How Do I Know if I’m An Addict?
Self-Assessment – Am I an Addict?
Individuals who struggle with substance abuse may want to determine whether or not they are addicted to substances like drugs or alcohol. Wanting to make this determination is a step in the right direction. Often, questioning the potential of addiction is the catalyst that leads to recovery. Answer a few key questions to assess whether or not you are an addict.
What is the True Top Priority in Your Life?
One of the primary ways to determine whether or not someone is an addict is to think about their priorities in life. If acquiring and using drugs or alcohol is the primary objective, then addiction is likely an issue.
When addiction takes hold, the nervous system can only handle one priority. Securing the next fix is the only thing that the body and the brain can focus on. Unfortunately, it means that all other aspects of life take a backseat.
You might notice this happening slowly in your life, or in the life of a loved one. Instead of making time to spend with friends and family, or working on your career, you may find yourself focusing exclusively on behaviors that encourage and support your addiction.
Have You Attempted to Quit in the Past?
Many individuals who could accurately be diagnosed with addiction have tried to quit in the past. If you have attempted to end consumption of drugs or alcohol, but ultimately failed in that attempt, then addiction is a likely diagnosis for you.
Those who abuse substances, but who aren’t addicted, might not suffer any adverse effects if they cease consumption for a few days. Those who are addicted, however, won’t find even a temporary stop possible.
This may be because of withdrawal symptoms. If you are addicted to substances like alcohol and most drugs, then quitting suddenly will cause the body to go into withdrawal. If you experience mild to severe symptoms when trying to quit on your own, then you’re probably struggling with withdrawal. Let that be your sign that addiction is a concern, and take the time to address addiction in a professional medical facility.
Is Substance Abuse Causing Health Problems?
Addiction is a problem even if there are no adverse effects. That’s because while addicts may not face problems today, they can quickly develop in the days, months and years to come. However, many addicts face problems right now. Health problems, in particular, are something to be aware of.
If your consumption of addictive substances results in health problems, but you still consume these substances, then you need to be aware of the likelihood of addiction. Just some of the most common health problems may include gaining or losing weight rapidly, lacking energy, having poor sleep patterns, feeling unwell without access to your substance of choice and struggling with new or worsening mental health conditions.
Are Relationships Suffering Because of a Potential Addiction?
Addiction can interfere with many different areas of life. If you are struggling to maintain relationships because of drugs or alcohol, then addiction could be the culprit.
Addiction can change priorities, behaviors and personality. Rather than making it a priority to spend time with loved ones and be there for them, you might prefer to avoid conflict. Many individuals also avoid their loved ones because they don’t want to confront feelings of guilt, shame or regret. Try to remember that family members typically want the best for you, and that often just means getting you help for your addiction.
Is Your Tolerance Increasing?
Once addiction has developed, users of any drugs or alcohol will begin to see their tolerance increase. Essentially, this means that it takes a larger or stronger amount to feel the same effects over time. Noticing an increased tolerance can point clearly to the formation of an addiction.
It is important to note that tolerance can impact you in a number of dangerous ways. To start, consuming more drugs or alcohol can result in greater health concerns. It also increases the severity of an addiction, making eventual recovery and detox more challenging in the future. Finally, an increased tolerance increases physical side effects and may also increase the financial costs of acquiring addictive substances.
Is Substance Abuse Leading to Financial, Career or Legal Issues?
One of the ways to identify the development of an addiction is to learn to look for warning signs that have been ignored. Warning signs might be things like career problems, financial failures or legal troubles. If these crop up as a result of substance abuse, but consumption of the substance continues, then you are likely struggling with addiction.
It is very common for individuals who are struggling with addiction to have problems develop with serious consequences. For example, many people might lose their jobs, or they might be in serious debt. In other cases, individuals might be in legal trouble and face criminal charges for actions committed when under the influence of an addictive substance.
These problems in and of themselves may not point to addiction. However, they often accompany addiction.
Are You Worried That You Can’t Stop Consumption on Your Own?
Arguably one of the biggest red flags highlighting addiction is the worry that quitting won’t be possible. If you truly think, deep down, that you’ll struggle to achieve sobriety, then it might be best to move forward in the knowledge that addiction is probable.
Once you’ve identified yourself as an addict, it can actually be easier to make changes and seek help. If you’re denying the possibility of addiction altogether, then recovery simply isn’t likely.
Acknowledging addiction means you might be ready to take the next step and seek out professional help. Through things like detox, rehab and ongoing, continuing care, you can achieve sobriety and then maintain it for a lifetime.
Addiction is a problem and self-diagnosis isn’t 100 percent effective. By answering these important questions, however, you will be much closer to determining whether or not you are an addict. Getting that answer can be the first step to seeking help and making a positive change.