I spent years struggling with that question. Eventually the consequences caught up with me. By the time I realized I had lost control, it became much harder to get out of it. I started to see signs of a problem when I started seeing a negative impact on various areas of my life... school, work, family, friends, physical appearance, self esteem, etc.
Trying not drinking or using for a week, cold turkey. The success of that should indicate whether a person can really "stop anytime they want."
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September 18th, 2014 4:31am
If you feel as though you can stop any time that you want, then it's quite possible that it isn't a problem. However, it's always important to be aware of that by even taking a day or two without the substance. I know that when I start thinking about something excessively when I'm not on it, it may be time to check in with myself.
I think you answered your own question. Stop and see if you can abstain for a few weeks without any cravings or withdrawals. Also, why are you using drugs or alcohol ? If you are using them to block out feelings you do not want to feel then you are using the drugs or alcohol like medication. I wonder if it is better to learn how to deal with those feelings rather than trying to block them out ?
I found that when I was drinking far too much, close friends and family would mention it to me. I'd drink to celebrate/commiserate/under stress basically any 'excuse' I could to have a drink. But I didn't have a problem. It finally dawned on me when I conceded I was depressed and drinking was my coping method. I knew all along that my drinking was a problem, I just didn't want to admit it. If you're like me, then you probably need some help.
Even though you feel like you can stop at any time you like, it is definitely best to get an experts opinion. I always felt like I could stop drinking/smoking, but when I was admitted to the hospital, I was notified I was addicted to alcohol/cigarettes/marijuana. That was a huge eye-opener.
many, many users of alcohol and drugs say they can stop any time they want. for some it is true. i have learned through my experience with a child of mine who has issues with drugs that there are some pretty important things i did not know.
marijuana has a significant impact on the brain of persons younger than 25, so should in no case be used by persons in that age group. for those over 25, it *can* be used judiciously.
drinking and drug use are definitely becoming a problem if they cause you to lose anything that matters to you, such as a relationship, or a job, or if you get into legal trouble. actually, if you are using illegal drugs, the fact of its illegality is in itself a problem.
some people can use recreationally while maintaining a job, a relationship, grades, etc. but many, many cannot.
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November 16th, 2014 11:05pm
you can figure out that your drug or drinking has become an addiction when you find that you can no longer have the will power to stop yourself from the use of these substances if you can go a week without missing these substances i think that you will be okay by taking week long breaks and if you find yourself having a problem during one of these weeks then you can refer to help and guidance.
well in my opinion the way you would know if your drinking or drug use is becoming an addiction, 1. you need to do it all the time 2. you constantly think of drinking or doing drugs 3. you mainly hangout with people that drink or do drugs
You can know that your drinking or drug use is becoming an addiction or problem when it starts to interfere with your life in negative ways. When you start favoring the drink or drug over people you love, or when you start to binge is when you know that you have a problem. Addicts will almost all the time say that they can stop whenever they want, I know I said it too, but in fact the Addict is lying to him/herself. They are minimizing their problem. Always listen to your family or friends when they tell you have a drinking/drug problem too because they are usually right. No matter how hard it may be to accept that you have a problem, coming to that realization is the first step in fixing it and getting better.
More than anything else, it's the withdrawal that will dead answer. My experience was cold sweats, shakes, restless legs and hot flashes among others. But more than any of the physical, it was the overwhelming cravings. And I rationalized my drug abuse with similar statements of 'I can stop whenever I want'.
The reality is that if you have to tell yourself, you probably are an addict. Addiction is isolating and rationalizing that isolation. It's allowing your life to become nothing more than looking for your next 'fix'.
You could try stopping for 30 days, in order to see if that's really true or not; plus even if you find it easy and don't think it's a problem in the end, you'll have saved money, reduced your tolerance, and re-set your brain to make it easier to use moderation in future. If you find you can't do the 30 days, then you may find that you do have a problem, and if so that is good because you are then in a position to access help and information to make changes for the better.
It's a problem when it decreases your functionality. This functionality drop can be social, personal, or even work/school related. That drop is how you know that substance use is something you may need to address.
I think the best way to know if it has become a problem is to attempt to quit. When you have an addiction, there are withdrawal symptoms. Even if you don't feel emotionally dependent on the drink or drug, your body develops an attachment to it and you will find that out very soon when you try to quit. If you do those things in moderation and really can quit whenever you want to with no side effects, that doesn't necessarily mean it isn't an addiction. That just means it isn't enough of an addiction that your body is dependent on it, but if you are emotionally dependent on it that can be just as bad. You can always ask a professional for help figuring it out, that's nothing to be ashamed of or scared of :) I hope this helps!
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