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Am I an Addict?

If you are beginning to question your drug use, this may be an indicator that you have a substance abuse problem. Regular use may not be a surefire sign of addiction, but there are emotional, behavioral and physical symptoms that serve as evidence of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some people can become addicted to drugs after only them a handful of times

How Do You Feel About Your Drug Use?

Think about how your drug use makes you feel. Drug use may just be something you do with friends, or it may be turning into a habit that drives and affects your behavior. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Does your drug use make you uncomfortable?
  • Do you use drugs to escape negative feelings?
  • Are you spending less time with loved ones because of drugs?
  • Are you afraid of how you will feel if you stop using?

Drugs and alcohol often serve as escapes, or short-term relief from depression or other uncomfortable feelings. When the drug wears off, an individual often feels worse than before they used. This creates a cycle of guilt and shame about drug use and an inability to openly talk about the real problems that are causing the abuse.

Going to Extremes to Acquire and Use Drugs

Addiction causes changes in the brain that drive behavior, and may cause people to do things they normally wouldn’t. Stealing from loved ones and spending large amounts of money on drugs are both possible results of addiction.

Addiction often leads to avoiding sober friends and family in order to hide drug use. Spending a large amount of your time just to acquire and use drugs is also an indication that drug use may be turning into addiction.

Cravings May Indicate Addiction

Addiction creates powerful mental cravings when the drug is absent. It also generates changes in the reward pathway of the brain, creating a compulsive need to find and use drugs. This is why it’s so hard to quit using once addiction has developed – the brain is convinced drugs are necessary for survival. If you are experiencing obsessive thoughts and cravings for drugs, you may be an addict. Cravings may be accompanied by mood swings, withdrawal symptoms and anxiety.

Friends and Family Have Commented on Your Drug Use

Denial is a large part of addiction, and people who use drugs and alcohol often believe they are in control even when those around them express concern about their drug use. If your family members or friends have asked you to slow down or stop using, consider hearing them out. Don’t dismiss their concerns without considering why they brought them up to you.

Addiction seems scary, but it can be very manageable with treatment in a private inpatient or outpatient treatment center. Think about what you are missing out on because of drugs or alcohol. Rehab comes in many forms, and addiction counseling will help you uncover and treat underlying causes of drug use. Call us today to find out more about your options for addiction recovery. We can also help you determine if your situation warrants treatment at all – if you are actually an addict or headed in that direction.