Nearly 10% of Americans need treatment for drug or alcohol abuse each year. Addiction is a deeply isolating condition that convinces you you’re alone, worthless, and beyond recovery. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many addicts, though, struggle with persistent denial.
After all, no one wants to admit that they’ve lost control over their lives. Worse still, coming to terms with your addiction means facing up to the way it has harmed others. The good news is that addiction is highly treatable, and the sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you’ll be on your way toward lasting recovery.
If you want to get better, you need to admit you have a problem. Ask yourself the following questions. If you can answer yes to more than three, you’re probably an addict. If you answer yes to more than five, you almost certainly need treatment:
- Have you tried to quit using before, but intense cravings got you to start using again?
- Does drug or alcohol addiction run in your family?
- Do you use drugs or alcohol to manage, without a prescription, the effects of physical or psychological problems?
- Do you lie to yourself or to loved ones about your use of drugs or alcohol?
- Do you engage in doctor shopping to get prescription drugs?
- Are you dishonest with your doctor about your medical symptoms, or about your use of drugs or alcohol?
- Do you rely on alcohol or drugs to feel normal?
- Have people you loved asked you to stop using?
- Do you have a previous history of alcohol or drug use?
- Have you harmed others because of your use of alcohol or drugs?
- Have you been arrested because of drugs or alcohol?
- Has your health gotten worse because of drugs or alcohol?
- Are drugs or alcohol undermining your career or financial stability?
- Do you drive or operate machinery while under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
- Do you worry you’ll never be able to stop using?
- Do you spend most of your time with other drug or alcohol users?
- Do you miss important events or neglect your responsibilities because of alcohol or drug use?
- Have you lost a relationship with a spouse, family member, or friend because of your use of drugs or alcohol?
- Do you use alcohol or drugs every day?
If your answers suggest you might have a problem, we can help. But remember, even if you answered yes to only one or two, you’re still at risk of becoming an addict, so carefully monitor your drug and alcohol use, and seek help if you need it.