It starts with some innocent fun, but addictive substances can take control of your life and lead you down a path you didn’t want to walk. Recognising addiction is an important feature of early recovery, but it’s not always easy. Here are five ways to recognise and manage your addiction.
Cravings come in different forms. Some cravings are psychological, while others are environmental or physical. A craving is a powerful or overwhelming desire for something. It could be chocolate, but it could also be opioids. Cravings are often the first sign of addiction.
Depending on the substance – food can be included as a substance – the craving you get will be more or less intense. It will also come on more or less quickly, depending on the substance and usage. If you find you have an opioid addiction, you will need treatment at a methadone clinic.
One strong indicator that you have an addiction is a preoccupation with a substance. How often do you think about the substance, and how often does it interfere with your daily activities? A situation like this can be hard to manage because you are in the first stages of an addiction.
Chances are you understand the dangers involved in your behavior with a substance, but the draw of the substance at the moment is too strong to resist. If you want to test whether you have an addiction or not, try resisting the substance sometimes to find out if it’s simple or challenging.
If you suffer negative consequences from your substance use, it’s a sign your substance use has become an addiction. Maybe you are frequently late for your work, or your relationship with a partner or family member is deteriorating. These are addiction indicators to take seriously.
Negative consequences don’t only affect your work, relationships, and social life; they also affect your mental health and life quality. Depending on the substance you are using, you might experience heightened anxiety or depression. There’s a chance you will experience psychosis.
Monitoring your emotions and feelings is important when it comes to identifying addiction. People with addictions tend to have strong feelings about the substance and their lifestyles; there’s also a chance they will be defensive when asked about it or refuse the substance.
If you notice that you have strong feelings around the substance, or you get angry or mad when you can get hold of it, you might be in the first stages of a serious addiction. There is a lot of work you can do yourself before you seek professional help. It’s a good idea to have a contact.
If you find you are physically dependent on a substance to feel well, you have an addiction. This type of addiction leads to mental and emotional breakdown in the long term; it will also affect the quality of your relationship and your work. Seek help in the form of a clinic or advice line that can give you the best start in beating your addiction and getting your life back on track quickly.