If you’ve been using alcohol or other substances in a manner that jeopardizes your physical, mental, or social well-being, you may have asked yourself, “am I an addict?”
Getting an honest and accurate answer to this question can help you determine what changes you need to make, including if you should seek professional addiction treatment, so you can stop using drugs and start living a healthier life.
What Is the Definition of an Addict?
Addiction is a complex disorder that affects different people in different ways. Some people are able to use certain substances for extended periods of time without becoming addicted. Others have become dependent on drugs after extremely limited use.
Understanding the many facets of addiction is an essential part of determining whether or not a person has become an addict.
First, it’s important to understand what the word “addict” actually means. Addict is an informal term that refers to a person who is struggling with a substance use disorder (which is the clinical term for addiction).
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction is a brain disease that is characterized by “compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences.”
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is the standard reference book that’s used by most behavioral healthcare providers in the United States, offers more thorough definitions for various types of addiction.
The DSM-5 lists several criteria that must be met before a person can be accurately diagnosed with an addiction to alcohol or another drug. These criteria typically involve behavioral changes, social impairment, continued drug use after experiencing negative outcomes, and the development of tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.
Am I an Addict?
The best way to get an accurate answer to the question, “am I an addict?” is to be assessed by a qualified healthcare professional.
During an addiction assessment, you’ll be asked a variety of questions about your health and behavior. You may talk about the nature and frequency of your substance use, your reasons for using drugs, if you have a history of trauma or mental illness, the impact that your drug use has had on your life, and other relevant matters.
At the end of this conversation, the professional who conducts the assessment can make a proper diagnosis and recommend treatment options.
Drug Addiction Quiz
If you’re not sure that you have a problem, or if you’re having trouble deciding if you should schedule an appointment for an assessment, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Do you ever use drugs secretly or when you are alone?
- Have you ever tried to stop using drugs, but were incapable of doing so?
- Do you need to use drugs to experience pleasure or to cope with emotional pain?
- Has your drug use caused problems at work, in school, or at home?
- Have you ever lied to friends or family members about the amount or frequency of your drug use?
- Have friends or family members ever expressed concerns about your drug use?
- Have you ever felt guilty or ashamed about your drug use?
- Do you think you might be addicted to alcohol or another drug?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be struggling with addiction, and you should consult with a professional.
Remember: Addiction is a treatable condition. With the right care, you can regain control of your behaviors, develop effective relapse-prevention skills, and learn how to live a satisfying life without using alcohol or other drugs.
But before you can get better, you may need to get help.
If I Am an Addict, How Can I Get Help?
Acknowledging that you are an addict is a vital first step on the path toward successful recovery. But it’s just one step.
Once you’ve identified the problem, the next step is to find the source of addiction treatment that’s right for you. Depending on the nature and severity of your experience with addiction, you may benefit from receiving help at one or more of the following levels:
When you’re evaluating drug addiction treatment programs in Florida, asking the following questions can help you find the place that’s best for you:
- Does your facility offer multiple levels of care for drug addiction?
- Does each patient or client at your facility follow an individualized addiction treatment plan?
- How will you determine which programs and services are best for me?
- If I’m an addict who is also struggling with co-occurring mental health concerns, can you help me?
- Do you offer family programming, so my loved ones can learn how to support my recovery efforts?
- Do you provide alumni services to help people after they’ve completed treatment?
- Do you accept insurance?
It is extremely important to remember that there is no one perfect type of addiction treatment that works for everyone. When you’re trying to find addiction help in Florida, you should be focused on identifying the provider whose services best match your specific needs, goals, and preferences.
Begin Drug Addiction Treatment in West Palm Beach, Florida
Without proper treatment, people who struggle with drug addiction can feel like they’re trapped in a downward spiral of shame, guilt, and self-defeating behavior. But when you get the care you need, you can rediscover your hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Don’t let your past struggles or current challenges prevent you from achieving the healthier future you deserve. Contact Ambrosia Treatment Center today to learn about drug addiction treatment options in West Palm Beach, Florida. Your path to recovery may be just a phone call away.