Many people use substances for a variety of reasons and to varying degrees. It is common for individuals to occasionally use substances (such as alcohol, recreational drugs, etc.) to relax, have fun, or to use as a means to cope with life stressors. Substance misuse/abuse refers to a pattern of substance use behaviours that become problematic due to an individual becoming physically and/or psychologically dependent on the substance where it begins to cause distress and/or impact their daily life.
Take inventory of your symptoms. The following are common symptoms of someone struggling with substance addiction:
A strong desire or urge to use the substance
Unsuccessful efforts to cut down on and/or control substance use.
Difficulties with fulfilling general life responsibilities (at work, school, home, etc.) due to substance use.
Withdrawing from previously enjoyed activities due to substance use.
Withdrawing from family, friends, and/or partner due to substance use.
Experiencing conflict (with family, friends, partner, coworkers) due to substance use.
Experiencing sudden changes in mood and behaviour, and having difficulty regulating oneself without the use of the substance.
Difficulties with eating, sleeping, memory and motivation.
Engaging in secretive behaviour to hide and/or use substances alone.