Let’s face it. Everybody has a vice of some sort. For some people, it’s sex, and for others, it’s food. More or less, any pleasurable activity that releases dopamine and other feel-good chemicals in the brain can inevitably become an addiction. The prevalence of drugs in today’s society makes it easy for someone to go down a dangerous road and end up addicted. Once that point has been reached, professional help is the next step to having a productive life once again.
But then, maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m not an addict. It’s not that bad. I only have a few drinks at night to keep me calm.” You should take a step back and have an impartial look at your habits to see if this is indeed the case. Are you engaging in a healthy form of release, or are you turning to drugs or alcohol to avoid dealing with your issues? What started as a drink to calm your nerves might have evolved into drinking a six-pack every night.
Here are some signs your addiction has hit critical mass:
You Wonder If You Have a Problem
Maybe after chain-smoking three cigarettes, or downing multiple shots of straight liquor, you’ve had a moment of clarity, and you tell yourself: “This can’t be right; healthy people don’t do this kind of thing.” While at the time you might have brushed off this thought as passing insecurity, there’s a good chance that thought was justified.
If you wake up surrounded by empty beer cans and think this isn’t the right way to live your life, you’re right. Perhaps you take an extra painkiller you were prescribed after surgery, and you’ve noticed you’re taking the pills for the euphoria and not for the painkilling aspect. This is a huge red flag and shouldn’t be ignored.
People Express Concern to You
If your friends are always asking you how much you’ve had to drink, or if it’s a good idea to have yet another drink, you should respect their concern for you. Don’t attack them for expressing themselves. The biggest blind spot is the self. Others might notice things about your behaviour that you’re unable to see yourself.
If every time you go out with friends, they seem disappointed in your use of alcohol or drugs, you should take things down a notch. Hopefully, the people you choose to surround yourself with have a genuine care for your health and your future, and you’re able to understand that something bigger is going on here.
Addiction isn’t a character flaw or a personal failure. If you think you might be addicted to drugs or alcohol, seek a doctor’s help immediately. Consulting them is a non-judgmental way to see if you need to adjust your lifestyle to be as happy and healthy as possible. Addiction is the easiest to spot when it’s seriously impairing your ability to have a normal life. The minute your intake of substances causes you problems, you’ll need to take a serious inventory of your habits.