How To Tell If You Have An Addiction

how to tell if you have an addiction


Do you enjoy drinking alcohol or taking certain drugs? You may tell yourself that you have everything under control, even if you also get a nagging feeling that may not be true. We have some concrete ways to teach you how to tell if you have an addiction. 


You Often Find Yourself Denying Accusations 


A major way to tell if you have an addiction involves trying to debate accusations people have about your drug and alcohol use. People with an addiction often minimize the amount of substances they use. They also sometimes deny using specific ones, despite there being proof that says otherwise. 


You may also favor offering excuses for the times you drink or use drugs. Telling people you just needed to blow off steam, or it was a special occasion, or everyone else was doing it, may be fallback reasons you give for abusing substances. The fact that you need so many excuses can point to a pattern of substance abuse.


Your Family and Friends Tell You That You Have a Problem


If your loved ones have been telling you they believe you suffer from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s important to listen to them. Often a person living in the grips of a substance use disorder cannot see their condition clearly. 


Spouses, parents, and other family members have a window into your life that often provides a clearer view than your own. Your family and friends may have already performed an intervention on you or express plans to do so. If so, this provides a real wake-up call as to how much in denial you may be.


Your Health Suffers From Drug or Alcohol Usage


Many people with a substance use disorder find their health declines over time. Some of the physical side effects that aid in learning how to tell if you have an addiction may include:


  • Hangovers
  • Lethargy
  • Hyperactivity
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Changes in appetite
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Digestive system ailments
  • Malnutrition
  • Blackouts
  • Cloudy thinking process
  • Mood swings
  • Violent outbursts
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Drug overdose


You Find Yourself on the Wrong Side of the Law


People with substance use disorders often come into unwanted contact with law enforcement. This may come in the form of being arrested for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence (DWI/DUI). People under the age of 21 may be fined or arrested for possession of alcohol. 


Many people dealing with an addiction they are in denial about get arrested for possession of illegal drugs. Some individuals become desperate enough to make sure they have the drugs or alcohol they need that they turn to stealing or committing other financial crimes. They may also take medication not prescribed to them or attempt to forge their own prescriptions. 


A Loss of Interest in Your Personal Life


Addiction often becomes so front-and-center in a person’s life that the rest of it fades into the background. Ask yourself if your personal relationships have suffered due to alcohol and drug usage. This includes romantic and family relationships and friendships.


Beloved hobbies and pastimes often fall to the wayside. Ask yourself if you slowed down or stopped participation in social events, specialized groups, sports, or other hobbies you used to enjoy. You may find you prefer to stay home and drink or use drugs instead. That may strongly indicate a way to tell if you have an addiction.


Experiencing Difficulty Not Drinking or Taking Drugs


Do you find yourself uncomfortable when not using drugs or drinking? A clear sign of addiction comes in when a person feels a distinct need to constantly be under the influence of their substance of choice. Feeling panic or anguish at the idea of spending time without that substance commonly defines an addiction. 


Many people feel withdrawal symptoms when they don’t have the drugs or alcohol they rely on. They may also find the usual amount does not provide the same effect it used to give them. If you have to increase the amount of alcohol or drugs you use in order to achieve the same feeling, this can indicate an addiction.


Have You Tried to Quit and Find It Too Difficult?


Another huge way to tell if you have an addiction involves any previous attempts to quit drinking or taking drugs. If you tried and could not do it, or your attempts only lasted a short time, consider this a reality check. Addiction may have taken hold and it’s time to talk to someone. 


If you need help working up the bravery to seek help for your illness, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Tell a family member, friend, or romantic partner you want to seek help in recovery. They can help you find treatment and be there as a support system. No matter how lost you may feel, everyone can recover.


Addiction Treatment in Southern California


Gratitude Lodge offers treatment programs that help a person embrace recovery now and in the future. We offer detoxification, inpatient, and outpatient programs, as well as treatment for co-occurring mental health issues. Call our beautiful Southern California location today at 800-994-2184 and get started on living your authentic life.


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