How do I know Im an addict? Many drug and alcohol treatment programs start with the individual acknowledging that they are an addict. This isn’t unusual – most people don’t seek professional treatment for substance abuse disorder (SAD) unless they are actually addicted to drugs or alcohol. But for many people wondering if they have a problem with their drinking or drug use, answering the question “How do I know I’m an addict?” can be tricky.
The most successful sobriety treatments start with the individual acknowledgment that they need help. It’s a personal decision, and the responsibility for continued sobriety rests on the individual. However, making that determination can be hard. At Hickory Treatment Centers, we can help. Our professional counselors can help people struggling with drinking or drug use understand the nature of addiction and the steps needed to heal and find sobriety.
What is Addiction?
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is a chronic disease that impacts the brain’s motivation, reward, and memory centers. People who have an addiction may experience changes in their brain chemistry that causes them to be physically and psychologically dependent on drugs or alcohol.
Common signs of addiction include:
- Inability to control the use of the drug or stop using it
- Isolation or changed relationships
- Abandoning commitments, such as work, school, or parenting obligations
- Needing a higher amount of the substance for effect
The degree of intensity of each effect may depend on how long the person has been using it and to what degree. Often, people will ignore other aspects of their lives in pursuit of the next drink or the next high.
Am I an Addict?
Some people may characterize an addict as someone who has hit rock bottom and lost everything – the wino on the street or the person wasting away with a needle in their arm. However, addiction is a sneaky disease and can creep up on many people. Most people suffering from addiction are in denial or may justify that they can “stop any time.” Or, they may look at people in the worst throes of addiction and say, “I can’t be an addict! That’s not me! I’m high-functioning!”
If these phrases sound familiar, you aren’t alone. Millions of Americans suffer from addiction to drugs or alcohol. But, there is hope. Thousands each year attend treatment and get sober.
If you aren’t sure if your substance use is an addiction, there are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Once I start using, am I able to stop?
- Has my work or school been impacted by using, drinking, or the aftereffects of using (hangovers, etc.)
- Do I worry about when I’ll get my next drink?
- How much money am I spending on drugs?
- Have people close to me expressed concern about my drinking or drug use?
- Am I suffering physically because of the effects of drugs or alcohol?
The answers to these questions may indicate that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Generally, if drinking or using drugs affects your ability to work, go to school, or take care of your home and family, you may have a problem.
Comprehensive Addiction Treatment
If you’re worried about whether or not you’re an addict, we can help. Hickory Treatment Centers offer confidential assessments and counseling. Our drug and alcohol treatment programs address not just the physical addiction but underlying mental health concerns that may have led to addiction or substance abuse. We offer intensive outpatient services, as well as family counseling to help you rebuild relationships. Call us today to discuss your options.