According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, “Among Americans aged 12 years and older, 31.9 million are current illegal drug users.” Additionally, if these statistics included tobacco and alcohol use, “165 million or 60.2% or of Americans aged 12 years or older currently abuse drugs.”
With that being said, it is clear that a large majority of Americans use drugs recreationally.
But how can you tell if your drug use has turned into drug addiction? If this is a question that you ask yourself frequently, you are not alone. Many people struggle to determine whether their drug use is problematic enough to warrant a trip to an addiction treatment facility.
The truth is anyone who routinely abuses drugs would benefit from attending an addiction treatment program. However, if you struggle with a substance use disorder or an addiction, attending drug rehab is highly recommended.
Let’s discuss how to determine if you suffer from a substance use disorder and how to tell if your addiction is bad enough to go to treatment.
What are the Signs of a Substance Use Disorder (SUD)?
If you are wondering whether you or a loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder, there are many ways to tell.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has outlined a set of criteria to determine whether an individual suffers from alcohol use disorder. While these questions are specific to alcohol, they can be used to determine any form of substance use disorder.
If you answer “yes” to two or more of these questions, you may be struggling with a substance use disorder. In the past year, have you:
- Used more drugs or alcohol than intended or used substances longer than intended?
- Wanted to cut down or stop drinking more than once, but couldn’t?
- Spent a lot of time drinking or using drugs and recovering from the effects?
- Experienced a craving (strong urge) to drink or use drugs?
- Found that drinking or using drugs interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused problems at your job or in school?
- Continued to drink despite facing conflict with your family or friends?
- Given up activities that you once enjoyed to spend more time drinking or using drugs?
- Gotten into situations while drinking or using drugs that increased your chances of getting hurt?
- Continued to drink or use drugs despite experiencing worsening mental health symptoms?
- Had to drink more to experience the effect that you wanted? Or found that your usual amount of alcohol or other drugs did not produce the same effect as before?
- Found that you experienced symptoms of withdrawal when you did not drink or use drugs?
If you answer yes to 2 or 3 of these questions, you suffer from a mild substance use disorder. If you said yes to 4 or 5 of these questions, you suffer from a moderate substance use disorder. Lastly, if you identify with 6 or more of these questions, you struggle with a severe substance use disorder. The more questions you answer yes to, the worse your addiction is.
Whether your substance use disorder is mild, moderate, or severe, going to addiction treatment is vital. Even a mild substance use disorder can require medical detox and extensive behavioral therapy to gain and maintain long-term recovery.
Red Flags that Indicate it is time for Rehab
In addition to the diagnostic criteria for addiction, there are red flags to be aware of when questioning whether or not your addiction is bad enough.
Have you begun neglecting your personal responsibilities? Maybe you have started to change your morals to reflect your behavior while under the influence? If so, these could be behavioral changes stemming from your substance abuse.
Experiencing behavioral changes and alterations in personal morals is a huge red flag that you require addiction treatment.
Social isolation is another red flag that you need to go to addiction treatment. To explain, addiction often causes people to push their loved ones away. If you notice that you are spending less and less time with the people you love, it may be time to attend drug rehab.
Symptoms of social isolation in addiction include:
- Avoiding previously enjoyed social interactions to abuse substances
- Canceling plans frequently to hide your intoxication or prevent your friends/family from confronting your substance abuse
- Experiencing anxiety or panic when you think about interacting socially
- Feeling distressed during periods of solitude and abusing larger amounts of substances
- Spending large amounts of time alone with extremely limited contact with others
Physical Health Issues
Have you begun to experience severe symptoms of withdrawal when you miss a dosage of a drug or stop drinking? Have any of your physical health conditions worsened?
Oftentimes, addiction and alcoholism can lead to severe physical health issues. While some addiction-related conditions are reversible, others are not. Because of this, it is important to attend an addiction treatment program before you develop serious physical health issues like cirrhosis of the liver or “wet brain.”
Worsening of Mental Health
Has your anxiety become heightened as your addiction progressed? Do you struggle with intense periods of mania or depression when you abuse drugs and alcohol?
The mental health effects of long-term addiction can become severe, leading to psychosis, self-harm, and even suicide attempts. If your mental health conditions become heightened, or if you begin to develop new mental illnesses, you can benefit most from dual diagnosis addiction treatment.
Is Your Addiction Bad Enough? Get Connected With a Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center in California Today to Find Out
Everyone experiences addiction differently, so it’s important that the treatment you receive is custom-tailored to meet your unique needs. At Arise Treatment Center, our primary goal is to help you discover the root cause of your addiction through the use of evidence-based therapies so you can identify your triggers, modify your behaviors, and develop healthy coping skills that enable you to achieve long-term sobriety.
The idea that your addiction isn’t “bad enough” is all based on perception. If you struggle to control how much or how often you use drugs or alcohol, the bottom line is that you can benefit from going to treatment. You don’t need to wait any longer for your addiction or your life situation to get worse. Speak with a qualified admissions specialist today to get connected with the right rehab program for you.