Many Americans struggle with addiction. In fact, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 14.5 million Americans (5.3%) aged twelve or older experienced alcohol dependency in 2019. 8.3 million (3.0%) had at least one illicit drug use disorder in that same year. According to the National Institute of Health, 10% of US adults have a substance use disorder at some point in their lives.

Almost everyone knows someone who has had a problem with drugs or alcohol. Some of these people are very close to us, and others are mere acquaintances. We all know the horrible damage that drugs and alcohol can do to the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of an individual, and we all know that these effects can radiate out from that person and affect others around them as well – especially their loved ones. On a long or even short timeline, drug and alcohol abuse can even lead to death.

Although there is much tragedy and turmoil that surrounds substance use disorders, there is also hope. Due to people being more open and forthcoming about their addiction recovery status in recent decades, most of us also know someone who is in recovery and who is living a successful life free of drugs or alcohol. People do recover. It’s a beautiful thing.

If you drink alcohol or use drugs, you may be reading this because you think you might have a problem with one or the other or even both. Or, perhaps you’ve never really even thought about it before, but you wonder if some of your habits might be or might become problematic. Read on to learn more about some of the signs that you may need help. It may save your life.

Seven Signs You May Have a Substance Use Disorder

For some people, it’s obvious that they need help with a drug or alcohol addiction. For others, it’s not so glaringly clear. If several of the following signs sound like you, it may be time to seek treatment.

1) Cravings

One of the most common signs of drug or alcohol dependency is a craving feeling for your substance of choice. Often, these cravings increase in intensity until the feeling is satiated with the substance. At first, you may be able to ignore these cravings by focusing on something else, but over time they’ll grow in frequency. If you often find yourself thinking about drinking or using when you’re not able to, then you are experiencing the signs of a substance use disorder.

2) Withdrawal

On the other end of it, when you’ve stopped drinking or doing drugs, how do you feel? Do you want more right away? Are you hungover and uncomfortable until you drink again? These are signs of withdrawal, and they definitely indicate a problem for which you should immediately seek help.

3) Feelings of Physical Dependence

Both of the above signs are clear examples of physical dependence. Your body and mind don’t seem to feel or work right without your drug of choice or alcohol then you have become dependent on these substances. You’re supposed to feel your best without them, not with them.

4) Tolerance

Almost all drugs and certainly alcohol lose their potency for people who use them often; regular users will develop a tolerance. If you find that you need more drugs or more alcohol to feel the same way that you used to feel on less, then you have developed a tolerance to the substance. If you are using enough to develop a tolerance, you are likely developing a substance use disorder.

5) Financial Issues

Many people buy a few drinks to celebrate a special occasion or to blow off steam at the end of a busy and successful week at work. However, if you find that you are drinking or using drugs on a basis that is regular enough that you can see that your finances are being negatively affected by it, then you may have a drug or alcohol problem and you should seek help.

6) Irresponsibility

One of the clearest signs of a drug or alcohol problem is when someone who used to be responsible begins to neglect his or her responsibilities. This can relate to anything: school, work, family obligations, and so on. Drug or alcohol use becomes more important and everything else begins to slip away. If you find yourself failing to meet your responsibilities, it may be time to get help.

7) Risk-Taking

If you find yourself willing to take risks you might not have in the past, then you may be developing a substance use disorder. Lying, stealing, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are all examples of risk-taking and all of them can get you into big trouble. When you find yourself taking big risks that could change your life, you might need to come to terms with the fact that you are struggling with addiction.

Seek Help Today

If any of the above sound like you, it may be time to seek help, and if more than one sounds like you, then it definitely is. Fortunately, you can break free from your dependence on drugs or alcohol or both. In fact, most people who seek treatment and work hard at recovery do succeed in time. It’s not an easy road, but it can be done, and it’s something that you must do for yourself and your future.

One great way to start your recovery journey is with ibogaine. At the ibogaine treatment center Clear Sky Recovery, we are here to help you get started.  If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance abuse disorder, we can help you take the first steps along a much healthier path. Our detox treatment is innovative and effective, and our staff is standing by to answer any questions you may have about our staff, our facility, or the process.  Please give us a call today!