When it comes to addiction, most people who are affected are unable to see the truth of their situation. Denial is common among addicts, and it occurs for a variety of reasons. It could be that these individuals just do not want to face up to reality because they are afraid of what it will mean for them. Others are embarrassed or ashamed to admit they have an addiction; others are simply unaware that the problem exists. They may assume that they cannot be an addict because their image of what an addict is happens to be completely different to themselves.
If you have found that your loved ones are raising the issue of drugs or alcohol with you, then you should take a look at your behaviour and habits. For others to notice that something is not right means that you could be in trouble. Be completely honest with yourself and answer the following questions:
- Do you drink or take drugs regularly? Have you been drunk or high regularly over the past six months?
- Do you find that you drink more than you planned to or that you cannot stop once you start?
- Do you often plan to abstain from alcohol or drugs when you are out but then find that you are unable to stick to the plan?
- Have you been taking prescription medication that was prescribed for another person?
- Do you find that your own prescription medication is running out early and you need to go to the doctor for extra? Have you resorted to sourcing prescription medication online now that your prescription has run out?
- Do you often wake up and find that you cannot remember a thing about the night before?
- Have you been drinking more alcohol than you used to, or more frequently?
- Do you get anxious if you cannot source your drug of choice?
- Do you suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as shaking or sweating when you are not drinking or using drugs?
- Has your home or work life been suffering as a result of your drinking or drug taking?
- Do you avoid spending time with family and friends in favour of drinking or drug taking?
- Do you hide evidence of your drinking or drug taking from your loved ones?
If you have answered yes to more than one of the above questions, you may have a problem. Even if you are still going to work and providing for your family or if you have never had a blackout, you could be in danger.
Addiction occurs when a person becomes obsessive about a particular substance or activity to the point where it has an adverse effect on his or her life. If you find it difficult to control your drinking or drug taking, you could be in danger of developing an addiction. If you are in the at-risk category, you should look for help now, before your problems get worse. Remember that alcoholism and drug addiction are progressive illnesses. They will continue to get worse and will not go away simply because you have chosen to ignore them.
Has Your Body Been Damaged?
Another thing to remember is that chemical substances including alcohol and drugs can have a negative impact on your health. You may not have noticed severe symptoms of addiction yet, but consuming large amounts of alcohol and drugs can have a profound effect on your body. Alcohol, for example, affects almost every cell in the body and is linked to hundreds of illnesses, including seven forms of cancer. In addition to the physical damage it could be inflicting on your body, you will have a higher risk of developing mental health problems including depression, anxiety disorder and dementia.
If you are regularly drinking more than fourteen units of alcohol per week, you are risking your health.