You are the only person that can determine whether you are an addict or not. There is a preconceived notion that an addict is someone that is homeless with no job and dirty clothes. This is far from the truth: addicts do not often look like they are addicted unless you notice key subtle signs. It can be a part of a person’s very functionality in life, affecting how they deal with family, friends, and coworkers.
A diagnosis of substance abuse depends on their level of impairment, risk-taking behavior, and how much control they lose while on the substance. If you’re questioning whether you or someone you love is an addict, there are signs that you can take note of and watch out for.
One tool experts use to gauge drug use and the likelihood of a person being an addict is the CAGE method.
C – Cutting Down on Drinking
Have you ever, at any point, thought about cutting down on your drinking? If so, this could be an indicator that you have had second thoughts about your drinking habits. Have you noticed you tend to be a little more irritable when you drink, or slower to respond when you’re using a substance? Have you ever thought of talking to someone about your usage of substances, and wondered how they would react knowing how much you use?
A – Annoyance at Criticism
People have questioned your drinking or drug use before and it bothered you. Do you find yourself getting irritated when they tell you you’ve had enough, or to take a break from the substance for a while?
Maybe they’ve told you not to drink or do drugs before or during an event, and you found it hard to stay at the event without any substances. If you’ve noticed any situations where you feel attacked by those close to you, maybe it’s time to listen to them instead of getting defensive.
G – Guilty Feelings
Have you ever felt guilty about your substance use? Has your drinking caused you to lash out a little too much at family members and friends? Did you miss out on an important even because you were busy indulging in the use of harmful substances?
Has anyone close to you expressed disappointment in your behavior, and asked you to be there for them more? Feelings of guilt are often associated with addiction, so if you’re experiencing these emotions you should seek a professional opinion and get help.
E – Eye-Opening Events
Have you ever felt the need to start drinking immediately when you wake up? Have you gotten up at 4 in the morning to take a hit? Do you use the substance right before you go to bed and right when you wake up? It’s completely unhealthy to use drugs or alcohol 24/7, the body never gets a chance to recover and the dependency just continues to grow stronger. If you find yourself craving substances like drugs or alcohol at unfathomable times, then you might be an addict.