How to Tell if You’re Addicted
Over the years, there has been much written about signs that warn of impending or current addiction. There are many signs that can be problematic and lean towards a developing addiction, but here are some of the most common among them:
- You keep taking a drug after it’s no longer needed for a health problem.
- You need more and more of a substance to get the same effects (called “tolerance”), and you can take more before you feel an effect.
- You feel strange when the drug wears off. You may be shaky, depressed, sick to your stomach, sweat, or have headaches. You may also be tired or not hungry. In severe cases, you could even be confused, have seizures, or run a fever.
- You can’t stop yourself from using the drug, even if you want to. You are still using it even though it’s making bad things happen in your life, like trouble with friends, family, work, or the law.
- You spend a lot of your time thinking about the drug: how to get more, when you’ll take it, how good you feel, or how bad you feel afterward.
- You have a hard time giving yourself limits. You might say you’ll only use “so much” but then can’t stop and end up using twice that amount. Or you use it more often than you meant to.
- You’ve lost interest in things you once liked to do.
- You’ve begun having trouble doing normal daily things, like cooking or working.
- You drive or do other dangerous things (like use heavy machines) when you are on the drug.
- You borrow or steal money to pay for drugs.
- You hide the drug use or the effect it is having on you from others.
- You’re having trouble getting along with co-workers, teachers, friends, or family members. They complain more about how you act or how you’ve changed.
- You sleep too much or too little, compared with how you used to. Or you eat a lot more or a lot less than before.
- You look different. You may have bloodshot eyes, bad breath, shakes or tremors, frequent bloody noses, or you may have gained or lost weight.
- You have a new set of friends with whom you do drugs and go to different places to use the drugs.
- You go to more than one doctor to get prescriptions for the same drug or problem.
- You look in other people’s medicine cabinets for drugs to take.
- You take prescribed meds with alcohol or other drugs.
Knowing how to tell if you’re addicted is really only helpful if you’re not in denial. If you’re trying to rationalize why you exhibit any of these symptoms or conditions, there’s a strong chance that you are indeed in the throes of addiction, at the very least.
Can You Pass a Drug Test?
One way to really reflect on your condition is to ask yourself a question: If your job asked you to take a drug test on Monday and today is Friday, would you pass? Seems like a simplistic approach to self-assessing, but for those on legitimate prescriptions or using cannabis medically (legitimately), it has become a bit more complex.
Further compounding the issue is the recent legalization of marijuana. This won’t come as any surprise, but there are millions hundreds of thousands of people who consider recreational use of marijuana as no worse than alcohol.
Is marijuana really a drug by today’s standards? Absolutely. The consequences of use depend upon how you use, where you use it, when you use and whether or not your job depends on being free from all substatances, including marijuana.
Confusion in Self Assessment
Because of the confusion, denial and validation of our own actions that is part of human nature, it’s best to rely on professional assessments. Trained professionals know how to tell if you’re addicted and depending on the subsstance and your usage, can recommend treatment options that are custom tailored to your unique situation.