It can be difficult to be objective when considering the severity of your own addiction. Drug and alcohol abuse can vary from person to person. For some, recreational use of illicit substances does not evolve into full-blown addiction, while for others, experimentation can quickly spiral out of control. While it may be easier to identify when casual use turns into dependency in others, there are questions you can consider when trying to determine if your substance use requires professional intervention and treatment. Being honest with yourself can be difficult, but once you are, you can begin exploring your path to recovery.
Signs It’s Time for Treatment
Many people do not receive the treatment they need for substance addiction for numerous reasons. In most cases, these reasons center around the idea that a person’s addiction is not “bad enough” to merit treatment. There is no sliding scale that will definitively tell you whether or not treatment is necessary; however, if you are grappling with these thoughts, it is usually a good indicator that you do need professional help.
- Substance abuse has become your priority: One of the easiest ways to determine the impact of addiction on your life is whether or not it has become your main focus. If your thoughts throughout the day have become consumed by acquiring and using substances, it may indicate you are experiencing some level of addiction. As an addiction becomes more powerful, other interests, activities, and responsibilities begin to take a back seat.
- Your health is deteriorating: Substance abuse leads to numerous mental and physical health ailments. Some of these outcomes are directly linked to the types of substances that are used. Symptoms of conditions linked to drug and alcohol abuse can range from mild to severe depending on what is used, how long you have been using the substance for, and the amount taken. If you experience unwanted changes in thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, it can usually indicate a growing problem with substance abuse.
- You are developing tolerance: Initial substance abuse can produce powerful effects with small dosages because your body is not accustomed to it. As substance abuse becomes more consistent, the effects become less powerful. You begin needing larger doses to achieve the same effects. Increased tolerance puts you at risk for overdose.
- You are unable to quit even if you want to: Addiction is often a vicious cycle of ups and downs. Recovery is often marked by periods of sobriety and relapse. If you struggle to manage sobriety on your own or you have been unsuccessful in attempts to cease use, it may be time to seek professional help. Treatment programs provide the structure and intensity that is often required to successfully stop using drugs or alcohol.
- Your relationships are suffering: Addiction can cause you to lose focus on the things that used to be most important. Relationships often suffer at the hands of addiction because it becomes prioritized over everything else. You may find yourself spending less time with loved ones or find that substance abuse is causing strains in your relationships to develop. It is not uncommon for close relationships to change dramatically as a side effect of addiction.
- You experience withdrawal: The line between abuse and addiction can often be drawn in withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms indicate that dependency has developed. Because of this, you may feel as though you need drugs or alcohol to feel “normal”. In some cases, withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous. If you are looking to quit using drugs or alcohol, enlisting the help of professionals can help you manage withdrawal symptoms safely and as comfortably as possible.
- Your financial situation is strained: It is not uncommon for those who struggle with addiction to also experience financial trouble. The cost of maintaining an addiction is high and because it is often prioritized over everything else, financial trouble often develops. It can be difficult to manage the responsibilities of bills and other financial obligations when drugs and alcohol become your priority. Often times, you may find your funds going directly into sustaining your addiction rather than into your other responsibilities.
- Your performance in school or at work is deteriorating: Addiction can make it difficult to manage the responsibilities of school or work. You may find yourself calling out sick, being chronically late, or not making deadlines. This can cause problems in your relationships with peers and may cause you to either fail academically or lose employment.
- You have cravings: Cravings often go hand-in-hand with withdrawal symptoms. If you experience cravings for drugs or alcohol, it is usually an indicator that you are becoming more dependent on them. Cravings may cloud your mind and make it difficult for you to prioritize your other responsibilities.
- You have lost control: Addiction can make it impossible to manage your obligations. During the initial stages of substance abuse development, you may be able to maintain some level of control and management over your responsibilities; however, over time, these begin to take a back seat. Those who struggle with addiction often lose control over their relationships, their finances, and even their health. Life can sometimes feel reduced to living from one high to the next.
Do Only Some of These Apply?
The severity of addiction may be determined by how many of these factors relate to your experiences. The more that align with you, the greater the probability is that you may have a severe addiction. Even if only a couple of these examples resonate with you, intervening early in mild cases of addiction can prevent it from spiraling out of control.
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, your addiction can worsen and become life-threatening. It is a chronic disease that requires treatment to improve. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to wait until you have hit rock bottom to seek help. It is never too late or too early to start the recovery process.
What To Do If You Need Rehab
For those whose lives are being affected by their drug and alcohol use, the task of finding the right program can be a challenge. If you or someone you know is in need of treatment for drug and alcohol abuse we are here to help. Give Nexus Recovery Services a call today at 310-881-9151 or send us a message and someone will get back to you within 24 hours.