Addiction: When we think of addiction we generally think of drug and alcohol addiction, but in reality addictions come in many shapes and sizes: drugs, alcohol, coffee, soda, music, books, gambling, porn, chocolate, TV, being with others, being alone, acceptance, busy-ness, self-sufficiency, social media, etc... -- so many ways to get ensnared and to feel trapped and alone!
Human beings are prone to excess, especially with things that make us feel good in the short term. Such things can start out as beneficial; but can also take over our lives, holding us captive, and perhaps become more important to us than God.
Youth are no exception to this. They may feel powerless to stop the addiction they are facing - whatever it is - and often feel confused and alone. Helping them to know that God is always with them and is with them in their struggles is an important step in helping them understand and control their addictions.
Things to try:
Prayer. If your youth feels that something in their life has taken the place of God, they can pray this prayer: God, I admit that I have made something of this would more important than you. forgive me, and help me to recognize the sin of idolatry before it takes hold in my life again. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Practice Self Control: Think jigsaw puzzles. Just one more piece, and I'll go to bed...just one more - and it's two in the morning. Add anything here....video games, checking facebook or snapchat, eating, swearing..... To work against the addiction, you may want to suggest that your youth make a list of more constructive things to do. List them by priority. When they are tempted to start the addictive behavior, begin with the top priority on this list. Check it off when complete; and move to the second. Encourage them to start living purposefully, enjoy the satisfaction, and thank God for the achievement!