How do you know if you have an addiction? 

posted by Chris Valentine

It can be hard to pinpoint a moment when you may have an addiction. Whether it’s to prescription drugs, street drugs or alcohol – it’s a growing problem.

Regardless of whether it’s you or a family member, there are important signs that you need to look out for.

Remember, this is a very subjective issue, and signs and symptoms will manifest themselves differently with every individual. However, if you think you or someone you know has an issue, you should always reach out for your help.

It’s important to know that it is a serious illness, and shouldn’t be overlooked and isn’t anything to be embarrassed about.

Signs you may have an addiction:

  • You keep taking a prescription drug after it is no longer needed for a health problem
  • You feel strange when the drug wears off. Perhaps you feel shaky, depressed, sick or start to sweat and have headaches.
  • You need more and more of a substance to get the same effects, this is known as “building up a tolerance”.
  • You’ve lost interest in your previous hobbies or passions
  • You struggle to do normal things like cooking and working
  • You’ve begun to borrow or steal money for drugs
  • You hide the drug from family and friends. You could also hide the symptoms or effects that the drugs have on you.
  • Your friends and family are noticing how much you’ve changed
  • You don’t sleep enough or you sleep too much
  • You have physical symptoms – bad breath, shakes, tremors, weight loss or weight gain.
  • You take drugs with alcohol

What you should do when you think you have an addiction

This is where it gets a little tricky – reaching out for help can be the hardest part about addiction. It takes a lot of strength and courage to even admit to being addicted to something, let only try to gain help.

The majority of people believe that they can tackle the issue on their own, but that rarely works. It’s a serious illness and problem and really needs professional help. Also, talking to family and friends can benefit you greatly.

The first step is reaching out for help, in any way shape or form. Don’t try to do it alone.

Access treatment 

Don’t worry, treatment doesn’t have to be costly or require you to enter a residential area. You can do it at home,  for a much lower cost.

Top tips for recovery 

The road to recovery won’t be the easiest, but it’s necessary. Our top tips, which will make your journey to recovery less difficult:

Tell your friends and family about your decision

Ask your friends and family to be available for you at all times

Don’t accept invitations to events that will have drugs or alcohol around

Plan every situation until you’re fully recovered

Remember, having an addiction doesn’t make you a bad person

Addiction should be taken seriously, and getting the right help is essential. If you think you have an addiction or know somebody who does, contact somebody who can help you out. If you are in the UK then you can check out Help Me Stop.

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