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I Think I’m an Addict: What Should I Do?

Dec 2022 I Think I’m an Addict: What Should I Do?

“I think I’m an addict.” If these words have ever crossed your mind, then you clearly suspect that you might have a problem with alcohol or another drug. This post can help you decide if your suspicions are correct – and, if they are, what you should do next.

Ways to Tell if You’re an Addict

To help you determine if you have developed an addiction to alcohol or another drug, it can be beneficial to consider how, exactly, your substance use has impacted your life.

Here’s one way you can do that: Read each of the statements in the numbered list below. Take your time. After each statement, ask yourself if what you just read describes a behavior you have engaged in or an experience you’ve had. 

You don’t have to write your answers down – but you do need to be honest with yourself. 

  1. You use the substance every day or almost every day. 
  2. You sometimes need to use the substance to wake up in the morning or get to sleep at night.
  3. It’s difficult for you to feel joy or cope with sadness without using the substance.
  4. You have used the substance when you were alone.
  5. You have lied to or otherwise deceived friends, family members, or colleagues about the amount and frequency of your substance use.
  6. Your substance use has a been point of conflict with people that you care about (and who care about you). 
  7. You spend a considerable amount of time thinking about the substance, using it, and recovering from it.
  8. You have missed school or work because you were using the substance or recovering from its effects.
  9. When you use the substance, you often end up using more of it (or using it for a longer period of time) than you originally intended.
  10. Your substance use has caused you to lose interest in hobbies or other activities that used to be important to you.
  11. You need to use more of the substance to experience the effects that you used to feel after using a much smaller amount.
  12. You have begun to use the substance in ways that are clearly hazardous to your health and well-being. This may include driving while under the influence of the substance or engaging in polysubstance abuse (using two or more drugs at the same time).
  13. You have experienced physical, psychological, or social damage as a direct result of your substance use, yet you continue to use the substance. 
  14. When you can’t use the substance, you become angry or irritated. You may even begin to feel physically sick.
  15. You have tried to stop using the substance, or at least cut down on your use, but you have not been able to do it.

Any one of the feelings or behaviors listed above could be a sign of addiction. If you identify with several (or all) of them, that may be a strong indicator that you have a problem. 

But remember: Addiction is a treatable condition. Saying “I think I’m an addict” doesn’t have to be an admission that your life is ruined. Instead, it can be a sign that you understand you’re struggling, and you know you need help. 

Acknowledging that you have a problem can be an essential step on the path toward a healthier future, where you’re no longer trapped by the overwhelming compulsion to abuse alcohol or other drugs.

Man getting help after admitting I think I'm an addict

I Think I’m an Addict: What Should I Do? 

So, you’ve finally said the words out loud: “I think I’m an addict.” 

What happens next?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Talk to a professional. Make an appointment with a therapist, substance abuse counselor, or doctor. These experts can assess your symptoms and make an accurate diagnosis. They can also recommend treatment options that match your needs.
  • Enter a detox program. If you’ve tried to end your substance use, but the pain of withdrawal proved to be too much, then you probably need detox. While you’re in a detox program, you will be in a safe place where you won’t have access to addictive substances. What you will have access to is professional care and supervision. Depending on your needs, the detox staff may provide medical or therapeutic support to ease your withdrawal symptoms. The detox staff can also ensure that you remain safe throughout the entire withdrawal process.
  • Find a residential rehab program. Some facilities, such as Phoenix Rising, offer both detoxification and residential treatment. This means that once you finish detox, you can transfer directly into residential care. This can reduce your risk for immediate relapse and help you gain a stronger foothold in recovery. While you’re in a residential program, you will live at the treatment center. This allows you to temporarily step away from the stresses and pressures of day-to-day life, so that you can focus your full attention on your treatment and recovery.
  • Research outpatient options: Outpatient treatment for addiction can include a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), or traditional outpatient treatment. PHPs usually feature full days of treatment five days a week. At the IOP level, you may take part in three hours of care, three to five days per week. Traditional outpatient care may include one or two hourlong sessions each week.

There is no one “right” way to get help for addiction. Once you’ve said the words, “I think I’m an addict,” the ideal path to recovery is the one that works best for you.

Speak With Our Palm Springs Addiction Treatment Professionals

To speak with an addiction treatment professional in Palm Springs, California, contact Phoenix Rising today. A member of our team can answer all your questions and help you make the most informed decision about getting help for yourself or a loved one.