An important point of acceptance that happens for people either before they enter treatment or while they are in treatment is the realization that they may indeed be addicted to drugs and alcohol. While for years they may have been in denial or suffering from the delusion that they were okay and didn’t have a drug/alcohol issue, an important thing that happens before someone truly seeks help is the revelation that they are indeed suffering from an addiction. The realization does not necessarily mean they will seek out the necessary help immediately, but more often than not it is necessary to occur before help can truly be sought out.
Now, many treatment centers, educational institutions, organizations and other entities have created studies or questionnaires or other fact finding activities that a person can engage in that will ultimately let them know if they do indeed suffer from addiction. “If you answer four or more questions with a ‘yes’, you’re probably an addict”, or, “70% or higher means you are suffering from addiction” or some other numerical percentage outcome. How quaint. Instead, here are some real questions to ask yourself if you think you may be suffering from an addiction. They are short and to the point. However, if you answer yes to any of them, it probably means that eventually you’ll need to seek help for addiction.
Are you physically dependent on a substance to feel physically normal and/or emotionally and mentally stable?
Do you use substances because when sober you suffer from loneliness or a feeling of disconnection from other people and the world around you?
Do you hide the amount of substances or drinking that you do, even from the people you drink or use with? And do you feel a sense of shame for doing so?
If you were without a drink or a drug, do you find that the necessity to acquire drugs or alcohol becomes paramount to anything else, even if you have an important thing that you need to do?
Have you lost a sense of time? Is your life confined to the moment because your mind is consumed with getting the next drunk or high, savoring the drunk or high and then moving on to the next one?
Are you regularly filled with anxiety and fear, often for no apparent reason? Do you often compare yourself to others and find you never measure up? Do you have negative thoughts about yourself, your abilities and your overall place in the world?
Is it worse to be sober than drunk or high? Is sobriety, not substances, your major problem?
Although short, extremely simple questions, they offer a profound answer to anyone that answers them honestly. Addiction cannot truly be defined by yes or no questions and figuring out if you’re an addict or an alcoholic cannot occur based on the percentage of yes or no answers you completed on a test created by some doctor that learned about addiction from a text book.
There is no group of 5 or 10 or 20 or 100 questions that can offer a black or white answer to the question “Am I an addict?” or “Am I addicted?” Truly, the acknowledgment and acceptance of whether someone is an addict or alcoholic, suffers from addiction or a substance use disorder or whatever you want to call it or classify it as needs to come from the person themselves. Parents, educators, therapists or any other professional can make any determination they’d like, but until the person suffering comes to their own determination or conclusion, no progress will take place and no action will occur to better the situation.
Although these questions are not the end all be all of addiction Q&A’s, they do offer a little bit of an insight into the internal mechanisms of addiction. The internal thought process and the feelings and emotions of the sufferer give a pretty good indication whether that person has reached the level of possibly answering “yes” to the question “Am I an addict?” If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is up to you to decide. However, although we cannot label you based on your answers (nor do we want to), IF you answered yes to any of these six questions we can say that at some point in the future it is highly probable that you will want to seek out help for what you are going through in terms of your relationship with drugs and alcohol.
If you or someone you know is in need of help because of drug and/or alcohol abuse or addiction, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at Contact us today.
For more information on all of our drug addiction and alcohol addiction services and recovery resources, please visit our website at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.