Whether you’ve had a wake-up call in the form of an unsettling experience, been shaken by the recovery or overdose of someone close to you, or simply feel a growing sense that something is going wrong inside you, you must pay close attention to your feelings. You know yourself; if you think you might have a problem with addiction, chances are you’re not imagining it. On the other hand, learning you have a problem can be a rude awakening imparted upon you by someone close to you. In such a case, it’s crucial to listen to the people around you. It’s normal for us to justify our own actions; when someone else steps in to voice a concern, they have your best interests at heart.
If you’re grappling with the possibility of an addiction or substance abuse disorder, take the time to carefully assess yourself and your history. If you do end up accepting that you need help, the sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you’ll get your life back on track.
How to Assess Yourself for Addiction or Disorder
If you think you might have a problem, or if someone you trust has made it clear that they’re concerned for you, approach it like you would if it were someone else’s problem. It’s easy to get emotionally invested in our own stability to the point that we rationalize our own behavior. Try to see yourself objectively and assess whether you’re acting in a way that’s consistent with the possibility of you having a problem.
Educate yourself on the warning signs, including those listed below. Review your behavior and take an honest look at your relationship with drugs or alcohol. If someone came to you with a concern for your addiction, ask them to be specific and not hold back. The better informed you are, the more quickly you’ll arrive at the truth.
Don’t Think It Can’t Happen to You
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 struggled with a substance abuse disorder in 2019. That’s over six percent of the national population. Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug, making it the leading cause of addiction for over 70% of American adults. An average of 130 Americans die each day of opioid overdose, and 36 die each day in alcohol-related deaths.
If you’re at risk for or already dealing with a mental disorder, your chances of substance abuse disorder or addiction are significantly increased. Over forty percent of Americans who struggle with substance abuse also face a mental health disorder. Recovery centers and treatment facilities across the country make it a point to identify and treat co-occurring conditions.
Knowing the Warning Signs
- If you started drinking or using illicit drugs before you were 18 years old, you’re at a much higher risk of addiction.
- If you spend much time around people who drink or use heavily, you may develop similar habits.
- If you’ve gotten a DUI, take a good hard look at yourself. Over 34 million Americans were charged with driving under the influence in 2017.
- Addiction thrives in isolation. If you find yourself withdrawing from your social system and spending more time alone, you may be developing a disorder.
- Frequently justifying your actions and lying to the people around you are other signs that you may have a problem.
Genetics make up between 40 and 60% of your risk for addiction. If you have a family history of substance abuse, be especially careful in assessing yourself for warning signs. You may be engaging in risky behavior without even realizing the danger. Consider keeping a log of your substance use. Be as honest with yourself as you can, and watch for a pattern to emerge.
Reach Out As Soon As You Can
If you think you might have a problem, turn to the people you trust most. Be it friends, family, or romantic partners, this is the time for you to open up to people and honestly ask them for insight. It’s essential to trust your gut; if you ultimately believe you should get help, then that’s all the confirmation you need. For most people, though, having the support of family and friends makes it easier to get help. More importantly, this support makes it clear that you’re doing the right thing.
Once you’re ready to get help, reach out to a treatment professional or recovery center. There are several options available to you; spend some time looking into the differences between inpatient, outpatient, PHP, telehealth, and rehabilitation programs. Your support system can help here, too, by offering their assistance with your affairs and the logistics needed to get you proper help.
If you think you have a problem, it’s crucial to get help as soon as possible. The earlier you catch an addiction in its tracks, the easier it will be for you to break free. Open up to the people you trust most and ask for their insight into your behavior. They may be able to identify problems sooner than you can do for yourself. Once you accept that you may have a problem, the best thing you can do for yourself is to address it at the root. For many, addiction is a disease best treated by immersive recovery guidance from professionals in the field. Valiant Living offers comprehensive treatment and residential support in Denver, Colorado. We provide a stable, nurturing environment designed to ease your transition into recovery, and our expert staff brings a personalized approach to helping you build your new, healthy future. Call us at (303) 952-5035 to learn more.