Am I addicted to drugs or other substances?
Taking drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, heroin, amphetamines, ecstasy or other substances like sedatives or inhalants, can be hazardous because they can be highly addictive. Many involve serious health risks and can even be life-threatening. Find out if you, or a loved one, need help to stop substance abuse. Take our free substances self-test, or contact us today.
What are the warning signs of a substance addiction?
1. You can’t cut down or stop
Taking drugs or other substances often begins as a way to relieve stress, or have fun with others. But recreational use can quickly turn into a need to always stay high. No longer being able to stop taking substances is a strong indication that you, or a loved one, have developed substance dependency and have become addicted. Wijntje started taking drugs at work, initially only at the weekends, but by the end she had become deeply entangled in the drugs world, unable to quit.
“He told me: You have to stop, you're using too much. You're losing control, you really should stop... but I couldn't… I started using again. I wanted more… I really tried, but I couldn’t. I kept it up for two days, maybe, or even less. People offered me stuff, so I started using again.” Wijntje
2. You’re having cravings
You have cravings for the substance(s) you’re using and will go out of your way to fulfil those urges. The constant need for the substance is dominating your rational thinking and behaviour.
“In the past, I was willing to ride a kid's scooter for an hour and a half... to get to the dealer, because I couldn't afford to get my car fixed… It's an obsession, a desire that overwhelms everything. To use drugs anyway, to get that one kick, that one high. That I probably felt the first time, but I never found again.” Chris
3. You are doing things you wouldn’t normally do
Have you started going to places where you would normally never go? Are you coming into contact with people you would never normally want to mix with? These examples from Triora patients who became addicted to drugs, show what addiction can lead someone to do. It may be reassuring to know that after seeking professional help, they now all lead fulfilling and rewarding lives free from addiction. Find out more on our experiences pages.
“I started stealing from people, I started swindling people, to get my stuff… That seems fairly innocent, but to me it was a very big deal. Because that's not my real nature.” Chris
“By then, things had gotten worse. I'd become a dealer's girlfriend. I worked for him too, as a driver. I helped him set up cannabis gardens... and kept the books for his fake companies. I was in very deep. I got my drugs from him as well.” - Wijntje
“At some point I was even so degenerate that, at the same time as breaking into my parents’ house and stealing things, I saw the car keys and thought, ’Wow, I am actually a nice guy as I could have stolen the car, as well!’ If you are thinking in that way, you are really messed up.” - Michel Odufré, co-creator Triora Model.
4. Taking drugs or substances is negatively impacting other areas of your life
The time you are spending to get the drugs or substances you need, take them and to recover afterwards have started to have a negative impact on your professional, social or family life. If you’ve started to miss work, school or social events, or can’t meet commitments because you’re too busy with your habit, this is another warning sign that what may have started out as a harmless pastime is getting out of hand.
“One characteristic of my addiction is that my life became unmanageable. My life got out of control.” - Chris
5. You are experiencing withdrawal symptoms
You have tried stopping with taking the substance(s), but experience withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, irritability, anxiety, or worse. Taking more cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy or heroin may relieve these symptoms for a while, but will only postpone the need to finally stop before causing yourself or others harm. Cocaine and heroin, for example are highly addictive and if you keep taking either substance over the long term you will eventually become addicted. Continuing to take more and higher quantities carries serious risks. Find out more about the withdrawal symptoms for cocaine and cannabis.
6. Friends and family are concerned
Friends or family members have noticed your habit is becoming a problem and are encouraging you to stop. Is it time to listen to them and finally get help – for your sake as well as theirs?
7. Your substance misuse is putting yourself or others in danger
When substance abuse becomes all-encompassing, as seen above, people may even resort to criminal behaviour, or act in a way that can bring harm to themselves or others. Some substances have particularly serious health consequences and an overdose can be life-threatening.
The World Drug Report 2017 reveals that opioids like heroin are the most dangerous drugs, followed by methamphetamine. The UK has the highest rates globally for emergency hospital treatment for synthetic cannabinoids. Greater drug purity of cocaine is causing increased accident and emergency treatment for cocaine in the UK. If you or a loved one are in danger, seek professional help immediately.
“The first time I was hospitalised, I was fighting for my life… The first time I realised how much pain and grief I caused my family... was when one of my friends, who was in the clinic with me, had a relapse. And he couldn't get out of it again. That's when I saw it. I wanted to help him so much. I really tried my best, and other people as well. We got him back in the clinic, in detox, we picked him up... we went to visit him. Two years ago, he ended his own life. Other people from the clinic came to his cremation too. The family was grieving so much, and I was too. Because I wanted to help him so badly, but I couldn't. That was the first time I understood. Or rather, I got some idea… about how much pain and grief I caused my family.” - Wijntje
Stop taking drugs or other substances with Triora
Every year Triora successfully helps many people with drug and substance addictions to regain a meaningful life. It is possible to overcome addiction, and to again lead a normal and rewarding life, as the co-founder of the Triora Model, Michel Odufré can testify.
“What do we stand for? We are there to give human beings a new life. Nothing more and nothing less. I am therefore always very grateful for every patient who we can help to find a new life. Every day again, I realise that I am a blessed person, in my work as well as my private life. I found Liesbeth, I have been happily married now for 30 years. We have two beautiful daughters and 2 wonderful grandchildren.”
Overcoming addiction to cocaine, cannabis, heroin, ecstasy and other drugs or addictive substances is often not possible without professional help. If the results of our self-test are that you have risky or problem use, or a substance use disorder, please contact us immediately.