When Does A Habit Become An Addiction?

Most of us have bad habits of some sort. In most cases, these habits are completely harmless. But what happens when a habit spirals into a dangerous addiction? Do you smoke? Do you drink to excess? Do you take pills or use cocaine from time to time? Have you been taking prescription drugs for as long as you can remember? None of us expect to become an addict, but addictive behavior can develop very quickly. Before you know it, you’re not in control, and your addiction is taking over every aspect of your life.

addiction

Am I an addict?

We often say that we’re addicted to things in a light-hearted manner. But the reality is that addiction is a real threat to society. Bad habits won’t land most of us in trouble, but addiction can. When you have an addiction, you’ll continue to do something even though you’re aware of the negative consequences. You’re willing to put your family, your finances, and your health on the line to get that next fix.

If you think about something all the time, and it has become your priority, you may be an addict. Are you willing to sacrifice other things to buy pills or a bottle of vodka? Are drugs, gambling, or alcohol the first thing you think about when you wake up? Are you willing to push the boundaries and take risks just to get that high? Has your behavior changed? Are you lying to others to cover your tracks?

Addictions don’t just affect your mental health. They also have implications for your physical health. If you’re a drug addict, you may find that your heart races sometimes. Or you may have lost weight. If you’re an alcoholic, you may have jaundice. If you smoke all day every day, you may have a smoker’s cough and breathing difficulties. Many people who have addictions also struggle to sleep.

alcohol

Where can I get help?

The most important step on the path to recovery is admitting you have a problem, and seeking help. There are some amazing facilities and treatments out there, but they’re no good to you if you don’t want to be helped. If you do want to reach out, there are various options. See your doctor or contact a charity that helps addicts. Seek advice from your therapist or research drug rehab centers. There are many different treatment techniques and methods, which may be beneficial. Often, it’s a matter of trying therapies and seeing what works best. The methods that are recommended may depend on the type and severity of your addiction. In some cases, medication and talking therapies may be sufficient. In other cases, intensive rehabilitation may be the best approach.

Drugs
Image credit: Brandon Giesbrecht – https://flic.kr/p/b6XZJa

You may never have thought in your wildest dreams that you would become an addict. The trouble is that a one-off can quickly turn into something much more serious. If your life is governed by smoking, drinking, or going to the casino, you may well have an addiction. Even if you feel fine physically, this doesn’t mean that all is fine and dandy internally. It can take a long time for the effects of an addiction to become apparent. What is important is that you seek help if you are worried about your behavior. Early intervention can make all the difference.