1. You have a job.
When most people think of an addict, the image that they conjure up is one of a person on the street in desperate need of a shower, or someone stealing in order to pay for their habit. Many think that once a person becomes an addict they lose the ability and desire to take care of themselves, and they let everything in their life slip away. Rarely do we think of an addict as someone who can hold down a steady job and outwardly functions very well. While some addicts do let themselves go and may find themselves homeless, there are many addicts who can continue to function somewhat normally. It is thought that about one in ten high-level executives are in fact addicts.
2. You pay your bills.
This misconception ties in with the first. Just because you feel that you have yourself in order and pay your bills on time, does not mean that you are not an addict. You can function very well and be responsible, but still, have a problem. If you need drugs or alcohol on a daily basis, there is a fairly good chance that you have an addiction problem. If you stop using for a day or more and suffer withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, loss of appetite, or nausea, you may have a dependence to that substance. Many addicts are not like the ones that we see on TV. They are people that go to work and come home every day and seem to function just fine to the outside world.
3. You think you can stop whenever you want.
This is a lie that every addict has told them self at one time or another. You tell yourself that you don’t need drugs or alcohol and that you just enjoy the feeling of getting drunk or high. But if it’s a daily occurrence, you should stop and examine the reasons that you’re using. Do you use as soon as you wake up, or feel the need to use before you end the day? Try not to use for a day or two. If you find yourself about to use or drink, ask yourself why. Don’t let yourself fall into the “I’m using because I want to, not because I have to” trap. If it happens, seek help.
4. You think you’re in control.
This is another lie that an addict will tell themselves. You feel like you’re in control because you haven’t hit bottom yet. You tell yourself that you control when, where, and how you use, and that it’s just recreational. You may also tell yourself that you only use a little bit, just to take the edge off. Many addicts think that. Once again, I implore you to not indulge tomorrow. See how you feel after a day of sobriety, and if it’s a struggle, consider getting help.
5. You only smoke marijuana.
Many people think that you cannot become addicted to marijuana, but this is simply not the case. Yes, marijuana is a plant, and a natural substance, but it’s still possible to become addicted. Some people are genetically more likely to become addicts of some kind. Children of addicts are eight times more likely to develop a problem themselves. One study done at the University of Columbia found that marijuana smokers are 5 times more likely to develop a drinking problem. Just like with other drugs or alcohol, if you find that you feel the need to use every day, or experience withdrawal symptoms when you don’t use, it’s time to seek help.
6. You don’t think that you’re harming anyone else.
You may think that your friends and family don’t notice your use of drugs or alcohol, but this is most likely not the case. Talk to a trusted friend or family member and see what they have to say about it. Ask yourself if you’ve changed at all since you started using. Are you still keeping up with all of your responsibilities at home? Is your relationship with your friends and family the same? Are you still enjoying the activities that you did before you started using? If the answer to any of those questions is no, you should ask yourself why.
7. You tell yourself it’s just not a good time to stop.
Sometimes an addict will come up with reasons as to why they shouldn’t quit at the present time. You may say, “The holidays are too stressful to be sober”, or “Things are not going well at home/school/work”, or you may just tell yourself that you’ll do it soon, but not now. Whatever reason you come up with to delay sobriety should be carefully examined. Is it possible things at home, school or work might improve if you were sober? Is using causing tension with friends or family? While there are many reasons that things may not be going well and they may have little to do with drugs, it’s certain that drugs and alcohol are not helping. It’s best to get to the root of the problem and work on solving it, rather than resorting to getting drunk or high to mask the issues.
8. Other people tell you that you’re not an addict.
Sometimes other people, while meaning well, simply cannot see what really goes on day after day. They might not know that you use every day, more than once, or that you haven’t had a sober day in over a year. Friends may say, “What’s wrong with a beer after work?”, or they may tell you “You seem fine to me, you don’t look like an addict”. They may even be addicted themselves and not realize it, or if they do, they don’t want to be alone in it.
If you have identified with any of these reasons and feel that you may need help, please reach out. Addiction is very real, and admitting that you have a problem is the first step toward recovery.
Contact Clearbrook Today
Have you read over this article and are able to relate to some of our points? If so, there is a good chance you may have an issue with drugs or alcohol. Please though, do not be discouraged. Help is available if you want it.
For more than 40 years, Clearbrook Treatment Centers has been providing effective drug and alcohol treatment to those suffering from with the disease of addiction. Please contact us our Admissions Specialists today and begin your road to recovery.