Do You Have a Problem with An Addiction?

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        Are you a "pain avoider" who uses things to help you cope or avoid your feelings? Do you have a problem with an addiction, or several addictions? If you have an addiction, you think about your "drug" all the time, no matter what you are doing. You use your "drug" to avoid feeling pain, or to make yourself feel better. Your life seems to be centered around your addictions. For example, a person who is addicted to food will turn to cake and cookies or some other "treat" to cope with feelings of sadness, anger or other uncomfortable feelings. A food addict thinks about when his next meal is coming, what will he eat, and make accommodations for eating. Everything for a food addict involves food and using food to obtain pleasure. A cigarette smoker who is addicted to cigarettes plans events around smoking. An addicted smoker thinks about smoking all the time and will avoid places where she cannot smoke. He thinks about being able to smoke in all environments and looks for areas where he can have a cigarette when he is ready. This is the same thing for a love addict. If you are addicted to another person, that person becomes the center focus of your life. You don't do anything without considering the impact upon your time with the person you are addicted to. Etc. Etc. Etc.

There are those of us who have addicted personalities. We have this constant emptiness that we experience. Addictions are used to fill the hole. The latest term being used about addictions is, "the Reward Deficiency Syndrome." In a nutshell, an addict is a person who is trying to obtain a reward in order to feel okay. There are psychological, neurological, chemical, physiological and genetic reasons why this happens. It can even be influenced by the medications one takes! But the bottom line of all addictions is that you are seeking something external to make yourself feel okay internally. This external thing may be sex, work, food, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, relationships, etc. You can even become addicted to exercise!

If you think you might have a problem with a love or sexual addiction, go to the sexual addiction page. If you have a problem with food, go to the food addiction page. If you are obsessed with exercise or your weight, you may have an eating disorder. For more information on eating disorders, check out the eating disorder page. If you think that you may use food compulsively, click this link to assess whether or not you have a compulsive eating disorder. If you believe you have a shopping and spending addiction, click this link on shopping addictions. If you have a gambling problem, click here. Lastly, for workaholics, click here. Smokers click here.

Contents of this Webpage...

Do You Have an Addictive Personality?    Common Myths About Drug and Alcohol Addictions   

Do You Have a Problem with Drinking or Drugs?    Are You an Alcoholic or Drug Addict?   

Teen Alcohol Assessment    Drug Addiction Assessment (Just for Drugs)    Self Test for Compulsive Overeating

Do You or Someone You Know Have a Gambling Addiction?    Links addiction, sexual addiction, spending addiction Los Angeles

addiction, sexual addiction, spending addiction Los Angeles

Do You Have An Addictive Personality?

The qualities listed below are commonly accepted list of personality traits found in the addicted person. These are  characteristics that occur in normal people, but in the addict are exaggerated and uncontrolled. These things render addicts incapable of being at peace.  

Low Frustration and Tolerance seems to be the most consistent trait. This is the inability to endure, for any length of time, any uncomfortable circumstances or feeling. The addict is impatient.

Anxiety that state which seems to exist in all people, exists in an exaggerated way in addicted persons. They are subject to nameless dreads and fears. This anxiety drives alcoholics and addicts to "fight or flight". Sometimes this is called free-floating anxiety. 

Grandiosity is worn as a protective armor to hide feelings of low self-esteem. In reality, although addicts nourish an inflated image of themselves, their deep conviction is one of self-worthlessness.

Perfectionism sets impossible goals with inevitable failures and resultant guilt. The alcoholic/addict is an idealist. This idealism may be one of the reasons for success after recovery. They can be exceptionally fine workers once the illness has been arrested and after the perfectionism has been reduced to reasonable proportions.

Justification Addicts are masters at this. Justification is the science of arranging to do what we want to do, then making it appear reasonable.

Isolation and deep insecurity deprive the addict of the real generosity needed to make close and enduring friendships. They become loners.

Sensitivity exaggerates all the unpleasant interpersonal relationships experienced by the addicted person. This inevitably produces extreme resentment.

Impulsiveness "I want what I want when I want it." This is probably related to a low frustration tolerance. In some ways the addict takes pride in this impulsiveness, as though it were a valuable asset. 

The alcoholic/addict can't seem to enjoy a job or task and long before completion is already moving on to something else.

Defiance is a common response to society as a whole, whether the addict is under the influence or not. This is associated with a feeling that one does not fit, exactly, into society.

Dependence on other persons exists in an exaggerated form in most alcoholics/addicts. 

Common Myths of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction:

I can't be an alcoholic or an addict because:

Signs to watch for:

Do You Have a Problem with Drinking or Drugs?

Take the following assessments to find out

CAGE Assessment

Cut Down Have you ever thought you should Cut down on your drinking or drug use? Have you ever tried to Cut down your usage?

Annoyed Do you feel Annoyed by people complaining about or criticizing your drinking or drug use?

