To be able to overcome a drug problem, the first step is admitting that one is, in fact, an addict. Recovering from addiction is entirely the responsibility of the addict themselves. There is no magic pill that can cure addiction. Even if a doctor diagnoses someone with a substance abuse disorder, the patient must accept this fact before making any real improvements. There are many signs that can help someone determine if they are a drug addict. Though these signs might not serve as a diagnosis, they can assist you in finding out for yourself if you indeed need professional help for an addiction.
- Do you find yourself losing control over the amount or frequency of drug use?
A major sign of a drug addiction is the inability to control the amount of use. If you frequently say “I’ll just have one,” yet quickly find yourself much more intoxicated than you intended, this could be a sign of lack of control. Another example might be ‘promising yourself’ that you will not use drugs for a few days or a week, in yet you find yourself breaking these promises anyway, no matter how serious your promise was.
- When you are not using, are you constantly craving?
Frankly, constantly craving a substance is not normal. Those who do not suffer from addiction might be able to use drugs for a night out or special occasion without any afterthought. A drug addict will find it hard to stop thinking about the drug they prefer. An addict will find it hard to concentrate on work or school because they are constantly daydreaming about drugs or alcohol.
- Do you continue to use drugs in the face of adverse consequences?
If drug use has been the direct cause of adverse consequences in your life, yet you continue to use drugs anyway, this should be a major red flag. For instance, getting a DUI charge does not make you an alcoholic, but, getting several DUI charges, losing your license, and continuing to drink, likely means you have a real drinking problem.
- Do drugs or alcohol cause you to miss work, school, or important engagements?
It is very common for a drug addict to lose control over responsibilities. School or work performance can begin to suffer and relationships can begin to deteriorate. If hangovers, drug withdrawal, or drug comedowns are affecting your ability to meet expectations then you very well could be suffering from addiction.
- Is drug use causing financial hardship?
Constantly using drugs is very expensive. If you find yourself prioritizing drugs over groceries, rent, mortgage, car payments or any other life necessity, this is a major problem. Non-addicts do not find themselves prioritizing drugs over their bills.
- Are your relationships or marriage being affected by drugs or alcohol?
Problematic drug use often begins to strain relationships. A drug addict begins to isolate while ignoring or avoiding their loved ones.
- Do drugs cause you to care less about personal hygiene?
Those who have a serious drug problem tend to lose concern over personal hygiene. Clothes may go unwashed, living quarters will begin to clutter, and teeth brushing will become unimportant.
- Are you rapidly losing or gaining weight?
A drug addict will often see drastic changes to body weight very quickly. Depending on the drug of choice, one may become concerningly skinny or very overweight. Stimulant drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine often cause massive weight loss, while benzodiazepines and alcohol usually cause weight gain.
- Are you losing motivation?
Having a drug problem usually affects one’s motivation. For a short period, it may feel that drugs increase your motivation. Over time, the positive effects of drugs begin to fade and life may start to feel hopeless. As drugs take priority over everything else, life can even start to seem meaningless.
- Do you constantly feel irritable or restless?
Drug use often causes ups and downs. These roller coaster emotions can leave a person irritable, restless, discontent, defensive, and/or argumentative. Small events may begin to cause anger or rage.
If you answered “yes” to some or all of these questions then it might be wise to take a serious look at your drug habits. This quiz does not mean you are an addict but rather outlines what a drug addict would look like. If you have come to the conclusion that you are indeed a drug addict, you are not alone. There is professional help as well as free support groups for drug addicts everywhere. The biggest step is admitting that you are an addict. After that, finding genuine and useful help is readily available.
How Pinnacle Can Help
One of the most effective ways to beat addiction is to start recovery at an addiction treatment center. Pinnacle Treatment Center is a comprehensive program that addresses the root causes of addiction and how to overcome it. The staff at Pinnacle include doctors, nurses, and licensed therapists. Pinnacle offers both inpatient and outpatient programs. If you are suffering from drug withdrawal, Pinnacle can comfortably and safely provide detoxification services that include medication-assisted treatment drugs like Suboxone.
Pinnacle provides intensive therapy along with lectures and exercises for life skills and relapse prevention. Patients will be involved in group therapy sessions as well as 12-step groups like NA and AA. Pinnacle will even help manage aftercare planning to ensure their patients remain on the right path after treatment. A well-rounded program like this is the best way to start recovery today and take control of your life.