When we are children, we dream about what or who we will be in the future. Maybe a doctor, or teacher, or police officer. No one ever thinks when they are young, that they will grow up to be an addict or alcoholic. Trying that beer at that high school party or experimenting with pot is something almost everyone does, without regard of what it might lead to. Many will go on with their life and not be affected by that day, but then there are others who will become addicted to the thrill, and ultimately, addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.
Chasing the thrill is usually the starting the point for a long cycle of denial. Often times, the addict will believe that their use is “under control,” or that it is not as bad as some people may think. Realizing that your drug use has in fact spiraled into addiction may be difficult, but is necessary if you want your life to change. Time and time again, we have watched denial kill people and destroy families. With drug overdoses now being the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, it is imperative to come to terms with your addiction and seek help.
If you have asked yourself in the past, “Do I have a problem,” chances are you need to reevaluate your choices and behaviors. If you still aren’t fully convinced, here are ten signs that you have an addictive disorder.
There’s no thrill anymore.
Once drug or alcohol use shifts from a social, celebratory event to a need, it’s time to seek help. Many addicts have found that while they started drinking or using only occasionally at parties or other social functions, slowly but surely their use shifted to more frequent, isolated consumption. If you find yourself using when you are alone, hiding your use, or using or drinking in excess, it’s likely that you are struggling with some level of addiction. Of course, the best way to avoid addiction is to abstain from using altogether.
You research signs of addiction.
Many addicts find themselves researching signs of addiction, or taking quizzes like “Am I an Addict?” in an effort to prove that their use isn’t “that bad”. One addict said that when she was high, she would google things like “symptoms of drug abuse” or “how can you tell if someone’s an addict.” Once she was sober, she didn’t think about it much and would convince herself that she didn’t really have a problem. Thankfully, she eventually realized she had a problem and got the help she needed.
You know the future you want isn’t attainable while still using.
When thinking about what you want to do in the next ten years, if your drug or alcohol use impedes that in any way, there’s a problem. Think about 20 years from now, and all that you hope to accomplish between now and then. Make a list, and then go through that list and ask which of those goals are achievable with your current habits. Remember, you only get one life. Most often the things that people regret most as they age are the things that they didn’t do. Don’t let drugs or alcohol stand in the way of achieving your dreams.
You look for reasons why you don’t have a problem.
Sadly, there is still a social stigma associated with drug and alcohol addiction. Many people were raised to think that its mind over matter and that people who call themselves addicts are weaker than others, but that is simply not the case. Because of this, many people will look for proof that their use isn’t really a problem, and that they are not addicted. Many tell themselves that they can stop whenever they choose, or look for others who are worse off than they are in order to convince themselves that they aren’t in need of help yet.
You often think about quitting.
Some addicts will think about quitting but convince themselves that sobriety is just not within their reach. They may think that their problem isn’t bad enough to warrant rehab, or tell themselves that it’s too expensive or too difficult. If you have thought at all about quitting, seek help now. Talk with a trusted friend or family member and ask them to help you get professional help.
You blame your drug or alcohol use on someone or something else.
No one else is responsible for your substance abuse but you. Blaming someone or something other than yourself is a hallmark of addiction. You can’t control someone else’s actions, only your own. You may think that you need it to cope, or that it’s only to help you relax, but consistent and increasing usage is substance abuse. There are other ways to help you cope with whatever obstacles you have in your life.
Your personal life or career are suffering.
If your performance at work has declined since you started using, there’s a good chance that you are struggling with addiction. Once a substance takes priority over other aspects of life, it’s time to seek help.
Your health is in danger.
Dying from an overdose is a very real threat these days. Street drugs are laced with deadly synthetics, and there’s no way of telling what a substance truly is. There are no safe drugs, and every use is a gamble. Excessive alcohol consumption also has dangerous effects on one’s health. High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, liver disease, and liver failure are some of the health problems that are caused by excess alcohol over time.
You’ve attempted to quit (unsuccessfully) on your own.
You stopped for a few days, but then something happened and you started using again. Maybe you think you just weren’t truly ready to quit, but there is no such thing as truly ready. If you find yourself making excuses for why you keep starting again, it’s time to talk to someone.
You’re tired of feeling sick and tired.
Abusing drugs and alcohol takes a toll on a person’s body and emotional state. Battling cravings, poor sleep quality or even sleep deprivation can cause different kinds of physical discomfort such as headaches, and can cause mood swings and depression.
Contact Clearbrook Today
For 45 years, Clearbrook Treatment Centers has been providing quality drug and alcohol treatment to the chemically dependent person. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction please do not wait any longer. Please contact our Admissions Specialists today and begin your journey to wellness. Recovery is possible, all you have to do is take the first step and reach out for help.