Substance abuse impacts people of all ages and backgrounds — anyone can become an addict. In the United States, substance abuse is shockingly common, with 10% of adultsmeeting the clinical criteria for having a drug use disorder during their lifetime.
Knowing the difference between using, and abusing, drugs or alcohol can be difficult. After all, alcohol is readily available in restaurants, grocery stores, corner stores and homes throughout the nation, and the same is true for over-the-counter and prescription medications. Even illicit drugs are relatively easy to obtain.
If you’re concerned about your use of substances, here are some things to consider:
Is your drug or alcohol use impacting your relationships?
One of the most common signs of addiction is when your drug and alcohol use begins to have a negative impact on your relationships. This can look different for everyone, and may include things like fighting with your spouse over how much alcohol you consume; having trouble remembering to pick up the kids from school because you’re impaired; or getting into conflicts with your family and friends over your substance use.
Do you use drugs or alcohol to deal with stressful situations?
Think about why you use drugs or alcohol. Do you turn to substances when you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress or anxiety? Do you feel like you need to have a few alcoholic drinks, or take medications or pills before attending a social function, hosting a family diner, or meeting up with your friends?
Do you self-medicate?
Many people turn to drugs and alcohol to manage physical discomfort or pain. While this may provide short-term relief, it can also lead to substance abuse and addiction, particularly if you’re using illicit drugs or alcohol, or you’re taking excessive amounts of over-the-counter medications.
Have you lied about your substance use?
Another warning sign that you could be addicted is lying to loved ones about your substance use. This could involve being dishonest about how much alcohol you’re drinking and when, or concealing the number of prescription, over-the-counter and illegal drugs you’re consuming.
Has your drug and alcohol use affected your work or school?
One of the most common signs of addiction is when the substance abuse starts to have a negative impact on work and school. Think about whether you’ve missed work because you’ve been under the influence, hung over or experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Has your school or work performance suffered as a result of your substance use?
Are you experiencing health problems related to your substance use?
Drugs and alcohol don’t just impact how you think and feel — they also affect your overall health and wellness. People who are addicts often suffer from a host of health issues ranging from liver problems to lung disease, GI track damage, erectile dysfunction, cardiovascular disorders and more.
Think you may be an addict? We’re here to help.
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, you may have a substance abuse disorder. The good news is that you aren’t alone — call us here at Hickory Treatment Centers to learn how you can achieve long-term recovery from your addictions.