6 signs that you might be addicted to a substance and what you need to do about it

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Addiction to substances such as alcohol, drugs, tobacco and nowadays even technology is a problem all over the world. Most addicts don’t start out knowing that they will become addicted. They believe they have full control over the use of the substance and that they shall be able to stop whenever they want to. However, over time, they lose control and start getting dependent on the substance. Following are seven questions that may help you find out if you are addicted. Answer these questions for the past one year.

  1. Do you feel a strong desire or compulsion to take the substance?
  2. Have you lost control over when and how much of the substance to consume?
  3. If you do not use the substance for a day or more, do you experience anxiety, palpitations, inability to focus, disturbed sleep or feel excessively sad? 
  4. Have you noticed an increase in the amount of substance that you need to take in order to get the same high as earlier?
  5. Is your focus nowadays only on how you will get the substance? Have you started ignoring your studies and extracurricular activities because of it?
  6. Do you continue to take the substance in spite of knowing that it is causing harm to you?

If your answer to three or more of the above questions was yes, then you may have a problem of dependence. 

What should you do?

  1. Do not panic. Getting out of dependence or addiction needs professional help, especially if you have been dependent for a significant period of time.
  2. Make an appointment with a psychiatrist and consult them about this problem as soon as possible. If you do not know a psychiatrist in your town, see your general physician or a psychologist who can then refer you to a psychiatrist.  
  3. Take a friend or a family member that you trust into confidence. It always helps to have the support of a loved one. 

With appropriate help and guidance you can triumph over the problem of addiction. The sooner you seek help, the faster you shall recover. 

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