NOTE: An addict isn’t someone who uses drugs. An addict can be someone who uses anything in excess, particularly drugs and/or alcohol. An addict can also be someone who gambles, shops, has sex, drinks pop/coffee, smokes cigarettes etc. Today I focus on those of us who use drugs. By the way, alcohol is a drug too(any mind altering, mood changing substance).
Have you ever asked yourself or wondered if you were an addict? As a parent or loved one have you asked yourself if your family member is an addict? Rest assured you are not alone. If you’re unsure, give yourself a break and read this post.
Many of us don’t even have to ask ourselves if we’re addicts because we KNOW the answer. Much of our life centers around drugs. We think about our next hit, we think about how or where we were going to get our next hit and we think about how we were going to pay for our next hit. We’ve lived our lives around this thinking, and we’ve used drugs to live our lives. Simply put, an addict is any person whose life is controlled by drugs in one form or another. Addicts are people with a disease called addiction and it is progressive, incurable and fatal. If untreated, addiction always ends in a jail, an institution, or death.
“Am I an addict?” This is a question only you can answer.
Some of us tried to dismiss these thoughts by saying: “Oh, those questions don’t make sense;” or, “I’m different. I know I take drugs, but I’m not an addict. I have real emotional/family/job problems;” or, “I’m just having a tough time getting it together right now;” or, “I’ll be able to stop when I find the right person/get the right job, etc.”
Addiction robs us. It robs us of our pride, self-esteem, family, loved ones, and even our desire to live. If you have not reached this point in your addiction, trust me you will. Even if you haven’t reached a point of desperation, you don’t have to. We have found that our own private hell was within us. It’s in our thoughts and feelings that we carry with ourselves daily.
What is my message today? My message is simply that if I can admit and avcept that I am an addict, stop using drugs, lose the desire to use and find a new way to live, any addict can. My message to you today is one of hope. I know that I can only carry this message to you. It is up to you to answer the question – do you want to live or die? I know my answer. What’s yours?
Below are some simple questions for you to answer this question. They are from both Narcotics Anonymous( NA.org ) and the National Council on Addiction And Drug Dependence( https://www.ncadd.org/get-help/take-the-test/am-i-drug-addicted ) Many of them are written by people who are truly addicts. We found that we all answered different questions “Yes.” The actual number of “Yes” responses wasn’t as important as how we felt inside and how addiction had affected our lives. Some of these questions don’t even mention drugs. This is because addiction is an insidious disease that affects all areas of our lives—even those areas which seem at first to have little to do with drugs. The different drugs we used were not as important as why we used them and what they did to us.
Disclaimer: The results of this self-test are not intended to diagnose a person with drug addiction and should be used solely as a guide to understanding your drug use and the potential health issues involved with it. The information provided here cannot substitute for a full evaluation by a health professional.
Thought for the day: If you are not sure that you or someone you love is an addict, take some time today and ask yourself the following questions. If your addiction is not drugs, replace the word “drug” with whatever your addiction may be: alcohol, sex, shopping, gambling, etc.
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1) Have you used drugs other than those required for medicinal reasons? YES or NO
2) Have you used prescription drugs at higher doses than recommended or needed to obtain a new prescription before the due date? YES or NO
3) Do you use more than one drug at a time? YES or NO
4) Can you get through the week without using drugs? YES or NO
5) Are you always able to stop using drugs when you want to? YES or NO
6) Have you had “blackouts” or “flashbacks” as a result of drug use? YES or NO
7) Do you ever feel bad or guilty about your drug use? YES or NO
8) Does your spouse (or parents) ever complain about your involvement with drugs? YES or NO
9) Has drug use created problems between you and your spouse or your parents? YES or NO
10) Have you lost friends because of your use of drugs? YES or NO
11) Have you neglected your family because of your use of drugs? YES or NO
12) Have you been in trouble at work because of drug use? YES or NO
13) Have you lost a job because of drug use? YES or NO
14 ) Have you gotten into fights when under the influence of drugs? YES or NO
15) Have you engaged in illegal activities in order to obtain drugs? YES or NO
16) Have you been arrested for possession of illegal drugs? YES or NO
17) Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms (felt sick) when you stopped taking drugs? YES or NO
18) Have you had medical problems as a result of your drug use (e.g. memory loss, hepatitis, convulsions, bleeding, etc.)? YES or NO
19) Have you gone to anyone for help for a drug problem? YES or NO
20) Have you been involved in a treatment program specifically related to drug use? YES or NO
21) Do you ever use alone? YES or NO
22) Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking that one particular drug was the problem? YES or NO
23) Have you ever manipulated or lied to a doctor to obtain prescription drugs? YES or NO
24) Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to obtain drugs? YES or NO
25) Do you regularly use a drug when you wake up or when you go to bed? YES or NO
26) Have you ever taken one drug to overcome the effects of another? YES or NO
27) Do you avoid people or places that do not approve of you using drugs? YES or NO
28) Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or what it would do to you? YES or NO
29) Has your job or school performance ever suffered from the effects of your drug use? YES or NO
30) Have you ever been arrested as a result of using drugs? YES or NO
31) Have you ever lied about what or how much you use? YES or NO
32) Do you put the purchase of drugs ahead of your financial responsibilities? YES or NO
33) Have you ever tried to stop or control your using? YES or NO
34) Have you ever been in a jail, hospital, or drug rehabilitation center because of your using? YES or NO
35) Does using interfere with your sleeping or eating? YES or NO
36) Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you? YES or NO
37) Do you feel it is impossible for you to live without drugs? YES or NO
38) Do you ever question your own sanity? YES or NO
39) Is your drug use making life at home unhappy? YES or NO
40) Have you ever thought you couldn’t fit in or have a good time without drugs? YES or NO
41) Have you ever felt defensive, guilty, or ashamed about your using? YES or NO
42) Do you think a lot about drugs? YES or NO
43) Have you had irrational or indefinable fears? YES or NO
44) Has using affected your sexual relationships? YES or NO
45) Have you ever taken drugs you didn’t prefer? YES or NO
46) Have you ever used drugs because of emotional pain or stress? YES or NO
47) Have you ever overdosed on any drugs? YES or NO
48) Do you continue to use despite negative consequences? YES or NO
49) Do you think you might have a drug problem? YES or NO
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