Addiction is a term that is often overused in our culture, referring to specific moments of weakness instead of the ongoing destructive illness that it actually is. Addiction is a preoccupation with something such as drugs, alcohol or food that ends up negatively affecting and interfering with other important aspects of life including personal relationships, work, or overall wellbeing. So how can you spot addiction? Here are some signs to watch for:
- An inability to stop or limit the behavior despite a desire to do so. Maybe you’ve set a daily two drink maximum for yourself but continue to exceed it. If you feel frustrated or stressed by your lack of control, or if family or friends have approached you concerned about the issue, then it might be time to re-evaluate.
- Persisting regardless of negative outcomes. The effects of addiction will typically spill over into other areas of a person’s life. You might benefit from professional help if the compulsion results in declining health, problems at work, trouble with the law, strained relationships with loved ones or co-workers, or financial issues.
- When the behavior evolves into an obsession or is used as a coping mechanism. For a lot of individuals, dependency has a trigger such as divorce, the loss of a loved one, poor family relationships, stress, or a major life event which may seem insurmountable. Learning proper coping skills, engaging in alternative methods of stress relief, and talking things out with someone can often be deterrents for substance abuse and addiction.
Family Guidance Center wants you to start the New Year off with a fulfilling and healthy life. Anyone can find himself powerless to addiction in the right circumstances, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Contact Family Guidance Center to learn more about available mental and behavioral health services for a better you.