Addiction is not something that just affects weak people or those with no willpower. It is an illness that affects the brain, and it is not something that just happens to ‘bad’ people, either. Addiction is similar to other illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease in that it is not something that somebody chooses.
Making the Choice
The difference with addiction is that the person may initially make the decision to drink alcohol or take drugs. Alcohol, in particular, is something that much of British society believes socially acceptable. It is quite common for adults to drink alcohol every week, either at home or in a pub or club. There are also some that take drugs socially. However, over time, some individuals will develop a dependency on these chemical substances, which will change the way their brains function. What was once something habitual can become a dependency or full-blown addiction.
When Addiction Takes Hold
Many of those with addictions to drugs or alcohol are unaware that their problem is serious. Until they actually try to stop taking these substances and suffer the inevitable withdrawal symptoms, they may not have a clue that they cannot live without drugs or alcohol. It may only be when the drug taking or drinking begins to have an adverse impact on their family, health, work-life or finances that they realise they need to do something about it.
Do You need Help?
It is hard for addicts to admit that they have a problem; close ones must discuss and consider addiction interventions in a timely manner. They may have their own opinion of what an addict is, and it certainly does not fit with themselves. They may believe that because they go to work every day and pay the bills that they could not possibly have an addiction. Nevertheless, high functioning addicts are quite common these days. If you have ‘an issue’, and your friends or family members seem worried about the amount of alcohol you are drinking or have questioned whether or not you may be taking drugs, then you may have a problem.
Remember, there is no specific blood test that a doctor can carry out to diagnose addiction. Nonetheless, you may be suffering from ill health that could be a result of excessive alcohol consumption. You could now be suffering from high blood pressure, liver damage or diabetes, all of which could be caused by drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
Signs of Addiction
There are a number of behavioural signs to look out for that could indicate a problem exists, so you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you often drink more alcohol than you planned to, or find it difficult to stop once you start?
- Have you been drunk or high regularly in the past six months?
- Do you take illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine?
- Have you driven your car after drinking alcohol or taking drugs?
- Do you often regret things you have done while under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
- Do you often wake up after drinking alcohol or taking drugs with no memory of the night before?
- Do you feel guilty when you drink or take drugs?
- Have you tried to quit or cut down but found this too difficult?
- Do you find you need more drugs or alcohol to get the same effect?
Answering positively to any of the above questions may mean that you have some of the signs displayed by someone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. If you have answered yes to two or more of the above, you may have a problem that requires treatment. If you are worried, you can contact Addiction Helper today for a free comprehensive assessment. Our advisors are waiting to take your call and will provide you with information and advice on addiction and the treatments currently available.