Questioning Your Behavior: Am I an Addict?
“What’s your drug of choice?”
“So what if I’ve had a few nights of heavy drinking, so what if I recreationally use some drugs with my friends on the weekends, that doesn’t mean I’m an alcoholic or an addict, right?” There is a distinct difference between a heavy drinker or recreational drug user and an alcoholic or an addict. The difference is a thinking pattern that only those with alcoholism or addiction have. This thinking pattern cannot be hidden or mistaken, it’s as clear as the triple-distilled vodka that we bought three bottles of at a time, just to make sure we didn’t run out. If you remember taking that first sip of alcohol or that first hit of whatever drug and immediately began panicking about running out, that’s the thinking pattern.
Even when the alcohol or drugs are taken away, the thinking pattern still remains, that’s why we have treatment to work on the underlying brain patterns that enslave people into alcoholism and addiction. If you’ve ever found yourself buying five pairs of the same shoes, that’s the thinking pattern. Or if you’ve found yourself eating so many of something delicious that you feel sick afterwards, that’s the thinking pattern. Or maybe you’ve watched the same movie over and over that you now have all of the words memorized. People with alcoholism and addiction are people that live in excess. Now, not everyone that has done these things is definitively a person with alcoholism or addiction. If you are one, you know that it shows up in every aspect of your life. The common thought of people of our nature is: if one is good, more must be better. Below is a quiz provided by The AA Grapevine in order to help people determine whether they have a problem with alcohol or drugs, if you do answer yes to more of these than you’d like to, contact us today at 866-812-8231 so that we can help you find the best treatment available.
- Have you ever decided to stop drinking/using for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
- Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking/using– stop telling you what to do?
- Have you ever switched from one kind of drink/drug to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk/building a tolerance?
- Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year?
(Do you need a drink/drug to get started, or to stop shaking? This is a pretty sure sign that you are not drinking or using “socially.”)
- Do you envy people who can drink/use without getting into trouble?
(At one time or another, most of us have wondered why we were not like most people, who really can take it or leave it.)
- Have you had problems connected with drinking/using during the past year?
- Has your drinking/using caused trouble at home?
Most of us said that it was the people or problems at home that made us drink/use. We could not see that our drinking/using just made everything worse. It never solved problems anywhere or anytime.
- Do you ever try to get “extra” drinks/drugs at a party because you do not get enough?
(Most of us used to have a “few” before we started out if we thought it was going to be that kind of party. And if drinks/drugs were not readily available, we would go someplace else to get more.)
- Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking/using any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk/high when you don’t mean to?
- Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking/using?
- Do you have “blackouts”?
- Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink/use?
(The A.A. Grapevine, Inc. with some adjustments to include those with drug addiction)
Ashley Madden is the aftercare coordinator at Lakeview Health. She has over two years’ experience working in inpatient settings with both mental health and chemical dependency. She currently is in the process of obtaining her master’s degree from the University of North Florida in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is a person in long-term recovery with a sobriety date of January 13, 2012. Ashley passionately works with the patients at Lakeview Health to ensure that they have a seamless transition from treatment into real life recovery.
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