Determining an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs is particularly difficult for the addict. After all, to accept a positive conclusion puts the onus of stopping on the addict.
Nevertheless, the progression of an addiction may eventually become too harmful even for the addict to ignore. As for those who interact with an addict, they will spot adverse behavioral changes much sooner, even if they are not aware that a chemical addiction is a source.
This article provides a few points and signs to consider when determining an addiction.
Signs of an Addiction are Often Demonstrated by Aberrant Behavior
- Hiding alcohol/drugs and using in secret
- Rationalizing the need to use (i.e., to relax, unwind, or cope with the stress of life)
- Using alcohol/drugs in dangerous situations (e.g., driving a vehicle or operating machinery)
- Excessive use taking precedence over friends and loved-ones
- Excessive use to the point of self-destruction leading to job loss
- Excessive use to the point of self-destruction leading to health issues
Habit and Personality Changes
Although the question of the "addictive personality" has been explored, there is no evidence to support this idea.
- It is the heavy use of drugs and alcohol that cause personality alterations.
- Alcoholics show personality disorders as a consequence of alcohol use, and it is from alcohol/drug use that anxiety, depression, and mental health issues develop.
- Sociopathic behavior is almost always a consequence, not a cause of alcohol abuse. Having said this it becomes more obvious why repeated personality distortions are so often seen among alcoholics and drug addicts. A gradual altering of the brain causes these so-called “personalities changes” by interfering with the normal climate of the brain. (Only orthomolecular biochemical repair can restore the brain in serious cases of chemical abuse).
Moments of self-Awareness and Catalysts that Drive Addicts to Seek Help
The four primary reasons alcoholics/addicts seek professional help for an addiction:
- Health- Sadly many alcoholics and addicts refuse to seek help until they've pushed their body's to the brink of death.
- Liver damage is common among chronic alcoholics.
- Erratic blood sugar shifts stemming from fluctuating glucose levels is seen in nearly 100% of tested alcoholics.
- Adrenal exhaustion is almost always a consequence of chronic drug use and alcoholism.
- Job Loss- Although some alcoholics/addicts function productively for years, most will eventually succumb to the damage alcohol and drugs does to their ability to think and perform effectively on the job. The threat of livelihood loss often provides an incentive to seek help.
- The Destruction of Relationships- Marital collapse, loss of friends, alienation of children is strong incentive to seek help with an addiction.
- Legal Problems- DWIs, DUIs, jail time. These provide strong incentives for people to seek professional help for an addiction.
When the time comes to start looking for help
- Alcohol and drug addictions are progressive diseases. The early stage of an addiction is the most pleasant. Therefore, it is the most difficult, and unlikely time an addict will stop using.
- However, with ongoing use the pleasurable effects of an addiction, begin to wane, while undesirable consequences and/or side effects become more pronounced. A more open attitude to seek treatment may ensue.
- With time the incentive to seek help becomes easier to accept, and treatment becomes a serious consideration.
- However, keep in mind, the longer alcohol and drugs are used, the more damage will accumulate from those toxins; therefore, it behooves an addict to intervene sooner rather than postponing the inevitable need to stop using.
Too often the only emphasis promoted in treatment is abstinence. Mental health strategies and psychotherapies are geared to reinforce the addict's resolve to stay clean and avoid addictive chemicals.
Unfortunately, damage caused by years of alcohol and/or other drugs is not repaired by abstinence, and relapse is often repeated many times.
What needs to be done is biochemical restoration to repair the brain and body. Only orthomolecular biochemical repair can restore the brain in serious long-term cases of chemical abuse.