all sorts of addictions – from drugs to shopping to sports to pornography to the internet to alcohol. The church that clearly and consistently preaches the gospel of forgiveness definitely has something to say to addicts (along with all other sinners). Though I urge you to read the entire article (it’s free online), here’s a snippet to give you an idea.
All of us have more in common with addicts than we might have thought. We are not fundamentally different from each other. Any differences are a matter of degree, not of kind. The decisive difference between people is not whether one is an addict or a non-addict.It is whether a person is once-born (in sin, and suppressing the knowledge of God), or twice-born (in Christ, but still battling remnant sin). When people struggling with addiction are also new creatures, then they have a new Lord, a new nature, a new identity, a new power at work—and a new community. The battles may be long and hard, the setbacks many, and the successes erratic. Although a person may struggle with the same old things, something essential is essential is different, and that makes all the difference in the long run.”
Again, read the article: here it is. By the way, when you read it, take note of how Lane emphasizes the importance of a local church. Of course, the gospel makes the most sense in the context of the church. Both the gospel and the church are needed to fight any addiction.