6 Signs That the Time Has Come to Seek Treatment for Drugs or Alcohol Abuse
How many times have you heard someone say, “Man, I could use a drink” after a tough day at the office? Or been at a party where you’ve seen some people disappear into a room somewhere, only to come back with heavy lids and the smell of marijuana on their clothes?
In 2015, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimated about 27.1 million Americans will use an illegal drug in a month, based on data from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). That same survey says 86.4% of people ages 18 and older report having tried alcohol; 56% say they have had a drink in the last month.
Does every single one of these people have a drug or alcohol abuse problem? No, probably not. But a recent study estimates that 1 in 8 people have some type of alcohol use disorder, and a Pew survey conducted in 2017 found that 46% “of US adults have a close friend or family member who’s been addicted to drugs.”
But how do you know if you are one of eight? How do you know if you are abusing drugs? And how do you know if you need treatment for an addiction? Every alcoholic and every drug user have different experiences when it comes to their addictions, but some signs are commonly shared. We’ve put together a list of 6 signs that could indicate it is time to seek professional help for your addictions.
- Someone has noticed the problem and addressed you about it. It might be a concerned parent, your romantic partner, your group of friends, or your boss. If people are starting to mention your drinking or drug use more frequently, or starting to say things like “I think you’re drinking/using a lot,” it might be time to evaluate how often you get drunk or high.
- Your drug or alcohol use is affecting your job. Calling out of work repeatedly because you are too hungover or wired to go, or going to work high or drunk, can be a sign of abuse.
- Your health is deteriorating as a result of your drug or alcohol use. The body is a resilient machine, but excessive drug or alcohol use does a lot of damage. If you have developed problems with your liver, your kidneys, or your heart, or been infected with a disease from sharing needles, it is time to seek recovery.
- It’s easier just to hide the bottles than deal with your loved ones. Hiding a problem is a clear sign there is a problem. If you lie about your drinking, or hide your “stash” so your friends and family won’t know you’re using, it is time to think about treatment.
- You’re hurting others, or putting them at risk. When you no longer care about how your actions affect others, then the need to use is stronger than your need to maintain relationships. Driving while drunk or high, lashing out at friends or family, becoming violent at the slightest (or imagined) provocation – all of these are signs that you could be abusing drugs or alcohol.
- Quitting on your own hasn’t worked. Let’s say you have tried to stop using or drinking on your own, but you can’t. You experience withdrawal symptoms, or the urge to use is too strong. If you – like so many others – cannot kick the habit on your own, then it is time to seek help from professionals who can guide you through the process.
This is by no means a comprehensive list; every person is different. But if you feel like you are losing control over yourself, or like your world is starting to revolve around when you can get high again, or have another drink, then it is time to seek out options for recovery.
At Little Creek Lodge, we offer alcohol and drug recovery programs designed to help you make strong, healthy choices about your life. We are a family owned and operated alcohol and drug treatment center located in Northeast Pennsylvania. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, please call 877-689-2644, or fill out our contact form to learn more about our services.