Addiction Symptoms: 5 Red Flags You Might Miss
In 2020, more than 138 million Americans used alcohol and nearly 60 million used illicit drugs, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. If you were one of them, you are certainly not alone. But how can you tell when your partying becomes a problem? Do I need rehab? These are addiction symptoms that you don’t want to ignore.
Addiction Symptom 1: Finances
One of the most easily missed signs of addiction is the impact on your finances. When you’re in the grips of addiction, you might feel like your paycheck isn’t going as far as it used to. Bills are going unpaid and calls from creditors are ramping up. The link may not be obvious at first, but it’s likely that a big chunk of your budget is going to drugs or alcohol. Have you ever really sat down and looked at how much money you could save by getting clean and sober? The answer might surprise you.
Addiction Symptom 2: Sick Days
Drinking and using drugs more causes you to call out sick from work more, period. It can be a slippery slope into absenteeism, though. You might feel like it’s normal to miss a few days of work each month, but it’s not.
A study from the University of Washington School of Medicine released this year calculated the average days of work missed each month by people with alcohol use disorder. The number of days increased steadily as the severity of their illness increased: People with no alcohol issues reported missing on average .84 work days per month, while people with severe alcohol use disorder reported missing nearly double that: 1.67 days per month. The reality is, if you are missing work due to your drinking or drug use, people probably are aware of that — even if you don’t realize it.
Addiction Symptom 3: Friends
Has your friend group changed a lot in the last few years? As people slide into addiction, their relationships tend to shift as they spend more time with people who have similar habits. If you haven’t seen old friends in a long time and find yourself hanging out with a new crew — especially if it’s one you wouldn’t have hung out with before — you could be witnessing a growing substance use problem.
Addiction Symptom 4: Hobbies
The same is true of hobbies. Are you still doing the kinds of activities you used to love? Has it been years since you went running, rode your bike, or went fishing with your kids? Drug and alcohol use can take over your life without you even noticing it.
Addiction Symptom 5: Denial
But, I don’t even like running anymore, you might be thinking. Or, My old friends are lame. There’s always a reason to explain away the troubling signs of addiction. In fact, that’s one of the symptoms in itself: continuing to do drugs and consume alcohol even when it has a negative impact on your life. If you find yourself feeling defensive or angry when asked about your substance use, or full of excuses, there might be a real problem that your illness is trying to hide.
Still not sure if you have a problem with addiction? Call our caring team. They’ll listen to your story and walk you through the decision of whether addiction treatment is right for you. The path to recovery looks different for everyone, but no matter where you are on that path, we’re ready to walk it with you.