Who Answers?

Am I A Drug Addict?

Many people are aware of what addiction is. They may have experienced how the disease physically and psychologically affects the addict and those around them. However, for many people, there comes a point where they’re wondering: “Am I an addict?”

Perhaps someone told them that they have a problem, maybe they notice their life spiraling out of control, or maybe they’re just not sure what constitutes addiction. While there are certain patterns that can typically indicate whether or not someone may be an addict, it’s imperative that the person must first honestly take a look at themselves.  It is only through this authentic reflection that this person can come to a place of admittance and acceptance of their addiction and its effect on their life.

Certain patterns can help to identify whether or not someone should consider themselves addicts, though every individual is different. One of the more easily measured patterns is the progression and frequency of drug use. We know that, for example, if a person is using hard drugs like heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine, they have a greater likelihood of becoming physically and psychologically dependent on these drugs. Consequently, this will likely cause the frequency of one’s drug use to rise.

Although frequency alone may not indicate that someone is an addict, because it is interconnected with tolerance. When the frequency of someone’s drug use is steadily increasing, it often means that this individual’s tolerance to drugs is higher than it used to be, though typically this can be a sign of the progression of the disease.

Another easily measurable aspect of drug use that is easy to determine is whether or not someone is using drugs by themselves. In 2006, a RAND study found that teens that drink or use drugs by themselves are more likely to experience drug problems as young adults than their social counterparts (Sack). If a person stops using a substance(s) and goes through withdrawal or detox symptoms, they are physically dependent on the drugs they are taking. Also, with addiction and/or drug abuse, people usually undergo rapid and noticeable physical changes; ranging from extreme weight loss to a constant plugged nose.

 Other indicative patterns, those more associated with the psyche rather than the more visible signs such as habits or physical health, can also be used to help someone determine if they are an addict. If it seems like drug use is getting out of control, and is replacing things that someone used to love doing, there is a good chance that drugs are becoming a major problem.

Another hallmark of addiction is the desire to stop using, but repeatedly failing; Addicts may find that they are either physically or psychologically incapable of controlling their use on their own, no matter how hard they try (Signs and Symptoms). Also, as drug use moves into the category of dependence and addiction they often become “the lone addict“; they isolate from friends and family and only spend time with others who use drugs in the same way.(Ten Signs Your Loved One Could Have a Problem with Drug Abuse ). Yet another indicator is acting against ones previous value or morals; doing things they said they never would, like stealing from loved ones or engaging in criminal activities. This change often marks the desperation that is common among addicts.

It’s important to be completely truthful when you look at this last factor: If you’re questioning whether or not you’re an addict, take an honest look at why you use drugs. Is it to escape from life, from some event in your past or present circumstances? Do you use to numb however you feel when you’re sober?

If this is the case, it is a big red flag. Addicts are people physically and psychologically dependent on substances, but at the same time they seek to ignore reality and the circumstances of their lives through drugs. It’s not easy to admit to yourself that you’re an addict, but coming to a place of acceptance is an important step towards getting better. When you’re willing and honest with yourself, you will be able to answer the question: Am I really an addict? If so, there are rehabilitation centers across the country, 12 step programs, and other support programs. Finding acceptance  your disease of addiction will give you a sense of peace and the ability to take the first step towards a new, healthier, and better life.


Works Cited

Sack, David. “5 Patterns of Drug Use That Indicate a Problem.” 15 July 2013. Psychology today. Web. 17 July 2013.

“Signs and Symptoms.” n.d. NCAAD.org. Web. 17 July 2013.

“Ten Signs Your Loved One Could Have a Problem with Drug Abuse .” n.d. Cirque Lodge. Web. 17 July 2013.

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Written by

A native New Yorker, Bre loves the California scene and writing for Treatment4Addiction. She has been writing content for T4A for five months, and loves to learn new things, form opinions, and send them out to the world. Her interests include dance, singing, acting, talking with friends, being a daughter, and being the best big sister she can to her 16 year old brother. After attending ASU for a few months, she is interested in taking cosmetology classes and exploring her options. She looks forward to learning all she can, and doing something positive with that knowledge and experience.

Filed under: Alcohol and Drugs, Recovery, Substance Abuse · Tags: Acceptance, addict, Addiction, drugs, honesty, patterns

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