Every addiction is different, so the only person who can answer this question is you. An important thing to remember is that addicts don’t all look like addicts in the movies. Not all addicts live under a bridge or have needle marks on their arms. Some do, but many live lives that look perfectly ordinary from the outside. What addicts have in common is an inability to stop using.
This image of addicts as somehow being “bad people” or“different in a bad way” can make it hard to get help, because society tells us to be ashamed of our addictions. This can even make people’s addictions worse, because using can make the shame go away for a little while. Remember, asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a sign of strength, and a desire to make our lives better.
Since addiction can have different effects on different people, Narcotics Anonymous members have put together a list of questions to ask yourself. If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you may be an addict. Again, there is no reason to be ashamed. We are all recovering addicts, and we are here to help.
- DoI use alone?
- DoI use as part of my daily routine (for example, every morning or every nightbefore bed)?
- HaveI kept using even though using has caused problems in my life (like missing atest, or losing a job)?
- DoI have trouble setting limits on my use? Do I tell myself I’ll only use acertain amount, only to end up using more?
- HaveI ever substituted one drug for another, just because I needed to get high?
- HaveI lied to friends or family about my use?
- HaveI given up other fun activities, like sports or hobbies, in order to use?
- HaveI put drugs ahead of other financial needs? For example, have I really wanted anew video game or a new pair of sneakers, only to find myself spending the money on more drugs?
- HaveI tried to quit, but ended up using anyway?
- DoI feel guilty or ashamed when I use?
- DoI think about drugs a lot, or spend a lot of time thinking about them?
- Hasmy drug use damaged my relationships with friends or family?
- HaveI been arrested or suspended from school because of drugs, but kept using?
- HaveI ever overdosed on drugs?
- DoI feel depressed when I can’t use?
- DoI avoid activities where I can’t use?
- Doesthe idea of running out of drugs terrify me?
- DoI think I might have a problem with drugs?