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Am I Addicted?

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Am I Addicted?
There's no harm in unwinding at the end of the day with your preference's safe and healthy activity. It's not immoral to have a good time, and moderation is vital as long as you're responsible.
This line of reasoning encompasses many aspects of our lives, not just drugs, and alcohol. After a long day at work, sitting down and binge-watching Netflix isn't a huge issue. However, sitting for weeks without the motivation or desire to do something different is an issue. Have you ever wondered if you're an addict because of one of your habits? Continue reading if you have. We're delving further into the delicate line that separates enjoyment from addiction.

What is the definition of addiction?

Identifying an addiction problem in a friend or family member can be more difficult than it appears. By the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is defined as a chronic illness that affects the brain's reward, motivation, and memory processes. Someone who is addicted to a substance or other behavioural tendencies will crave it. They'll often neglect other aspects of their lives to satisfy or support their desires. The following are some of the most common indications of addiction:
  • Lack of control, or the inability to keep away from a substance or habit
  • impaired socialisation, such as breaking commitments or disregarding relationships.
  • ignoring risk concerns such as sharing needles despite the potential repercussions
  • physical impacts such as withdrawal symptoms or the need for a greater dosage to get the desired effect
These symptoms are frequently connected. The severity of each symptom may vary depending on how long the addiction has been present. A healthy individual can typically recognise and eliminate harmful conduct. This is not the situation for someone who is addicted to something. They'll find ways to rationalise and continue their behaviour rather than recognise there's a problem.

What's the Difference Between Drug Dependence and Addiction?

Physical and chemical drug dependency is sometimes confused with addiction; nevertheless, a person can become reliant on a substance without being addicted to it. When mind-altering medicines are injected into the body, changes in the brain's chemical makeup occur. Several chemical messengers are harmed. These chemical messengers, also known as neurotransmitters, are responsible for informing a person's mood and, as a result, their conduct. Most medicines, for example, act on the brain's pleasure and reward centres. Elevated levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are responsible for the desired "high." Inhibitions are frequently reduced, sociability is increased, and decision-making skills are harmed. Those who use mind-altering drugs are more likely to place themselves in potentially unsafe circumstances, putting themselves at risk for accidents, injuries, and other potentially harmful activities (like potentially dangerous sexual interactions, for instance). With long-term drug usage, tolerance is frequently the first symptom. Regular drug doses will no longer influence the brain, and greater doses may be required to feel the drug's effects. The brain struggles to keep up and adjust when the dosage increases, which can develop into drug dependence. Chronic drug use leads to drug dependency, which is a physical and chemical manifestation. When a person becomes addicted to a substance, they generally experience intense cravings and painful withdrawal symptoms when the drug wears off. When levels of the brain's neurotransmitters are disturbed by regular drug addiction, drug withdrawal symptoms frequently occur in the opposite direction of the drug's effects. Drug dependence is common in people who are addicted to drugs; nevertheless, a diagnosis of addiction involves more than simply this physical feature.

Types of Addiction

Although substance abuse is the most common kind of addiction, behavioural addictions such as gambling can be just as dangerous. Addiction occurs when a person is unable to continuously refrain from engaging in an activity or consuming a substance. This is often at the expense of their emotional and physical well-being. Substance addiction is defined as a dependency on one or more of the following substances: Behavioural addictions are just as dangerous as drug addictions. Both lead to reliance and have the same or similar negative outcomes. The following are examples of behavioural addiction:
  • Gambling
  • Working
  • Sex
  • Shopping
  • Playing video games on the Internet or through the media
It's critical to notice warning signals and seek help if necessary, regardless of the type of addiction. You can check for certain indications if you think you could be addicted to drugs or alcohol. You can assess if you have a substance use disorder by asking yourself the following questions concerning your substance use.
  • Is your substance abuse causing you or your loved one concern?
  • Do you have to deal with unpleasant effects as a result of your substance abuse? Are you having problems with people who are important to you?
  • Are you having trouble accomplishing the tasks assigned to you at work or school?
You may have a drug or alcohol addiction if you are having any of these problems as a result of your substance abuse. Substance abuse is a chronic brain disease that affects people of all races, ages, nationalities, and socioeconomic statuses. To examine if you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you must reflect on your substance usage behaviours. The first step toward a healthy, substance-free lifestyle is to recognise your addiction.

Questions to Ponder If You're Using Substances

You can tell if you're addicted to drugs or alcohol by looking for certain indications. Relationship concerns, employment or school problems, and even legal issues originating from substance abuse can all be signs of addiction. If the following aspects of your life have been impacted by substance usage, you may have an addiction.

Hard Relationships

  • Has your drug or alcohol abuse harmed your relationships?
  • Have you ever utilised drugs or alcohol to fit in with your friends or feel accepted in social circles?
  • Have you ever lied to a loved one or family member about your substance abuse?
The relationships of individuals who suffer from drug or alcohol addictions frequently suffer as a result of their addiction. You may find yourself avoiding friends or family members who do not use drugs or alcohol or who do not accept your substance abuse. Individuals with addictions frequently use substances to fit in with a certain group. You may also have an addiction if you lie to friends and family about your substance usage out of shame or embarrassment.

