Addiction is a difficult unit to measure; addicts are still technically addicts even if they have been sober for years. In the early stages of addiction, it’s hard to know if you have an addiction or just an unhealthy habit. There are certain signs to look out for when it comes to knowing whether or not it’s under control of if you need professional help.
Addiction: When Do I Need Professional Help?
One of the most important signs that you’ve lost control of your habit is when you find yourself crossing the line between it being a separate recreational activity, and it being a normal part of your daily routine. For example, carrying out everyday activities such as driving a car, or going food shopping while under the influence suggests that you are no longer able to cope with day to day life without some form of additional stimulant.
You may feel that you are perfectly capable of performing these activities due to your high tolerance levels, however, ignoring the risk involved in breaking the law shows a level of recklessness that can lead to more dangerous consequences longer term. Similarly, having the confidence to go to work under the influence thinking it will not be noticed suggests a serious lack of judgment, and is another sign that you have normalized your addiction to the point that you can no longer take part in normal activities without help.
Usually, we have a natural sense of danger which protects us from many different threats to our wellbeing, for example, our reactions to hot water or an object flying towards our face, however, when we are intoxicated, this ability is impaired. If you find yourself attaining more minor injuries or having more close calls in dangerous situations, it’s a sign that you’re no longer fully functioning and should attempt to take control of your addiction.
If you’ve tried quitting for a week successfully, you may feel that you have the situation under control and you may, therefore, go back to what you think is your recreational habit, however, you need to be able to go without the substance for a much longer stretch of time in order to prove to yourself that you are not addicted. If you feel incapable of doing this alone or you’re not sure how to take back control, you need to seek professional help.
Finding yourself lying to your friends, family, and employers in an attempt to hide your problem, or suffering from withdrawal symptoms when it’s been a while since your last intake, are two clear signs that it may be more serious than you first thought.
Lastly, the unsolicited input of those around you can make you become aware that you may have a serious addiction. If people voice concern over your behavior, you know you’re not able to hide it as well as you thought, and if they go as far as suggesting that you book into somewhere like Orange County rehab you should pay close attention.
You are likely to be harming others without realizing it too, for example, it is typical behavior for addicts to put themselves and their addiction before anything else, leading to them neglecting friends and family. When you’re harming others, you know you need to take action, and of course, if a health professional reports any damage you’re doing to your body, the result should be the same.
Some addicts are aware that they have a problem but choose to carry on regardless, with some believing that they have it under control and others can not recognize it; known as highly functioning. Others are not aware that their habit has crossed the line into an addiction that they cannot control.
This is why it’s so essential for everyone who consumes potentially addictive substances to be self-aware and keep a close eye on their actions, feelings, and the opinions of others to make sure they’re safe. For more help with addiction, take a look at ‘Overcoming Addiction: How to Put Your Health First’ which offers more information on the effect that addiction can have on your body.