Refocus Rehab Melbourne - Am I Addicted?

Updated: September 4, 2020
Reading Time: Estimated 5 Minutes

Am I Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol?

Addiction is a complicated condition. In simple terms it can be described as a compulsive behaviour that promotes an intense focus on a substance that yields negative outcomes. Think alcohol, smoking or drug use.

Two fundamental properties that determine addiction include (i) an addictive stimuli that is reinforcing and (ii) a stimuli that is perceived as being inherently beneficial, desirable, or pleasurable (1).

Many people become addicted to drugs after repeated exposure despite their best efforts. What usually starts as a social habit quickly morphs into a regular day to day problem. Many make this transition on the guise that it helps them focus and concentrate, or helps them relax and ease pain. These examples fulfil both addiction properties of it being reinforcing and it being perceived as inherently beneficial (at least initially).

Key Questions to Ask

The addictions that many in Melbourne currently face continue to be ICE use and excessive alcohol consumption. Here are some of the key questions to ask yourself to determine whether you are addicted to a substance:

  1. Does a large portion of your day revolve around thinking about your substance of choice?
  2. If you drink alcohol, do you spend most of the day thinking about it, or at least, making plans to drink at the earliest opportunity?
  3. Can you go a day or a week without having the substance?
  4. When you’re not immediately consuming the substance, do you feel down, off, or sick?
  5. Do you feel withdrawal symptoms when you’re not on it?
  6. Do you need to have more and more of the substance over time to get the same ‘high’? – Have you tried to reduce consumption but failed?
  7. Do you set yourself goals at the start of the day but ultimately fail by the end of the day?
  8. Do you have family or friends that have remarked that they are worried about you?
  9. Do you isolate yourself from non-using friends in order to consume? 
  10. Has your health suffered? Have you lost friends or a job because of it?
  11. Are you out of money, or struggling financially because of it?
  12. Do you feel guilty about consuming your substance/s of choice?
  13. Do you do things that are embarrassing or make you feel shame upon reflection?
  14. Have you hurt anyone, or nearly hurt someone?
  15. Have you lost contact with friends or family members because of your use?

 

A Real World Example of Addiction

Tom’s story highlights the progressive nature of addiction, but in a way Tom was lucky. Addiction can get so much worse and take so much more. 

Tom

Tom goes to work. Work stresses him. He doesn’t like life at the moment. He starts to drink two beers at the end of the day to ‘relax’.  Over the course of 6 months, he goes from drinking two beers a night to eight to ten beers. Soon enough, he can’t recall a day without drinking alcohol.

He now begins each day by telling himself that he won’t drink that night or that he will only have one or two to self moderate. He ultimately fails and by the end of the day, he just drinks to ‘help’ him sleep and to relax. He ignores or forgets the things he tells himself. Thinking about drinking takes over as the day progresses. Tom slowly realises he’s addicted to alcohol and doesn’t know how to wind back the habit without some help. He relies on it. He feels uneasy about getting or asking for support, but he knows deep down it’s the right move to get his life back on track.

Am I Addicted?

If you’re asking yourself “am I addicted?”, it probably indicates that something isn’t right. No one likes to feel controlled or trapped by a substance in order to live their life. One of the best things about being free from addiction is that it offers potential for big life improvements. The door becomes open again for the opportunity to have a much better life. Rehab in Melbourne can help you recover what has been lost: A zest for life and the incredible feeling of moving forward and upward. 

If you feel as if you’re addicted to a substance and its yielding negative outcomes in your life, it may be time to seek assistance. Life can be destroyed by addiction pretty quickly. If so, your first point of support should be your GP and/or your specialist. If you feel rehab is the right move and would like to know more, you’re more than welcome to call the team here at Refocus. No one is going to pressure you on the call. We will simply offer information to you or your loved one in order to make a decision. Life can be turned around pretty quickly with the right support, education and treatment. 

There is no point in waiting until the time is right. There is no perfect time. Please call (03) 9537 0880 if you’re interested in getting some info or organising a tour of our rehab, just minutes away from the Melbourne CBD.

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