Addiction can be sneaky. It's all too easy to convince yourself that you're fine when you're actually heading down a dangerous path of drinking or drug abuse. If you are wondering whether you need help with quitting your drinking or drug use, that in itself is a sign that it's probably time for treatment. Here are some other red flags to look out for.

1. You need more of a substance to feel its effects.

Developing a tolerance to a substance is one of the hallmark signs of addiction. If you've noticed that your substance of choice isn't working as well as it used to, or if you've started using more than one substance at the same time to get your desired effect, you've probably already lost control of your use.

2. You're experiencing physical side effects from your drinking or drug use.

Alcohol and drugs wreak havoc on the body, especially when you use them heavily. If you've noticed that your drinking or drug use is causing unwanted physical symptoms, or if you've developed health problems as a result of using, it's time to seek help.

3. You have withdrawal symptoms if you don't drink or use.

Do you tremble, feel sick, or get irritable when you don't use your substance of choice? Withdrawals are an indication that you're physically addicted to alcohol or drugs. Some withdrawals can be dangerous, so it's incredibly important to detox under the supervision of a professional.

4. Your drinking or drug use is affecting your relationships and friendships.

Have you lost friends or changed friend groups as a result of your drug or alcohol use? Or are you struggling to maintain good relationships with your family members or significant other? Addiction drives a wedge between you and the people who care about you, and the resulting isolation can make your problem even worse. Seeking treatment right away can help you avoid losing relationships that are important to you.

5. You're struggling at work or school.

If your grades are slipping, your attendance at work is worsening, or you've been written up by your boss as a result of your substance use, it's definitely time to get help.

6. You've lost interest in things you used to enjoy doing.

Substance abuse has a way of pushing everything else out of your life. If most of your free time revolves around getting and using alcohol or drugs, you're losing out on a lot of joy in life. But all the hobbies you used to love are still there waiting for you, and you'll be able to rediscover them after seeking treatment.

7. You drink or use alone.

Getting drunk or using drugs alone isn't just dangerous. It's a sign that you're in pain, whether you are consciously aware of it or not. It's also classic addict behavior, and it won't make anything better. Seeking treatment will allow you to deal with your pain appropriately, instead of just covering it up.

8. You have put yourself or others in danger because of your drinking or drug use.

No high is worth endangering yourself or your loved ones. If you've ever driven a car while under the influence or put yourself and others in a similarly dangerous situation, there is a problem, and seeking help is the responsible thing to do.

9. You hide your drinking or drug use from others.

Lying and shame go hand-in-hand when it comes to drinking and drug use. Hiding from loved ones so they don't know you're intoxicated, secretly buying more alcohol to replace what you drank, or otherwise covering up your substance use is no way to live, and you don't have to continue living that way.

10. You feel trapped in your situation and don't know how to get out.

If you feel as if you can't extricate yourself from the situation you've gotten into, take a deep breath and realize that help is available. In fact, you can take the first steps towards recovery right now by learning about the treatment resources available in your area. Addiction is tough, but you are tougher, and more people are rooting for you than you might realize. Acknowledging that it's time to seek treatment is the first step towards recovering and living a full life again.

To learn more about treatment options, please visit The Recovery Village.

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