For many people, it can be difficult to tell the difference between acceptable or heavy use and addiction. It can be possible for a person to use a drug or alcohol heavily without being addicted to it, and some drugs, like alcohol, are frequently used in moderation at a number of social gatherings.
How, then, can a person tell if they are addicted? Furthermore, is it possible to identify the signs of rock bottom? Here are a few indicators that can help you determine whether you have, in fact, hit your own rock bottom.
Failure to Provide For Yourself in Basic Ways
The ability to complete basic tasks and to pay for things like rent and food is a good indicator that you are living a balanced life. If your drug and alcohol use is interfering with your ability to provide yourself with things like food and shelter, you may be at rock bottom.
For some addicts, this can be somewhat difficult to identify because they may be surrounded (intentionally or not) with people who are enabling them by paying for certain expenses. There is also a difference between falling on hard economic times because of circumstances outside of your control.
If you have lost your job because of your drug or alcohol use or are spending money on drugs or alcohol that should go towards basic expenses, you should seek help immediately.
2. Severed Relationships With Important People In Your Life
One thing that many addicts have in common is a number of severely damaged relationships due to their addictions. Watching a loved one go through being addicted to something is a very painful and difficult process, and many addicts find that they begin to have very strained relationships with those closest to them.
Being estranged from family members, ending relationships because of fights related to your drug use, and finding that you no longer have people to turn to when you need help are all strong indicators that you are in over your head.
3. Serious Consequences
For many addicts, rock bottom comes in the form of a serious event or a wake up call. These major events can include being hospitalized for drinking or drug use, getting into a car accident while under the influence, becoming arrested because of use or because of a behavior that is engaged in while under the influence (including driving), or getting into a fight or altercation while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
4. Frequent Black Outs
Blacking out is very common with alcohol use, but can occur with other drugs as well. Black outs are dangerous for a number of reasons. Firstly, blacking out usually indicates that some serious brain damage has occurred.
When a person has blacked out, they have likely done irreparable damage to their brain cells. Blacking out also poses major threats because while a person is blacked out, they may cause serious harm to themselves and others without being aware of what they are doing.
Blacking out on a regular basis, or having frequent lapses in memory is a sign that you are at rock bottom and should seek help.
5. Emotional Instability
When drug use becomes rampant, an addict often finds that they are not in control of their emotions and that they are facing serious highs and lows that they cannot account for. Serious mood swings that come along with using are a sign that an addiction has begun to take hold and that rock bottom is near. Unjustified feelings of anger or sadness often accompany a major problem with drugs or alcohol.