Guilty Do you ever feel Guilty about your drinking or drug use? Have you done things while under the influence that made you feel Guilty or experienced guilt because you can't remember what you did?

Eye-Opener Do you ever drink an Eye-opener (used alcohol or drugs) in the morning to relieve the shakes, steady your nerves, make yourself feel better, or to get rid of a hangover?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, there is a good chance that you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Go to the next assessment to check this out further. For Alcohol and Drugs, see below. If you are a teen, check the Teen Alcohol Assessment. For drugs only, click this link: Drug Addiction Assessment

Are You an Alcoholic or Drug Addict?

Alcohol or Drug Addiction Self-Assessment

Knowing facts about drugs is important, but analyzing your attitudes and behaviors toward alcohol and drug use helps in making careful decisions for yourself.

Answer the following questions to assess yourself. All questions include the use of legal and illegal drugs:

 1.  Are you unable to stop drinking or dosing after a certain number of drinks/doses?

 2.  Do you need a drink/drug to get motivated?

 3.  Do you often forget what happened while you were partying (black outs)?

 4.  Do you drink/drug alone?

 5.  Have others annoyed you by questioning or expression concerns about your drinking or drug use?

 6.  Have you been involved in fights while you were drunk or high?

 7.  Have you done or said anything while drinking or using drugs that you regretted?

 8.  Have you destroyed or damaged property while drinking or using drugs?

 9.  Do you drive while intoxicated or high?

10.  Have you been physically hurt while under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

11.  Have you been in trouble with school officials, your employer or police?

12.  Have you dropped or chosen friends based upon their drinking/drug habits?

13.  Do you think you are a normal drinker/drug taker despite friends' comments that you drink or use drugs too much?

14.  Have you ever missed classes or work because you were too hung-over to get up on time?

15.  Have you ever done poorly on an exam or an assignment because of drinking or drug use?

16.  Do you think about drinking or getting high a lot?

17.  Do your social activities involve drinking or the use of drugs in order for you to enjoy yourself?

18.  Do you feel that drinking or drug use is affecting your ability to maintain healthy, intimate
relationships with a significant other?

19.  Do you feel that drinking or drug use is affecting your physical health on an ongoing basis including insomnia, intestinal disturbances, mental processing, etc?

20.  Do you believe you need to drink or use a drug (other than those prescribed) to function at work, home, or in social situations?

If you answered "yes" to one ore more of these questions, or you are concerned about your use, you may be using alcohol or drugs in a way that is harmful. Don't blame yourself, ask for help.

Teen Alcohol Assessment

ALCOHOLISM Alcoholism is a rough word to deal with. Yet nobody is too young (or too old) to have trouble with booze. That's because alcoholism is an illness. It can hit anyone. Young, old. Rich, poor. Black, white. And it doesn't matter how long you've been drinking or what you've been drinking. It's what drinking does to you that counts.

To help you decide whether you might have a problem with your own drinking, we've prepared these 12 questions. The answers are nobody's business but your own. If you can answer yes to any one of these questions, maybe it's time you took a serious look at what your drinking might be doing to you. And, if you do need help or if you'd just like to talk to someone about your drinking, call us. We're in the phone book under Alcoholics Anonymous.


1 Do you drink because you have problems? To relax?

2 Do you drink when you get mad at other people, your friends or parents?

3 Do you prefer to drink alone, rather than with others?

4 Are your grades starting to slip? Are you goofing off on your job?

5 Did you ever try to stop drinking or drink less — and fail?

6 Have you begun to drink in the morning, before school or work?

7 Do you gulp your drinks?

8 Do you ever have loss of memory due to your drinking?

9 Do you lie about your drinking?

10 Do you ever get into trouble when you're drinking?

11 Do you get drunk when you drink, even when you don't mean to?

12 Do you think it's cool to be able to hold your liquor?

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS® is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

 

Copyright © by The A.A. Grapevine, Inc.;
reprinted with permission

Drug Addiction Assessment

If you're not sure whether your drug use is beginning to get a bit out of hand, you might want to ask yourself a few questions...

Do you have a favorite drug you use?

Do you ever use drugs when you're alone?

Do you use drugs because you're bored, lonely or anxious?

Do you think a lot about drugs and drug use?

Do you plan your day to make sure you can use drugs?

Do you need to use more and more drugs to get the effect you want?

Do you feel irritable or anxious if you don't use drugs?

Do you miss your favorite drug if you don't use it for a while?

...and the more 'yes' answers, the more you might benefit from taking a step back from what you're doing, and thinking again about whether your drug use might be starting to get a bit out of hand. Still not sure? Ask yourself the following 20 questions....

1. Have you ever used more drugs than you planned?

2. Has your usage of drugs ever interfered in your job or school?

3. Are drugs causing conflicts with your family, friends or other loved ones?

4. Do you feel depressed, guilty, or remorseful after using drugs?

5. Do you use whatever drugs you have, almost continually, until the supply is gone?

6. Do you ever experience physical symptoms, such as nosebleeds, chest pain, headaches, blackouts, fainting, etc. caused by using drugs?

