If you have concerns about your drinking or drug taking, what are the signs to look out for that could indicate you might be becoming addicted?
A dependency establishes itself for many reasons and can look and feel very different to everyone. Changing your thinking and mindset early, could prove to be key in preventing your drinking or drug taking, establishing itself as too much of a strong force in your life.
But what are the warning signs that you might be an addict? Or at least, what are the warning signs that you are heading down a path that you really don’t want to go down?
- Increased craving intensity
Has ‘a drink would be good’ changed to ‘I’d best have a drink’? Cravings are different for everyone and they can be a mental creation as much a physical necessity. But when they start to take centre stage in your mind rather than being a passing thought – you should start to look at your relationship with the substance in question.
- It dominates your thinking
This is different from a craving. This is where drinking or taking drugs is the dominant thought in any scenario.
For example, you’re taking the kids for a fun day out at the weekend. but your first thought is ‘is there a bar?’. You get invited to a wedding but you’re most excited about it being an excuse to take lots of cocaine rather than catch up with friends and family.
- You need more than you did before
You used to get one bag that lasted you a while – now you get two so your come down doesn’t kick in too early. Or an entire bottle of wine used to be a Friday night thing, now it’s just what you drink as a ‘Tuesday Treat’.
Which leads us on to…
You normalise what you know isn’t…(if you’re being honest)…normal behaviour
An addict will become skilled at deceit, both to friends and family, and to themselves. When you start noticing you are covering up for yourself or justifying behaviour which you know isn’t healthy, then you might need to start wondering if you are addicted.
- You continue to drink or take drugs when you know it’s a negative force in your life
Even when you don’t have enough money to cover your bills, even when you behave in a way that damages relationships, and even when your health is at risk – you still decide to drink again or take drugs. That is a big clue that you might not be in control, but if you have become good at the deceit we just talked about, you might not have accepted that to be the case yet.
- You don’t recognise yourself.
Are you are doing things that you once would never have contemplated? Many recovered alcoholics report they became very casual about drink driving, despite for many years being hugely against the idea.
Are you ‘borrowing’ cash from the kids’ piggy bank that only half gets returned?
Does your moral compass need a reset?
- Things seem pointless
Arguably the saddest thing that happens when addiction takes hold is how things that once meant so much to someone, start to slip down their list of priorities.
Hobbies, friends, appearance and even family start to feel less important to someone who is becoming dependent on drink or drugs.
Does any of this feel familiar? The first thing to recognise is that you clearly don’t want to be an addict as you wouldn’t be reading this in the first place.
Hopefully, just the realisation that you are developing a dependency might be the shock you need to be able to take a step back and reduce, or stop, your substance abuse.
If you feel you need additional help with your drinking or drug use, our Outpatient Addiction Detox is totally discreet and tailored to you. You don’t need to ‘check into rehab’; just a few visits to The Pavilion means the rest of the time you detox from home and the treatment is flexible around your life.
Get in touch today for a call back from our friendly, discreet and experienced professionals.
*for heavy users/drinkers, suddenly stopping can have negative health implications. Seek medical advice before ceasing completely. The NHS has lots of information and advice for anyone confronting their addiction.