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Am I an Addict? How Can I Know?

How do I Know if I'm an Addict?

Maybe you've been called an addict before by someone in your family. You had to take a step back because you didn't really feel like an addict. Most people with addictions don't. They may know that abusing drugs is a problem, but they still feel in control of their drug use. You'd be surprised how common this situation is.

You may be facing a situation right now where you're confusing drug abuse with drug addiction. Most people think these terms mean the same thing, but they don't. It's important to know the difference between them. It's also important to know which category you fall under; someone who is abusing drugs, or an addict.


What is Drug Abuse?

First, let's talk about drug abuse. Drug abuse occurs when someone is abusing a drug, but doesn't feel a need to. At this point, the individual's drug use is purely recreational in nature. There isn't a strong desire to use drugs, and the person can easily walk away from them.

Also, for a drug abuser, he or she doesn't feel any ill effects when not using drugs. There are no withdrawal symptoms that are experienced. This person may use drugs when the opportunity arises, but it's not an internal need.

As you can probably already see, drug abuse is very different from a drug addiction.

What is Drug Addiction?

For someone who is addicted to drugs, the need to use is ever-present. This person may feel a need to use drugs as soon as they wake up in the morning. In fact, they may plan their entire day around their ability to use drugs. For a drug addict, drugs have taken over a very prominent place in their lives. If they're not using drugs, they just don't feel right. Many drug addicts aren't even able to function normally without them. They start to go through withdrawal as soon as the drugs leave their bodies.

Also, drug addiction is usually easily identified by a growing tolerance level to substances. As time goes on, it takes more of the substance to get the person high. The addict may need to mix substances in order to achieve a desired result.

Additional Addiction Questions:

Just as there are many different types of drugs, there are different types of addictions. This includes:

Addictions can take many forms. Sometimes they can happen very quickly, but they can also take years before they form.

Increased Chances of Addiction

There are a number of different risk factors that can make someone more susceptible to drug addiction. These can include:

  • Being a person who comes from a family of addicts. There is a proven genetic correlation for addiction.
  • Living in a place where using drugs is viewed as normal, and not taboo.
  • Having a mental health condition and feeling as though using drugs helps with symptoms.
  • Experiencing chronic pain, which results in a need for prescription narcotics.
  • Environmental factors, including peer pressure.
  • The type of drug being abused. Drugs like cocaine, heroin and meth often lead to addiction much faster.
  • The method that the drug is used. If the drug is injected, rates of addiction tend to be higher.

Can you relate to any of these? If you can, you are at a high risk of drug addiction.

Am I an Addict? How to tell if you have an addiction.

How do I Know if I'm an Addict?

You've learned a lot of information so far. However, you still need to know, how do I know if I'm an addict? The answer to this question lies in taking a good look at your own behaviors. You have to be honest in your assessment of yourself. Do your behaviors mimic those of a drug addict? Do you have physical signs of addiction that are quite noticeable to others?

Let's go a little bit deeper.

Physical Signs of Addiction

Usually, the physical signs of addiction are pretty difficult to miss. These include:

  • Feeling odd once the drug starts to wear off. You might experience depression, shakiness or sick to your stomach. You could start sweating or experience headaches.
  • You may be having sleep disturbances. This can mean that you sleep too much, or not enough. You may also have vivid nightmares.
  • You may have bloodshot eyes, or eyes that tear easily.
  • You may stop caring as much about what you look like.
  • You may develop slurred speech.
  • You may develop a tolerance for the amount of drugs you usually take. This means you need more in order to feel the same high.
Psychological Signs of Addiction

For someone who is drug addicted, the behavioral signs of addiction are quite evident. The psychological signs of addiction include:

  • Being unable to stop using the drug, even if there is a desire to.
  • Spending a lot of time thinking about using the drug.
  • Obsessing over the drug in other ways. Examples include how to get it, where to get it, and how you'll feel afterwards.
  • Losing interest in activities you once loved.
  • Having problems keeping up with your normal responsibilities.
  • Hiding your drug use from your friends or family.
  • Spending time with people who use drugs regularly.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, you are most likely a drug addict. However, it's possible that you're still not entirely convinced. You may recognize yourself in many of the above, but you still feel like your drug use is no big deal. In fact, you may even feel like you could walk away from it tomorrow without caring.

This could be true, but you need to know for sure if it is or not. One way to do that is to take a drug addiction quiz. This quiz will go over many different questions with you. It will ask you questions that may be difficult for you. You'll find yourself facing some hard truths. Be honest in your responses, and you'll soon find out more about whether you're an addict or not.

Many addicts live their lives in denial. When they do, it's up to their families to identify if there is a drug problem. This can be very hard to do.

You may be in this situation yourself. You may know that your loved one has an addiction. However, you want to be sure. Knowing what to look for is so important. As a loved one, you can look for the following in your family member:

  • Significant changes in behavior.
  • Expressions of irritability.
  • Becoming easily agitated
  • Frequent bloody noses.
  • Having an unusual need for money, or excessive financial problems.
  • Changes in their daily routines that are unusual.

It's so hard to face the facts if you have an addicted family member. However, you can get help if this is the situation you're in right now.

Drug Addiction Treatment

Drug Addiction Treatment for Addicts Who Desire to Recover

Hopefully by now, the question, how do I know if I am an addict? has been answered for you. This is a very hard question to ask yourself. Most people would rather live in denial for the rest of their lives than face the truth. The fact that you were brave enough to ask this question is commendable. Now, the question is, what should you do next?

Drug rehab is the best way for you to become free of your drug addiction. Maybe you've thought about going to drug treatment before. Perhaps a well-meaning friend or family member has even encouraged you to get professional help. If you have an addiction, you definitely need drug treatment. This is the only way you'll be able to get the assistance you need to stop using successfully.

At Northpoint Washington, we understand that you might be feeling concerned about going to drug rehab. Most people do. You're certainly not alone if you're nervous, anxious or worried about what you'll encounter. However, you should know that drug rehab offers you so many benefits. Above all, you'll learn that a life without drugs is worth living.

Have you recently found out that you're an addict? Are you interested in learning more about drug rehab? Please contact us today.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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