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Admitting You Have a Problem With Drugs and Alcohol

As the saying goes, “The first step is admitting you have a problem.” Denial is a large part of addiction, and breaking through self-deception can be very difficult. Many addicts have to reach a low point to before they will accept that their drug use is a serious problem in their life. This low point may be different for different people, and it could be as simple as realizing you are neglecting other hobbies, or as serious as legal trouble or divorce.

How Can I Tell If I Have a Problem With Drugs or Alcohol?

Maybe your friends have joked about your drinking or drug use, or every now and then you wonder if there could be an actual problem at play. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) reports that most Americans who fit the requirements for alcohol abuse or alcohol dependency don’t think they would benefit from getting help in a top private addiction treatment facility. Ask yourself the following questions to help determine if you have a problem with drugs or alcohol:

  • Does my drug use prevent me from exercising or eating a healthy diet?
  • Do I drink or use more than other people I know?
  • Has my drug use caused me to miss school, work or other obligations?
  • Does the idea of going without drugs or alcohol make me uncomfortable?
  • Do I sometimes drink more than I intended?
  • Do I continue to use large amounts of drugs or consume large amounts of alcohol despite legal trouble, such as a DUI or probation?
  • Are drugs and alcohol my only form of stress relief?
  • Has my drug use escalated significantly since I began using?
  • Have I ever blacked out from excessive drug or alcohol use?
  • Do I need alcohol or drugs to have fun?

Recognizing Consequences

It’s easy to justify drug or alcohol use as something you want to do, even if others don’t approve and your level of use is higher than most. However, living life constantly under the influence of drugs often leads to depression, anxiety and cognitive impairment. Drugs and alcohol actually affect brain chemistry after continual use, so even if you think you are all right with your current drinking and drug use, eventually your body may be damaged by their long-term effects.

Be Honest With Yourself

Knowing you have a problem and accepting it are two different things. Accepting that your drug and alcohol use is a problem means admitting to others that continuing to use is detrimental to your health and safety, even if you are unable to stop on your own.

You may not think you are worthy of being sober, of living a normal life, but everyone has the right to live a healthy life without drugs or alcohol. Even if there are other barriers to the life you want, becoming sober makes every aspect of life easier. Addiction treatment can help you uncover your potential.

Take the Next Step

If your drug and alcohol use is creating problems at home or in your professional life, it may be time to consider getting help. There is no shame in reaching out to learn how to manage your life without drugs or alcohol. While it seems like a lot to give up, you will gain so much more in the manner of a balanced, healthy life. If you would like to talk to someone about your drug or alcohol use, or learn about options for treatment, call our helpline to speak to one of our counselors.