On Friday 24 May 2019, the Beauty of the Free and the Freed Session was under the Theme: Fighting Addiction; what do we expect? Topics and questions for discussion were the following: what is addiction? What are some of your experiences and temptation to a particular form of addiction? And what are the causes, and dangers of a relapse into addiction?

Discussion questions were given to participants in order to share personal experiences and in order to learn from each other.

Paul was the first person to read his question: what experience have you ever had that you will never forget? This was his response: “I had a chance to study for a scholarship and could not meet the requirement”.

Valence read her question; what do you expect from your man who is your partner? She answered, “I have to work on myself in order to be the best for my partner”.

Charity’s question read, what has been your failure in life? “I failed in high school, and I had to repeat the same class two times”.

Donatien read his: what has been a key challenge you have faced in your life? He answered “I was a Reverend Priest and I took a decision to resign and that was a very great challenge to me. I was loved by the congregation, I had no problem with the Christians. I however, took a painful decision to resign and left priesthood”


In this session, we learn from our personal experiences and we advised each other how to face realities of life with positivity in attitude,  mind and consciousness.

A brief presentation by the Occupational Therapist of Purpose Rwanda  

What is addiction? “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry . . . This is reflected in the individual pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. The addiction is characterized by impairment in behavioral control, craving, inability to consistently abstain, and diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships.

Psychologists define addiction as a psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.

  • When a person experiences addiction, they cannot control how they use a substance or partake in an activity, and they become dependent on it to cope with daily life.
  • An addiction is not necessarily, what you are dependent on but the pattern associated with that dependence.
  • We all depend on food for survival. However, it becomes an addiction when eating becomes our only preoccupation, that once we start we cannot stop, and that our daily actions and thoughts revolve around it to the point of decreasing our quality of life instead of enhancing it.

Forms of Addiction

  • The are two main forms/groups for addiction:
    1. The substance related addictions – this is the highest level of dependence to a substance; something consumed by the body (alcohol, tobacco, prescribed and non-prescribed drugs, etc.)
    2. The behavioral addictions – these are dependence to a particular activity (work, shopping, gambling, etc.)

Types of Addiction

Substance Addiction

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Opioids (like heroin)
  • Prescription drugs (sedatives, hypnotics, sleeping pills and tranquilizers)
  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis (marijuana)
  • Amphetamines (like methamphetamines, known as meth)
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Phencyclidine (known as PCP or Angeldust)
  • Other unspecified substances

Behavioral Addiction

  • Food (eating)
  • Sex
  • Pornography (attaining, viewing)
  • Using computers / the internet
  • Playing video games
  • Working
  • Exercising
  • Spiritual obsession (as opposed to religious devotion)
  • Pain (seeking)
  • Cutting
  • Shopping
  • Intermittent explosive disorder (compulsive aggressive and assaultive acts)
  • Kleptomania (compulsive stealing)
  • Pyromania (compulsive setting of fires)
  • Gambling


This presentation was done in order to enhance further discussion as follow:


What are your experiences and temptation to a particular Addiction?


Prince; shared his personal experience on how a classmate introduced him into watching of pornography at the tender age. Then later became an addict of pornography, which a Reverend called Albert had to intervene to help him out. He gave me a therapy/counseling in order to stop watching pornography for 21 days, marking it on a calendar. It was successful because I continue to mark myself until I achieved a 21 days without watching pornography. This continued until the craving for pornography died”.



Norah; shared her experience on how she has been a religious addict that made her look mean and hate people. She has to hide for God because she feels she has to do more in order to get to God and once this was not done she remains hidden and isolated from people. She said, “By listening to the true word of God, she has understood how to build a relationship with God”.


Norah still goes on: that she had a friend who was into a masturbation, she tried helping her but it was very difficult because it took her two years to learn that she masturbates. Meanwhile she is not a person that opens up for help, making it difficult for her to help her. Norah believes now that they have taken up some step towards recovery, they will grow from it.

Jacques had his own part of experience:  that he developed an addicted life of smoking and pornography at a tender age. “Unfortunately I was caught in the act by my Mum who beat me up and tried to correct me with strong hands,  this made me very hard and offended and I could not correct that problem, but today I have built a good relationship with God and am now recovering from addiction”.


Purpose Rwanda’s Beauty of Free and Freed helps to support self rediscovery and recovery from bad habits that are ‘eating up’ our precious lives, purposes, human worth and dignity. The central message to the youth is that their life is not only for themselves and therefore, such life should be appreciated and protected firstly by themselves before it is protected by the Creator. All lives have Purposes for the benefit of humanity in the universe.

Together, we can fight that addiction in you and in Rwanda. Addiction kills, dehumanizes, frustrates, and disorganizes families and nations, let’s fight and kill addiction before it kills us.