Countless of lives have been destroyed by a chemical addiction. Alcohol and drug abuse in Albania is increasing among young children age 10-12. According to a recent report 13% of children on this age group have had experiences with alcohol and drug abuse. 23% is reported to have had experiences with smoking daily.

In the month of March our counselors had a series of awareness events on a public school in the region of Shkoder sharing with children age 10-14 about addictions, focusing on drug abuse and smoking.
All habits, compulsions, and addictions are highly resistant and, difficult to change. That’s why motivation is a vital factor in change, and in overcoming addiction. When the person realizes that they are causing great harm to themselves, and hurting those they love, and grieving the heart of God, they will experience a “good guilt” which can produce the motivation that’s been lacking in their journey to break free and stay free.

Motivation to break free and stay free was the main goal of the awareness events. 200 middle school students in the region of Shkoder learned that a chemical dependency doesn’t develop overnight; neither does deliverance from a dependency occur overnight.

In order to break free from an addiction, there must first be the recognition that there is a problem and the person should make a decision that they will do whatever it takes to walk in freedom.
The students learned that healing process requires active choices on their part. But, the most important step is turning to God, allowing His strength to help carry the burden they feel.

After the events students and teachers engaged in conversation with our counselors and enjoyed the art exhibition with the theme Addictions – Time to break Free created by their friends from other schools.
Eljana one student shared later with the counselor that she needed help. Her brother was an addict. Now the whole family is going through one on one counseling sessions to learn about healthy boundaries and how to help their loved one.

We are thankful to the Lord for these opportunities to continue giving hope to young lives in public schools around the country. Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”