How to Tell if You Have an Addiction Issue

addiction issue with pills

Addiction comes in many forms, and almost anything can become addictive. Not only drugs and alcohol, but the World Health Organization now also recognizes video game addiction. Then, of course, there is gambling. If you have an addiction issue, it can affect your life in a pretty bad way and the lives of those around you. You might lose family and friends, alienate people and even lose a job. There is always help available, so here are some signs of addiction problems.

It Begins to Affect Your Work

One of the early signs of an addiction issue is that it begins to get in the way of your job, and this can be devastating. An addiction can cause you to lose your job, and this is the last thing you need when you have a family to support. Further, it’s also embarrassing, But the worst thing is that this is the kind of catalyst that can make your addiction issue worse as you take more of what you need to help you through emotionally. In short, this is the beginning of the downward spiral.

Some addiction issues, like video game addiction, can simply get in the way and won’t have lasting repercussions unless you call in sick all the time. But other addictions like taking drugs and alcohol before or after work will ruin your professional and personal life. Drug and alcohol rehab might be the way to go if you are lucky. Consider these before you do something at work that you can’t come back from, such as injuring someone because you are impaired doing your job.

You Have an Addiction Issue if You Need More

Almost all addictions require you to take or do more of the same thing to get the high you are after. This is known as tolerance, and you can build up an intolerance to a habit. This is especially true of drugs like cocaine, heroin, and oxycontin. But even gamblers are known to need to gamble more, making bigger and bolder bets each time. Then there are embarrassing habits such as an addiction to pornography or sex, which is becoming more common these days.

Pretty much everything is easily accessible with the web and Wi-Fi. Watching pornography is very common and is an adult thing to do in the privacy of your home. But imagine getting caught watching something you shouldn’t do in public because you need more. The embarrassment alone is not worth the risk, and it will ruin your professional reputation. And if you are doing something else while watching it, you could be arrested and registered as a sex offender.

You are Self-Medicating Unnecessarily

Addictive drugs are everywhere and widely available. You can get them from your doctor, where habits often start, and you can get them from street dealers. It isn’t uncommon for someone to begin an addiction from a prescription because of a genuine medical problem. But once the treatment ends, you can find yourself wanting more of a drug or even thinking you have a problem that needs medication. Self-medicating is a slippery slope to a severe addiction issue.

The current opioid epidemic from Oxycontin and Purdue Pharma has killed an estimated 645,000 people who began with a prescription and then moved to street drugs. Of course, you may actually be in pain, but self-medicating won’t help you. Any drugs, especially opioids, should be taken under the care of a doctor. But of course, you may find that you self-medicate with cannabis, wine or beer, and even sex to relieve the emotional stress of your personal life.

Some Addiction Statistics to Consider

There are many addictions, some seemingly harmless. But not addiction is harmless because it is an addiction. An addiction gets in the way of your daily life, causes emotional distress, and breaks families apart. Then there are the deaths, crimes, and losses. Any addiction issue must be fed, whether it’s with money, time, or personal loss. And the statistics for addictions are shocking. No addiction comes without negative consequences, so here are some stats for consideration:

  • Tobacco and nicotine is the number one most used addictive substance today.
  • Only around 10% of people addicted to something actively seek treatment.
  • Since 1990, deaths from drug overdose have tripled in the United States alone.
  • Over 90% of people with drug addiction began abusing when they were under 18.
  • Around 8% of US adults, or 24 million people, are classified as addicted to sex.
  • Approximately 60 million gamers are addicted to the hobby they grew up with.
  • People addicted to gambling lose, on average, between $55,000 and $90,000.

If you feel you have an addiction or are headed towards one, get help immediately. There is always help available and it is never too late to get help, get well and start over. Family and friends want to help you whether you believe it or not. And your GP can refer you.

You Feel Awful Without It 

Doing the things you love makes you feel good; that’s why you do them. Finding enjoyment in life is a critical part of living, and it’s commendable when you do find something. Hobbies, for example, are wonderful things to have. But they shouldn’t consume your time and/or money, especially at the expense of those around you. If you find you are engaging in something because you feel terrible when you don’t, you almost definitely have an addiction problem. 

Whether it’s a hobby like video gaming, drinking to excess, or taking drugs to feel better, there is often an underlying cause. It helps to consider what this could be. Maybe you play games to escape the stress and anxiety of the world. Or you drink alcohol for confidence. Depending on these to relieve life issues leads to needing them more, and addiction can actually require your brain, so you feel bad without them. Try to address these issues and work on them yourself.

You Have an Addiction Issue if You Lose Interest in Life

You can become addicted to certain drugs like cocaine because they give you an instant rush of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. These are the hormones released into your system that make you feel good. But they are reserved by your system for times when they are needed after doing something you enjoy naturally. The most common are having sex, eating food you like, and accomplishing something. But you can become dependent on drugs to give you these too.

When you take drugs for these hormones, your body stops producing them naturally because you use the drugs to get them. This leads to a loss of interest in the things you used to love and in life itself. Suppose you used to love playing video games as a hobby, but now you stare blankly at your console’s menu screen before switching it off. You just can’t bring yourself to do what you enjoy. This means you are dependent on your drug of choice to provide pleasure.

Bad Behavior Like Stealing Money

This final sign of addiction is one of the more damaging because it often ends up hurting those around you. Bad habits form bad behaviors, and more often than not, they are directly related to your addiction. It is estimated that 90% of burglaries are directly tied to drug abuse and getting the money needed for substances. But that can easily extend to stealing money or bank cards for new video games, going online to gamble, or paying escorts and prostitutes in your area.

It isn’t only theft that can result from an addiction, though. Other bad behaviors can begin to surface as a direct result. These include becoming violent and abusive, manipulating people into giving you what you want, and embarrassing your family when in public. You can get help for addiction before or when these behaviors begin to creep into your life. And if you already engage in any of these, then you need to assess your situation and get the help you need. 


One of the first things to be affected is your job when you have an addiction issue. You can be addicted to many things, including drugs, sex, and video games. These can often lead to bad habits and behaviors such as stealing, lying, and becoming violent toward your family.

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