This article was published on December 31st, 2016
While occasionally having a few too many drinks or participating in recreational drug use isn’t something to be concerned about, it can spiral into substance abuse and eventually a drug or alcohol addiction that can ruin lives, or in worse case taking drugs could kill you. If you find yourself using drugs and/or alcohol as an escape or to help deal with problems in your life, it may be time to seek professional help.
The important thing to remember is you can recover, come back, there are people ready and waiting to help you, and you are not alone. Taking the first step by admitting you have a problem can be an isolating and frightening experience; however, it will put you on the path to getting your life back. Addiction is an illness and it can be treated.
Recognizing when you need help can be tough. If any of the following apply to you it may be time to make an appointment with your doctor or talk to a local addiction treatment centre:
- You find yourself neglecting basic responsibilities
These can be as simple as personal hygiene or feeding yourself, or as severe as neglecting your children, dropping out of school, or not showing up for work.
- You are putting yourself into danger
You take unnecessary and dangerous risks while under the influence, such as driving, fighting, unprotected sex, or sharing injection needles.
- You abandon activities you used to enjoy
Your life is revolving around drugs/alcohol to the extent that you no longer participate in the things that used to interest you. If your social life is rapidly diminishing and you aren’t prioritising the things you enjoy this can be a symptom of addiction.
- You have lost control over your intake
The most easy to spot sign, you no longer have the ability to control how much you are consuming. More often than not you find yourself unable to say no or have a night off, when you do start consuming you are powerless to stop and you end up consuming more than you planned.
If any of the following apply to you, it is time to seek help for drug or alcohol addiction. Seeing your doctor is a great place to start but isn’t necessarily right for everyone. This is your journey and your recovery so do what is right for you. Look into local support groups, talk to recovering addicts, be open and honest with loved ones, and get yourself on the path to recovery.