One of the hardest parts of being a person addicted to drugs or alcohol concerns getting to the point where they can admit it to someone else. Before that can happen, the person must first recognize they have a substance use disorder, which can be a difficult realization for anyone to have. A person who struggles with whether or not they may have a problem and need help often gets a feeling they are in trouble but learns to push it away. We’ve compiled a list of 6 signs that point out how to tell if you’re an addict to help individuals look at several warning signs to see if they or someone they love is in trouble and needs addiction treatment.
You Keep Your Drug or Alcohol Usage a Secret
People who drink moderately don’t feel a need to hide how much they drink at a time or how often they consume alcohol. If you find you deny having bought or drunk alcohol or minimized the amount, it may be because you know the truth can point to an addiction. Other ways to try to keep drinking a secret involve hiding empty bottles or claiming someone else drank them.
A person using illegal drugs or abusing prescription drugs also often goes to great lengths to deny what is going on. They may be secretive in securing and using the drugs and deny their stash belongs to them if it’s found. A basic truth of someone who doesn’t have a substance abuse problem is that they are comfortable keeping their usage out in the open because people won’t find it alarming or potentially dangerous.
Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms
Another way to tell if you’re an addict has to do with how you feel if you cannot access alcohol or your drug of choice. An addiction to drugs and alcohol causes a person to experience withdrawal symptoms when they are out of what they normally consume or can only find small amounts of it. Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the substance and severity of the addiction but can include both physical cravings and ailments. Many people also experience mood changes, such as anxiety, depression, or aggressiveness. A person with addiction finds that controlling their moods rely heavily on being under the influence.
Needing Increased Amounts of Drugs or Alcohol
A hallmark of having a substance use disorder is experiencing an increase in tolerance. While a person initially abusing drugs or alcohol may find they get the results they want with a small amount, their bodies build up a tolerance over time. Increased amounts of the substance are required in order to get the same high or inebriation effect, causing a person to use larger amounts again and again. This can push a person into overdosing or alcohol poisoning. They also spend more and more time and money procuring their substances, which affects their overall lives.
Drugs or Alcohol Become Central to Your Life
The more a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, the less important people and activities that used to hold prominence in their lives become. When wondering how to tell if you’re an addict, consider if substance use has negatively impacted your career or schoolwork. Addiction often surpasses work and school goals, as well as replaces interests in hobbies and pastimes. Relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners often suffer because drugs and alcohol become the dominant priority in a person’s life.
Your Financial Life Takes a Hit
Using copious amounts of drugs and alcohol costs money, and as a person’s tolerance increases, so does the amount they need to finance it. Someone struggling with a substance use disorder often ends up using a lot of their own cash or racking up debt in order to support their habit. They may sell items that mean a lot to them or develop a habit of asking others for money. Bank accounts and credit rankings can bottom out, causing damage to an entire family.
The Legal System Enters the Picture
Most people who start out as casual users of drugs or alcohol, then end up in legal trouble related to an addiction that developed, are shocked when it happens. Alcohol abuse can result in being arrested for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence (DWI/DUI). Buying or being in possession of illegal drugs or prescriptions that don’t belong to you can also get a person arrested.
Once a person enters the legal system due to their substance use disorder, life becomes expensive and complicated on a whole new level. The cost of legal assistance, court costs, probation, and loss of income add up quickly. Having an arrest record can affect a person’s employment, future financial life, and housing options. The conflict it causes in relationships also takes a heavy toll, with loved ones often being asked to bear an emotional and sometimes financial toll that comes with their loved one being in legal trouble.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Los Angeles
If you have read our guide on how to tell if you’re an addict and recognize that you need help, Riviera Recovery can provide the compassionate assistance you need. We offer young adults pet-friendly and gender-specific sober living houses that help keep them on the road to recovery and ready to return home with a healthy new mindset.
Contact Riviera Recovery now to find out how to get started on the road to recovery.