To the Newcomer: Am I an Addict?

It can be amazingly difficult to diagnose ourselves as an alcoholic or an addict. Our lives can seem normal to us, as we have succumbed to the daily grind that is the life of an addict.

We believe we are like other normal people, but the way we use alcohol and drugs is not normal, not by a long shot. Our disease gets worse and worse over time, yet we hardly notice, it all seems so normal. We continue using until something major happens to upset our routine.

Perhaps it’s the loss of a job or loved ones due to our using. We may run afoul of the law or become ill as a consequence of our addiction. Our life could eventually burn to the ground in smoldering flames and yet we still can’t see our problem, we always blame others or circumstances for our problems and misfortunes.

Our problem may be cocaine, alcohol, or some other mind-altering substance, the point is that addiction comes disguised as many things. The spectacular level of denial and delusion thinking surrounding our abuse contributes much to our inability to get ourselves well.

How can you recover from addiction if you don’t believe you’re an addict? If you are reading this perhaps you have searched for anonymous on-line answers to some of your questions on addiction, or online CA meetings? If you are unsure if you’ve got a problem or not, here are some things to consider 

Delusional Thinking

Cocaine addicts and alcoholics sometimes say things to justify their drug or alcoholic behavior:

  • “ I am not homeless and hold down a job so how can I be an addict?”
  • “Next time I will only use a little, I won’t get that drunk again”
  • “I must be  going through a rough patch and I can quit whenever I want.”

This inability to see our problem clearly is actually characteristic thinking for us as alcoholics and addicts. Some people might point out that they are functioning; they are holding down a good job, showing up for family, never gotten a DUI.

But functioning well in the world isn’t the sole indicator of alcoholism or addiction. The true definition of an addict is a person that craves a drug and once that drug is in their body they cannot control the amount they use. 

The 12 Step Solution

There is a program that can be done that can help you with a proven solution of recovery, the CA 12 Step Program. Right now, we meet online, and anyone can attend.

The Twelve-step program identifies alcoholics or addicts as having a wide range of varying qualities but acknowledge that they share common characteristics: specifically— obsessive thinking about cocaine or other drugs (such as: “just one more” or “”I’ll quit tomorrow” or “I just went two weeks without drinking, so I clearly don’t have a problem”).

In addition to the skewed perception, alcoholics and addicts discover that once they start drinking or using, they experience an overpowering physical craving for more, regardless of cost or consequence. This craving gets progressively worse causing worsening problems and behaviors

Other Symptoms of Addiction

  • You continue drinking or using in spite of clear negative consequences, such as problems in your life, or physical or psychological harm
  • You pass up or avoid social situations where there won’t be a chance to drink or use
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms when not using or drinking
  • You hide your alcohol or drug use
  • Your tolerance is increasing—you find that you need to consume increasing amounts for an effect
  • You can’t seem to stop even if you want to
  • You take risks you normally wouldn’t (like stealing or driving drunk) or make sacrifices to continue using
  • You make excuses or lie when other people show concern
  • Feeling that you have to use or drink regularly — daily or even several times a day
  • Having intense urges or cravings that block out any other thoughts
  • Drinking or using larger amounts over a longer period of time than you intended
  • Making certain that you maintain a supply
  • Spending money on alcohol or drugs, even though you can’t afford it

Twelve-step literature sums it up nicely with this method for self-diagnosis: “If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic.”

 Believe it or not, if you can identify with some or all of these symptoms, that may be great news. Admitting our powerlessness over drugs or alcohol is the first step in getting free, and the beginning of an entirely new life of peace and joy.

The Oak Cliff Cocaine Anonymous Group is committed to helping men and women overcome their addiction to cocaine and all other mind-altering substances. 

We meet 3 times per week anonymously on line, let us help you better understand what addiction is and help you begin your path to recovery NOW.

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