Signs of Abuse and Addiction
Signs of abuse and addiction are around us all over the place. How does a person define addiction? How does someone find help for addiction? What are the signs of abuse and addiction? Where does a person or loved one turn to in order to find help for addiction. There are several different ways in which addiction can be defined.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine describes it as a disease because it has similar factors as a person with cancer or diabetes would have. If left untreated it will become terminal, it is progressive which means that it only gets worse not better. It is a chronic disease of the brain which stimulates the reward center. It is primary meaning it is not caused by anything else and chronic means it can be lifelong. Addictions can include but is not limited to drug abuse, exercise addiction, food addictions, gambling and sexual addiction. It’s also been termed as the loss of ones control over a substance or behavior with the preoccupation of the mind, continued use despite negative consequences and denial.
People seek the immediate gratification but in return deal with the long term affects and the devastation of the behavior or use. Whatever the definition, I think it’s important to see any negative behavior as an imbalance in ones life. Is the substance or behavior causing harmful affects in your home life, at work, with loved ones, finances, etc.? If you find that it is, you must reach out and seek help immediately to learn the coping skills necessary to combat this serious issue. It can be treated and the good news is that unlike cancer and diabetes, we have the ability of choice to stop the addiction. It’s hard work but the freedom from bondage is worth it!
What do the Signs of abuse and addiction look like?
- Do you have a history of abusing prescription drugs before?
- Have you ever used drugs other than required medications from a doctor?
- Have you abused more than one drug at a time before?
- Are you able to stop using whenever you want to and find that it is easy to stop?
- Have you ever felt guilt, shame or remorse due to your drug use?
- Has your work life suffered: loss of a job, demotion, etc?
- Do you have run ins with the law due to drug or alcohol related issues?
- Have you found yourself neglecting your family and home life due to drug use?
- Have you gotten into physical fights while under the influence?
- Has drug or alcohol use ever affected your memory to the point of blackouts?
If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions than you will want to seriously consider getting help. There is so much support out there for you. Don’t let fear, shame or guilt hold you back from the beautiful life you are meant to live.
Signs of Abuse and Addiction | Therapy
So where do you go from here? Finding help for addiction is vital if and when your ready. Do you feel pressured to come into therapy? Does your family or loved one demand you seek help? If that’s the case and you do not feel you have a problem than sadly enough, therapy may not be helpful. I love the phrase, “the teacher will arrive when the student is ready”. This says it all. As a former addict myself, I can remember feeling forced into treatment, counseling, AA and NA 12 step meetings other recovery settings. I was not ready.
Everyone I gave lip service to just to get them off my back. I was not convinced that I was entirely out of control. That my life had become unmanageable. In AA they teach the alcoholic and addict that if they feel they need more time to experiment then to go right ahead. Strong arming an addict into therapy will often times have the reverse effect.
A person must make the decision that they have hit their bottom. They have come to the understanding on their own that they can no longer go on living the terrible existence of life they way they are currently. When the occurs, great movement and change can and will occur in therapy.