Drug addiction is a complex problem that consumes your body as well as your psyche. As with the chicken and egg conundrum, over time it can become nearly impossible to tell whether your body is dictating your mind or vice versa. Most addictions will never be conquered without a multifaceted approach to treatment that addresses both parts of the equation.
If you are unsure whether your drug problem has reached a breaking point, read on to see ten signs that you are no longer simply abusing drugs – you are addicted.
1. You’re reading this.
If you are questioning your substance abuse, that’s a strong indication that you are already aware that you have a problem. The good news is that by reading this, you’re taking a critically important first step toward education and acknowledgement. Until you learn and accept that there is a problem, there is no option for treatment.
2. You’re lying to yourself.
Do you lie to yourself? If you are continually telling yourself you’ll have two drinks but you have five, that’s a lie. If you say I just need one hit and you have three, you’re fibbing. If you promise yourself a ‘treat’ if you just make it until Thursday but you break down and hit the pipe on Monday, you aren’t being honest with yourself.
3. You’re lying to others.
Are you canceling plans to spend time with your drug? Are you choosing to get high rather than interact with your friends or your family? Are you dishonest about what you did the night before or perhaps how much you did? This is a clear sign that you know they would disapprove, so it’s simpler to just lie.
4. You’re cheating.
If you are lying to your friends and family, you are cheating them. Cheating them out of time with their loved one – you.
5. You’re using drugs as a band-aid.
Many people will sometimes exclaim “Whew! After a day like that, I need a drink!” They might even mean it, and believe they need that beverage buzz. But if you’re using alcohol or drugs to obliterate your day, to cover up a problem…well, that’s a problem.
6. You can’t handle feeling sober.
If you are finding yourself uncomfortable in your own skin when you are sober, that’s a bright red warning sign. Sometimes it’s nice to feel a pleasant buzz and it’s understandable that people enjoy that, but if your daily thoughts are consumed with your next line or drink or pill, you’ve crossed into very dangerous territory.
7. You can’t handle feeling.
Maybe it’s not the sober feeling, per se, that is so uncomfortable, but the emotions that are coming along with it. When you are using a substance to dull or squelch emotions rather than dealing with them, that’s an addictive tendency.
8. You’ve lost something.
Perhaps your substance of choice has been interfering with your ability to do your job, or take care of your family. It may be a niggling problem just under the surface or maybe you were actually fired or your spouse has given you an ultimatum. If you are losing things due to your drug abuse, it’s time to make a change.
9. You’ve lost yourself.
Do you catch yourself remembering how you used to be? If you are no longer able to experience joy, if you can’t laugh, if you’ve forgotten what you stand for and don’t know what you believe, you may have lost yourself (for now) to addiction.
10. You’ve lost it all.
Or perhaps you already knew the signs and blew past all the warnings. You might be in a situation where your addiction has already cost you your family, your job, your dignity, your home and your health. If you’ve read this and see yourself in these words, please contact us to find out about treatment options. Because even when you think you’ve lost it all, we’re here to help you find hope.