How to Get Perspective on Your Addiction

How to Get Perspective on Your Addiction

Addicts may never seek help if they ignore their behavior and the consequences it causes

Denial is a core symptom of addiction. When someone has poor relationships, it often causes her to act against her best interests and to continue her addictive behavior. Denial keeps people involved in addictive and self-destructive behaviors, which lead to detrimental consequences like faltered relationships, financial disarray and serious health problems.

Addicts may have Type A or Type B denial. Type A means the addict can acknowledge that he has a problem with drugs, but denies it when someone confronts him. Type B denial means an addict is blind to his addictive behavior for one reason or another. Individuals with both types of denial tend to rationalize, justify and make excuses for their behavior, and the consequences that result discourage them from seeing drug abuse as a problem, despite what other people think[1].

For change to occur, an addict must come to terms with reality—addicts who face the facts on their addictive behavior allows them to change. Unfortunately, breaking out of denial is easier said than done, as the task requires either a destructive consequence or an intervention with loved ones. In short, for someone to be open to the possibility of recovery, she has to see what her addiction has done and the consequences it has caused. If someone accepts the reality about her addiction, it can encourage her to seek a better life; in fact, someone who does not want recovery for herself will rarely achieve and maintain it for the long haul[2].

Evaluating Your Addictive Behavior

One of the best ways for someone to get perspective on his addiction is to do a self-evaluation or to seek professional help. Most addicts who are in denial will avoid advice from other before they fully accept the addiction. In short, a self-evaluation may be the way to go at first for an addict to seek recovery.

Plenty of places pose questions so that addicts can self-evaluate their drug abuse. Plenty of books discuss the subject as do resources from counselors and physicians. Self-assessment quizzes and evaluations even exist online. While numerous sources evaluate drug abuse and addiction, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence offers the following questions[3]:

  • Have you used drugs for any purpose other than medicinal help?
  • Have you taken a prescribed drug at a higher dose or quicker frequency than instructed?
  • Do you run out of your prescription drugs before the refill date?
  • Do you use more than one drug at a time?
  • Is your drug use repetitive, occasional or intermittent?
  • Can you stop using drugs when you want to?
  • Has your drug use resulted in blackouts or flashbacks?
  • Do you feel guilty or upset about your substance use?
  • Do or has your family and friends complained about your involvement with drugs?
  • Has your substance use created issues, conflict or problems between you and your loved ones or coworkers?
  • Have you lost friends, or become isolated because of your substance use?
  • Do you neglect your relationships, responsibilities and obligations because of your substance use?
  • Have you faced repercussions at work, school or even legal settings because of your drug use?
  • Do you tend to get into arguments and fights when you are under the influence of drugs?
  • Has your desire to obtain drugs caused you to engage in illegal activities?
  • Do you ever experience withdrawal symptoms when you cut back or stop using drugs? Do you notice that these symptoms subside when you start using drugs again?
  • Do you use drugs to improve your mood, cognitive state or self-esteem?
  • Do you use drugs to escape or forget about your problems?

These questions are not a tell-all, meaning that answering yes to a question does not mean you are in serious trouble. In other words, this test is no professional indicator of addiction, but, if you answered yes to someone of the questions, then assess your behaviors and current life situation. When you explore these questions and answer them honestly, you can then take the next step to get thoughts and opinions on the matter from other people, like trusted friends and family members. Addicts do not have to be specific about their concerns if they are uncomfortable talking about this issue; they can simply ask their friends and/or family members if they have noticed a change in the relationship recently. Friends and family will probably be able to cite specific examples on how and when the relationship has changed. Or addicts could take the results from a self-evaluation and speak with a recovery professional about their situation. Either way, a dose of reality will put an addict in the right mindset for conquering drug abuse with professional help.

Who Can Evaluate Your Substance Abuse?

If you would like help evaluating your substance abuse or addictive behavior, then call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now; our admissions coordinators can offer their expert guidance, information and assistance. If you decide you are ready to find treatment, then our staff can connect you with the resources and services that are right for you. Get help right now to get and stay clean.


 

[1] Hurst, Michael. (2015). Overcoming the 3 Stages of Substance Addiction Denial.  Azure Acres Recovery Center. Retreived from http://azureacres.crchealth.com/recovery-addictions-articles/stages-of-denial/.

[2] Lancer, Darlene, MFT. (2015, December 6). Substance Abuse: The Power of Acceptance. PsychCentral. Retreived from http://psychcentral.com/lib/substance-abuse-the-power-of-acceptance/.

[3] (2015). Am I Drug Addicted? National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Retrieved from https://ncadd.org/get-help/take-the-test/am-i-drug-addicted.