How Do You Know If You're A Drug Addict?

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How Do I Know If I’m a Drug Addict?

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 20, 2019

For many, drug and alcohol abuse can escalate quickly and lead to addiction before an individual even realizes what is happening. Here are some common signs and ways to help spot if casual drinking is becoming a bigger problem.

Scenario one – For you, going out to the bars used to just happen on the weekend with friends, but now you find yourself going every night, whether others want to join you or not.

Scenario two – You thought you would just experiment with ecstasy, to find out what your friends were talking about, but now it’s become a habit, and one you don’t want to quit.

Scenario three – First it began with marijuana, but now you’ve gone on to use heroin, meth, and a whole slew of other drugs.

With drugs and alcohol, there can be a fine line between recreational use and full-on abuse. If you find yourself relating to one of the scenarios above, then you may be facing an addiction problem.

Use Vs. Abuse

So how does one know when they cross that line? Addiction is different for everyone, but there are ways to realize that your usage has taken a turn for the worse. Some are more obvious signs than others:

  • If you struggle going a week or more without using
  • If you want to stop doing drugs or drinking but can’t
  • If you often blackout due to alcohol or drug usage
  • If you feel withdrawal or detox symptoms after taking drugs
  • If you have ever participated in an illegal activity while under the influence
  • If you have stolen drugs or alcohol to get your fix
  • If you tend to use more than one drug at a time
  • If you’ve ever had medical problems while under the influence

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Other problems aren’t as blatant to the user, but are still viable signs that your use has turned into abuse:

  • If you feel guilty about your use, or shame if others knew how much you used
  • If you find yourself making excuses for your usage
  • If you hide your stash
  • If others have noticed personality changes when you are under the influence
  • If anyone has ever complained about your drug use
  • If you have lost friends or other relationships with people over your drug use
  • If you have ever lost a job due to drug use

Addiction is not only the craving or the perceived need to use and abuse drugs, but it is also the above-mentioned issues that affect your professional and personal life. If you said yes to one or more of these questions, then it is time that you reached out for help. More likely than not, these events mean you have an addiction on your hands.

Unfortunately, it is rare that non-addicts question themselves about their usage. It is usually those who are in the midst of an addiction that ponder this question and read articles such as this one. This is due to the likelihood that you feel guilty or concerned about your drug or alcohol use and have noticed problems associated with it. Most of the time it’s wise to follow your instincts on this question.

Where Do I Go From Here?

The good news is that drug addiction isn’t something you should face alone, and you don’t have to. At we provide you with the resources you need to help get yourself on the path to sobriety. With many different types of treatments to choose from and an abundance in every state, we are sure to help you find one that meets your needs and budget.

Whether your addiction has just begun and is manageable with an outpatient treatment plan, or if you’ve been addicted to a substance for years without fully realizing it and need a more structured inpatient treatment program, we are here to help. Don’t be afraid to reach out and take that first step today. Contact us at our number above and let us help you find the level of help you need.

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View 6 Responses to “How Do I Know If I’m a Drug Addict?”

I think that if you think about drugs and change your lifestyle than you are addicted. Especially if you start putting drugs before important things in your life like family, kids, work, and school.

I have a friend who just came to me and said he’s worried about his use of prescription drugs (which he is prescribed for pain) and his drinking. I told him if he’s asking me about it then most likely he has a problem. He he feels he needs help he should get it. I would like to know what to tell him to do. He’s worried about his union job and being labeled an addict. He’s feeling great amounts of shame especially because his wife of 28 years committed suicide
on New Year’s eve this past January.
Please give me any info you can about treatment. He has Blue cross blue shield insurance.

Hey Danyell,

Im sorry to hear about your friend. It’s not very private or confidential for me to discuss treatment options regarding your friend. If you try calling or sending us an email we can help locate a facility or get you pointed in the right direction. Overcoming addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol is tough, but can be done.

Again, thanks for showing your support for someone who is struggling with addiction. We need more people like you. Call us at 1-800-406-7633.

I truly want to know how to rebuild my family back when the one who got me started an hooked back on met when it’s the childrens father whom I was with nearly thirty years and I raised my girls alone . He spent 12 years of their lives in prison and the oldest is eighteen and youngest is six. He is an addict himself, but can’t admit it. I TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY ACTION, I’VE KNOWN MY WHOLE LIFE SINCE 15 WAS AN ALCOHOLIC. AND WHEN I GOT OLDER DID METH AND REALLY LIKED IT. BUT, JUST UNTIL MY GIRL’S WERE TAKEN DID NOT WANT TO ADMIT TO MY ADDICTION WHICH I’M NOW GETTING THE HELP I’VE SO BADLY NEEED. AND I DESTROYED MY FAMILY I ALONE RAISED , AND MY TEENAGE GIRL’S HATE ME TO THE POINT THEIR LYING ABOUT ME, WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH ME. THEY WONT COME ON VISITS WITH ME OR CALL, AND THEY HAVE MY SIX YEAR OLD NOT EVEN WANTING ME AND IS SCARED OF ME. WHEN THEIR FATHER WAS DOING THE DRUGS WITH

I believe I am addicted
Please help me

Idk if I’m an addict but need help concluding

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