Sometimes, you get wrapped up in something without realizing that it’s spiralled out of control. You might start drinking or using a drug with benign intentions, such as to relax a little in the evening, loosen inhibitions at a few parties, or because a doctor prescribed you a medication for pain. However, if you find yourself using a substance regularly and you can’t stop, it may be time to ask some tough questions. We want you to be aware of the signs of addiction, since early detection and treatment maximizes the chances of achieving a successful long-term recovery.

Here are twelve signs that you may be addicted to alcohol or drugs. Any combination of the following should prompt you to ask for help.

(1) You Have Cravings

You have strong—sometimes uncontrollable and compelling—urges to use a particular substance, and take steps to seek it out.
You have persistent, disruptive, irresistible thoughts telling you to use alcohol or drugs.

(2) You Keep Using More and More Often

You find yourself using more often, and using more substance over time.
You need larger amounts of a substance to get the effect you want—a phenomenon called tolerance.

(3) You’ve Tried to Cut Down, But Can’t

Even if you wanted to, you can’t reduce drug or alcohol use. You’ve tried to use a substance less often or in smaller amounts, but you’ve been unsuccessful. You’ve felt physical withdrawal or detox symptoms when trying to cut back, such as anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations, dizziness, or others.

(4) You’re Losing Money

You’re spending a lot of your money on alcohol or drugs.
You don’t have enough money to eat healthy or to pay important bills, such as your credit card, rent, phone, utilities, etc.

(5) You’ve Lost Time for Other Important Things

You’re spending all your time and focus getting, using, and recovering from alcohol or drugs.
You’ve quit many of the activities that you used to enjoy. You spend less time with friends and family.

(6) Your Academics are Suffering

Your marks have declined since you started using alcohol or drugs.
You’re failing in one or more of your classes where before drugs or alcohol, your grades were fine.  You show up to important classes or exams drunk, high, or hung over.

(7) Your Work is Slipping

You’re missing work more often due to drug or alcohol use. Drugs or alcohol prevent you from fulfilling work responsibilities.
You’re worried about getting fired from your job—or you’ve already been fired and you suspect substance use has something to do with it.

(8) You’re Losing Important Relationships

You feel guilty about lying, breaking promises, or in general behaving regrettably towards loved ones because of your alcohol or drug use. You feel the need to hide your substance use from friends.
You’re losing friends and relationships with significant others.

(9) You’re Fighting with Your Family Members

You feel guilty about lying, breaking promises, or in general behaving regrettably towards your family because of your alcohol or drug use. Substance use has changed the way your family treats you. You are always asking family members to lend you money, but you lie about using it for drugs or alcohol.

(10) You’re A Danger to Yourself and Others

You’ve put yourself at risk because of your alcohol or drug use, such as associating with dangerous people, or overdosing. You’ve had to visit the hospital due substance use.
You’re endangering other people in your life because of your alcohol or drug use.

(11) You Keep Using Even Though It’s Causing You Harm

You notice the ways substance use is harming your life—such as your job, your relationships, and your bank account—but you can’t stop using.
You keep using even though you’ve had health problems due to alcohol or drug use.

(12) You’re in Denial

You believe you can stop when you want but it’s not the right time, you need something to help you cope or be social, or you simply don’t feel like stopping right now.
You notice signs that you may have a problem, such as the ones above, but you find ways of ignoring or forgetting them, perhaps by more substance or alcohol use.


Now Is the Time to Act

Do any of these points resonate with you? If you see more than a couple of the signs above in your behaviour, then it’s probably time for you to get help. Fortunately, rehab centers in Alberta, like Sandstone, have many options for compassionate professional treatment that can increase your chances of recovery and still fit into your life. Depending on your needs, you may choose a residential drug rehab program or an outpatient program, such as at our drug rehab center in Calgary. Our admissions counsellors at our Calgary treatment center can help you determine which option is best for you. Either way, you should seek out professional help to assess your problem and get you the help you need before more damage is done. If you start now, you can get your life back sooner.

Call us! We Can Help

If you would like to learn more about the treatment programs provided by Sandstone, our drug rehab center in Alberta, or to enroll yourself or refer a loved one, please call us at one of the numbers below. Our phone lines are open 24/7—so you can call us anytime.

  • 1-587-602-0266 for EHN Sandstone, in Calgary, AB
  • 1-866-947-5911 for Edgewood Treatment Centre in Nanaimo, BC
  • 1-866-828-2959 for EHN Whiterock, in Surrey, BC
  • 1-866-965-4345 for Clinique Nouveau Départ in Montreal, QC
  • 1-866-926-4196 for Bellwood Health Services in Toronto, ON