Defining the Problem

In an addiction, you may have spent so much time trying to figure out how to get the substance, getting the substance and recovering from the substance that you formed a relationship with the substance.  Remember your first love?  How you felt the butterflies in your stomach and excitement when she or he would walk in the room?  How he or she was all you could think about all day?  How your day was planned around trying to spend as much time with the person as possible?  In a normal relationship when this preoccupation started interfering with other areas of your life, you would be able to refocus your attention and take care of business.  In an addiction, you cannot get refocused in one or more areas of your life because of your preoccupation (obsession) with the addiction.  When you began to have major problems in your life as a result of the addiction, but continued to use anyway, you had become an addict.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may have an addiction.

  • Have you tried to cut down and failed?
  • Do you need more of the same substance or activity or need to combine substances or activities to get the same high?
  • Do you spend more time than intended thinking about, preparing for and/or recovering from using the substance or engaging in the behavior?
  • Have you spend more money than intended on the substance or behavior?
  • Have you neglected other areas of your life (hobbies, family, work, finances) for the substance or behavior?
  • Do you continue to engage in the behavior even though it has directly or indirectly caused you multiple problems (health, relationship, financial, legal, work etc.)