How do I know if my drinking or drug use is out of control?
How do I know if my drinking or drug use is out of control and it’s time to seek help?
This is a great question and here are a few good yardsticks.
When you use alcohol or drugs, do you use more and longer than you had planned? We may intend just to have a couple of drinks, but once we ingest the first one we lose all capacity to make a conscious decision to stop. Our behaviour becomes embarrassing and the next morning we feel shame, guilt and remorse.
We promise to ourselves and loved ones that we will stop - and we may stop for a while on willpower, but eventually we get triggered and pick up our drug of choice and we get trapped in the cycle of addiction again.
This behaviour is unique to people with addiction problems. People who don’t have the problem can stick to what they plan.
The second yardstick is to ask yourself ‘When I stop, can I stay stopped?’
We make countless promises to cut down or stop and really mean it, (and we may stay stopped for a while) but the truth is that we can’t cope without drugs or alcohol. We use drugs to cope, to soothe or comfort or numb ourselves.
The common obsession of every person with an addiction problem is the idea that they will be able to use or drink normally. Unfortunately this never happens.
People who don’t have a problem with addiction find other ways of self-soothing and facing uncomfortable emotions.
With help you can re-learn how to live. You can learn how to handle those triggers of frustration, anxiety, boredom or restlessness that come with untreated addiction.
Addiction treatment is about getting drug and alcohol free, getting happy and not only coping, but thriving and flourishing in recovery. I have a great deal of experience in helping people with substance abuse issues. Let’s chat.