When Is It An “Addiction?”

If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you already recognize that someone you care about seems to have some issues with alcohol or drugs. You may not be sure if it really qualifies as “an addiction,” but you may have noticed that it is difficult to be around them lately, especially if they are drinking or using. The fun times that you used to have with them seem to now always be awkward and the relationship between the two of you may have changed from being equal in care and affection to being more one-sided and, maybe even, abusive.

You may have wondered what you can do to change the situation and may have even tried different attempts to only to find that it is not really welcome or nothing truly changes. In fact, you may feel that things are only getting worse with time and have fears and anxieties based on this person’s behaviors.

What you need to know about any type of addiction is that it is a physical and psychological disorder that can range from mild to severe patterns or traits. Each individual can display different behaviors, but ultimately, there are a few main indicators that reveal that a person is truly an addict and where they are on the scale of dependence. Here are some main things to consider or ask when trying to understand if your loved one has an addiction.

  1. How important has it become to that person to drink or use drugs on a daily basis?
  2. Does drinking or using drugs make them feel better, and more alive or in command of their life? Is there a sense of self, based on their usage? If they don’t drink or use, do they feel ill?
  3. Do you see them participating in their choice of escape more often and for more lengthy time periods? Do they say things like “just one more” or “one time won’t hurt?” How often are they making time just to drink or use in their day?
  4. Has using or drinking disrupted other parts of their life such as relationships, work, health, etc. What about the quality of their life?
  5. Do you find that they say they will stop or change when the “problem” is brought up, but only to go right back to it?

In a nutshell, addiction is a behavior or set of behaviors that end up taking over the person’s life and controlling every aspect. Depending on the severity, sometimes, an addict can no longer determine what is best for them and/ or stop these actions as their mind and body are skewed to rely on the addictive substance.

If you know someone who is struggling with what you think is an addiction, it may be time to seek assistance from a professional. Call us today for help.