Many people who struggle with substance use may feel awkward calling it an addiction. There is still a lot of stigma behind that word, and it may not feel accurate based on how you used drugs. Maybe you were a binge drinker or “only partied a few times a week.” Substance use disorder doesn't care how much you used or what you used. The words are more nuanced than that. The term means anyone who uses illicit substances, drinks to get drunk, or misuses substances, usually to their own detriment.
Are You Using Substances To Get High Or Drunk?
A person with a substance use disorder uses street drugs, alcohol, prescription pills, or other substances to get high. For example, a person whose drug of choice is alcohol may drink only to get drunk.
Substance use disorder is a term to describe anyone who has an unhealthy or dependent relationship with alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription drugs. Illegal drugs are marijuana, heroin, cocaine, or any other drug you can buy on the street. People who drink to get drunk typically have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. A person who misuses substances may be taking a legal prescription, but more than prescribed because they are trying to get more of a side effect such as euphoria.
People with substance use disorders often use drugs impulsively and obsess over their drug use. Addiction can cause cycles of heavy drug use, followed by pain and regret, that lead to more use. Nobody chooses to have a substance use disorder, but you can decide to get help when you realize you may have a problem.
Accepting That You May Have Substance Use Disorder
Using drugs or alcohol is an unhealthy coping skill that can keep you from living life to your full potential. If you find that your alcohol or substance use interferes with your quality of life, you probably have a substance use disorder. Many drugs are highly addictive, including alcohol. Addiction can cause many negative consequences in your life, such as financial problems, relationship issues, and even trouble with the law.
Admitting you need help is the first step toward recovery. Take an honest look at your life right now. Are you happy with it? Are you accomplishing the things you want? Are your relationships being hindered by your substance use? Have you lost anything due to the substances you use? Are you lacking money, relationships, or self-respect? Addiction can cause a lot of harm.
You don’t have to be a “fall-down drunk” or live on the streets to have a problem with alcohol or drugs. If you’re unhappy and having trouble quitting substances, you may have a problem with them.
We now know that substance use disorder is a disease of the brain. It’s not a moral failing or something you need to be locked away for. Instead, there is now treatment that can help you reclaim your life. You’re worth the work!
Getting Help for Addiction
If you or somebody you love has a problem with drugs, we’re here to help. You can reclaim your life and get started on the path to healing and wellness. Get in touch with your questions at 619-363-4767. All calls are confidential.