7. Do you ever wish you had never taken the first hit, line or injection of the drug?

8. Do you have financial problems because of your drug use?

9. Do you experience an anticipation high because you know that you are about to use?

10. Do you constantly think about drugs when you are doing other things?

11. Do you use drugs alone?

12. Are you having to use more and more of the drugs in order to get high?

13. Do you need to take drugs just to feel normal?

14. Have you tried to quit or cut down on your drug use?

15. Has anyone ever told you that they think you might have a problem with drugs?

16. Have you ever lied to anyone about the amount of drugs you use?

17. Do you use drugs in your car, at work, at school, in the bathroom, or other public places?

18. Are you afraid that if you stop using, you will lose your energy or won't be able to function?

19. Do you hang around other people that you wouldn't normally hang out with because they use drugs or can provide you with drugs?

20. Do you ever have to steal, have sex for drugs or do other things you wouldn't normally do in order to get drugs?

Self-Test for Compulsive Overeating

from Overeaters Anonymous

     This series of questions may help you determine if you are a compulsive overeater. Many members of Overeaters Anonymous have found that they have answered yes to many of these questions.

Do you eat when you're not hungry?

Do you go on eating binges for no apparent reason?

Do you have feelings of guilt and remorse after overeating?

Do you give too much time and thought to food?

Do you look forward with pleasure and anticipation to the time when you can eat alone?

Do you plan these secret binges ahead of time?

Do you eat sensibly before others and make up for it alone?

Do you hide your food?

Have you tried to diet for a week (or longer), only to fall short of your goal?

Do you resent others telling you to "use a little willpower" to stop overeating?

Despite evidence to the contrary, have you continued to assert that you can diet "on your own" whenever you wish?

Do you crave to eat at a definite time, day or night, other than meal time?

Do you eat to escape from worries or trouble?

Have you ever been treated for obesity or a food-related condition?

Does your eating behavior make you or others unhappy?

Is your weight affecting your health?

Do you feel lethargic or daze like?

Do you crave specific types of food products, such as wheat, milk, flour, rice?

Do you have withdrawal symptoms from not eating certain foods?

Have you ever blacked out or passed out from overeating?

Have you experienced episodes of schizophrenia?

     Overeaters Anonymous is a Fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience and mutual support, are recovering from compulsive overeating.

     We welcome everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively. There are no dues or fees for members; we are self-supporting through our own contributions, neither soliciting nor accepting outside donations. OA is not affiliated with any public or private organization, political movement, ideology or religious doctrine; we take no position on outside issues.

     Our primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive overeating and to carry this message of recovery to those who still suffer.

National Council on Problem Gambling 10 Questions About Gambling Behavior

1. Have you often gambled longer than you had planned?
2. Have you often gambled until your last dollar was gone?
3. Have thoughts of gambling have caused you to lose sleep?
4. Have you used your income or savings to gamble while letting bills go    unpaid?
5. Have you made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to stop gambling?
6. Have you broken the law or considered breaking the law to finance your gambling?
7. Have you borrowed money to finance your gambling?
8. Have you felt depressed or suicidal because of your gambling losses?
9. Have you been remorseful after gambling?
10. Have you gambled to get money to meet your financial obligations?

If you or someone you know answers "Yes" to any of these questions, consider seeking assistance from a professional regarding this gambling behavior.

Links   

What is an Addiction?     Addiction as the Reward Deficiency Syndrome     Sober Recovery Dot.Com help for all addictions

Drugs and Alcohol:

Information About Specific Drugs    Info About Specific Drugs II    Talk to Frank About Drugs A-Z    Alcoholics Anonymous    Narcotics Anonymous    Cocaine Anonymous    Warning Signs that Your Teen is Using Drugs    Do You Have a Loved One with a Drug or Alcohol Problem? Alanon-Alateen    Nicotine Co-Addiction    American Heart Association - Nicotine Addiction

Sex and Love Addictions:

Sexual Addictions Page     Love, Pornography,  and Sexual Addiction Resources      Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous    Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Addictions Sex Addicts Anonymous        S-Alon      Sexual Compulsive Anonymous

Food Addictions/Eating Disorders

Overeaters Anonymous    Anonymous One    Women's Campaign to End Body Hatred    National Eating Disorders Association      Eating Disorders: Disordered Culture     Eating Disorders.Com    Mirror Mirror    Anorexia.Com    Bulimia.Com    Radar Programs    Comprehensive Eating Disorders Referral List

Spending and Gambling Addictions:

Shopping Addictions    Workaholics Anonymous    Gambling Addictions    Gambling Addictions Keystone Treatment Center    Gambling Addictions Q & A    For Gamblers and Their Loved Ones    Teenage Gambling Problems    Gamblers Anonymous