“Am I An Addict?” Scottsdale treatment center Desert Cove Recovery hears this question often. It’s a question that many who struggle with a substance use disorder fear asking themselves or answering honestly. Substance abuse and substance use disorders create a plethora of physical, behavioral, emotional, social, and relational issues that have a negative impact on the person and their circle.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people often begin using substances for several reasons. Some of the most common include: 
- A desire to “feel good,” to experience a high or intense pleasure
- A desire to feel better or numb and relieve stress or escape their circumstances
- A desire to perform or think better and more efficiently
- A desire to be included when under peer pressure
- A desire to experiment or simple curiosity
It can be difficult to determine whether addiction has taken root or if there is merely a dependence on any given substance. The line is often blurred between these two positions, and it’s difficult to know what next steps are best for one’s treatment or recovery.
What Factors Lead To Addiction?
One’s likelihood of developing an addiction varies depending on a number of factors. Each person’s life experience is different, and their reactions to what they face are also different.
From genetics, gender, and mental health disorders to childhood trauma or abuse, peer influences, and academic achievements, all of these factors have an effect on how one uses substances. The scientific community attributes genetics and environmental factors to account for 40% to 60% of the risk of a person developing an addiction. 
Take This NA Approved Addiction Assessment
If you believe you or a loved one may have a drug problem, ask these questions as honestly as possible. These questions were approved and developed by recovering addicts in Narcotics Anonymous who use their experience to help others. 
#1 Do you ever use substances when you’re alone?
Using substances while you are alone could be dangerous or even fatal.
#2 Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking that one particular drug was the problem?
Substituting one drug for another may sound like a solution but only serves to begin a new substance dependence.
#3 Have you ever manipulated or lied to a doctor to obtain prescription drugs?
A physician’s job is to ensure patients receive the care they need, but patients must be honest to succeed. If you’ve ever manipulated or lied to a doctor to obtain a prescription, this can indicate addiction.
#4 Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to obtain drugs?
Stealing drugs or money for drugs is a slippery slope that should be an immediate indicator that there is more than recreational consumption at play.
#5 Do you regularly use a drug when you wake up or when you go to bed?
Routines are how one forms habits. Habits are where addictions take root. If you regularly reach for a specific substance when you wake up or before bed, you may have a more severe problem than you realize.
#6 Have you ever taken one drug to overcome the effects of another?
The practice of doubling up on substances can be dangerous to one’s health.
#7 Do you avoid people or places that do not approve of you using drugs?
Those who care about you and your health could be a crucial support network. If you avoid people or places while using drugs, you likely need help to stop using.
#8 Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or what it would do to you?
Using a drug without knowing what it is is a form of reckless behavior that can be common in those who suffer from substance use disorders.
#9 Has your job or school performance ever suffered from the effects of your drug use?
Drugs alter the state of mind and being and can negatively impact the quality of life. Even before your job or school performance suffers, you could be on a path to addiction.
#10 Have you ever been arrested as a result of using drugs?
Criminal activity often goes hand-in-hand with substance use disorders.
#11 Have you ever lied about what or how much you use?
Not being honest about substance use can have severe or fatal consequences.
#12 Do you put the purchase of drugs ahead of your financial responsibilities?
Addictive substances can cloud one’s judgment and lead to financial ruin.
#13. Have you ever tried to stop or control your use?
Once addiction takes root, it’s extremely difficult to quit alone. If you’ve ever tried to stop using or control your substance use, you may have a substance use disorder.
#14 Have you ever been in a jail, hospital, or drug rehabilitation center due to using?
Being arrested, admitted into a hospital or drug rehab center are often the natural consequences of impaired judgment and substance use.
#15 Does using interfere with sleeping or eating?
Interrupting sleep patterns and other essential functions can adversely affect the already harmful effects of substances.
#16 Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you?
The thought of experiencing withdrawal symptoms can be intimidating. There is hope and help available at the leading Scottsdale treatment center.
#17 Do you feel it is impossible for you to live without drugs?
The thought of living without drugs can be a place of despair and fear, but it is not true. You or your loved one can heal and recover.
#18 Do you ever question your own sanity?
Questioning your own sanity is a common symptom of a drug problem.
#19 Is your drug use making life at home unhappy?
Natural and relational consequences can be devastating as a result of drug use. Healing is the answer.
#20 Have you ever thought you couldn’t fit in or have a good time without drugs?
This is a lie a dependent brain can tell those suffering from substance use disorders. Millions of people fit in with others and have a good time without using substances, and so can you.
#21 Have you ever felt defensive, guilty, or ashamed about your substance use?
Feeling defensive, guilty, or ashamed of your substance use is natural but unnecessary. Help is available, free of guilt or shame.
#22 Do you think a lot about drugs?
When it occupies the mind, it can feel more essential than it truly is.
#23 Have you had irrational or indefinable fears?
Some substances can exacerbate erratic fight or flight instincts and cause paranoia.
#24 Has using affected your sexual relationship?
Intimacy is an important element of the human experience. If your use of substances has affected your sexual relationship, it’s time to get help.
#25 Have you ever taken drugs you didn’t prefer?
Familiarity with using can promote a dismissive attitude about dangerous substances.
#26 Have you ever used drugs because of emotional pain or stress?
Numbing out emotional pain or stress is a common motivation for substance use, but there are other answers. Contact a top Scottsdale treatment center today.
#27 Have you ever overdosed on any drugs?
While there are ways to help someone during an overdose, some people do not recover from the overdose. It’s not worth the risk.
#28 Do you continue to use despite negative consequences?
It can feel hopeless, like there is no use in trying to beat the substance. However, there is help and healing on the other side of treatment.
#29 Do you think that you have a drug problem?
Based on the answers above, one must be completely honest. When you think about your use of drugs and alcohol, do you think you have a problem? Make sure you are taking the time to evaluate whether you are in denial about your use, or not.
Asking “Am I an Addict?” It’s Time to Get Help
When you look at the questions above, if you find that you’ve answered yes to more than a few questions, it’s time to get help. Contact the professionals at Desert Cove Recovery today to get started.
Sources: https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/drug-misuse-addiction  https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/references  https://m.na.org/?ID=ips-an-an-IP7