Poor Work or School Performance

  • Is your work or school performance suffering as a result of your substance abuse?
  • As a result of your substance abuse, have you been unable to complete projects or assignments?
  • Have you ever been dismissed from a job, expelled from school, or suspended because of your substance abuse?
Individuals addicted to drugs or alcohol generally struggle to accomplish school or employment duties. Addicts may have difficulty retaining a job or getting into trouble at school, which may result in suspension or expulsion. Addiction could be the cause of substance usage that has damaged your work or school routines and hampered your performance.

Health and Social Consequences

  • Do you keep using drugs despite the bad consequences?
  • Have you ever taken one drug to counteract the effects of another?
  • Have you ever had to seek medical help as a result of your substance abuse?
  • Have you ever had health problems as a result of using drugs or alcohol yet nevertheless continued to use them?
  • Have you been unable to operate properly or handle life's duties as a result of drugs or alcohol?
  • Have you ever overdosed or required emergency medical attention as a result of drug or alcohol abuse?
Addiction to drugs or alcohol often renders people unable to care for themselves and can result in a variety of health problems. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may have a substance abuse problem.  

Deviant Behavior and Crime

  • Have you ever gotten prescribed medications by deceiving a doctor?
  • Have you ever used something without realising what it was or what it will do to you?
  • Have you ever stolen something to pay for drugs or stolen drugs to pay for drugs?
  • Have you ever acted strangely or felt doubtful of yourself?
Addiction can lead to out-of-character behaviour and, in some cases, criminal activity in otherwise rational people. Individuals suffering from addiction are known to fabricate a medical condition to obtain prescription medicines, steal from friends or family, and experiment with unknown chemicals. You most certainly have an addiction if you find yourself acting out of character, committing crimes, or hurting loved ones to satisfy your substance use needs.

Patterns of Substance Abuse

  • Do you utilise drugs when you're alone?
  • Do you take substances when you get up or when you go to bed?
  • Do you consume substances daily?
The regularity and amount of substances you take have a big impact on becoming addicted. You may have a substance addiction if you use substances daily and by yourself. Addiction can also be detected when you rely on substances as part of your everyday routine, for instance when trying to fall asleep or wake up in the morning.

Physical Dependence, Cravings, and Self-Medication

  • Do you find yourself thinking about drugs or alcohol regularly?
  • Have you ever attempted but failed to stop or limit your substance use?
  • Is the prospect of running out of substances terrifying to you?
  • When you're sober, do you have any bodily or emotional discomfort?
  • Have you ever consumed drugs or alcohol to deal with your feelings of rage or sadness?
  • Have you ever depended on drugs or alcohol to treat or relieve symptoms of a medical problem?
Many people who suffer from addictions are overwhelmed by it, and it takes control of their lives. An addict may be obsessed with using substances while sober, using drugs or alcohol to cure another ailment, or using drugs or alcohol to escape from troublesome emotions or ideas. When people with substance use disorders stop using, they may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Those who suffer from addictions are also prone to psychological dependence. Psychologically dependent people use drugs or alcohol to activate the pleasure centre of the brain. A compulsive drive to take narcotics, which crowds out rational and responsible thinking, is one of the most typical indicators of addiction. You may have a substance use problem if you are unable to manage your substance usage or have excessive drug or alcohol urges. Due to chemical changes in the brain, a person with drug addiction may typically need to continue taking drugs to feel "normal" and balanced. As a result, drugs might hurt a person's physique. Changes in appetite, weight, health issues and malnutrition are all symptoms of a drug problem. A person's hygiene may also become less important. It's possible that physical beauty isn't as significant as it formerly was. Addiction can cause mood swings, anger, hostility, violence, and emotions of anxiety and irritation. Changing brain chemistry related to chronic drug addiction is typically the cause of erratic and unpredictable behaviour, negative moods, and problems feeling pleasure. Additional consequences of addiction and problematic drug use include social withdrawal, greater secrecy, and relationship troubles. Shame, guilt, wrath, and denial are all prevalent feelings associated with drug abuse.

What to do if you have Drug or Alcohol Addiction?

Recognising that you have a drug abuse problem is the first and most important step toward recovery. If you answered yes to any or all of the questions above, you might have a substance abuse issue. If you recognise any of the above patterns in your habits, drug or alcohol private rehab may be the best option for you. Drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms can be managed with the support of a specialist addiction treatment program, reducing the "urge" to continue using drugs. These rehab programs can also provide therapeutic and supportive care to clients and families to help them deal with the behavioural, social, emotional, and interpersonal connection challenges that often accompany drug and alcohol dependence. If you think you might be a drug addict, remember that you're not alone. Seek assistance and call 0203 955 7700, one of our expert advisors can guide you into recovery.

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

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