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Am I addicted? Take the APA 7 questions test.
Are you an addict...7 questions
The line between use and abuse, and between abuse and addiction get seem a bit fuzzy at times, and especially when your mind may be a lot clouded by regular intoxication and the effects of drugs or alcohol.
But it is important for you to recognize the severity of the problem as this can help you when making decisions about appropriate treatment needs, and best therapeutic options.
The APA test for addiction
The American Psychiatric Association uses a very easy to self use test of 7 questions to assess addiction, and if you answer yes to three or more questions you are likely addicted to either drugs or alcohol.
- Do you have a tolerance…do you need more of the drug or alcohol than you used to get the same effects?
- Do you ever feel withdrawal symptoms after stopping use, or do you ever use any other substance to prevent these symptoms (e.g.…using benzo's instead of alcohol)?
- Do you ever take more of a drug or alcohol than you had intended on? For example, you go out for a drink at lunch intending to get back to work, and end up have 10 and writing off a day at the office.
- Have you ever tried to reduce your usage, and found that you cannot, or that you soon find yourself using at the same level again?
- Do you have a preoccupation with the drug? Which means, do you spend a great deal of time, thinking about getting, using and then recovering from the use of drugs or alcohol?
- Have you ever stopped participating in worthwhile activities that you used to enjoy because of your drug or alcohol use? For example, you used to enjoy an early morning hockey league…but with hangovers, cannot any longer.
- Have you ever continued to use drugs or alcohol even in the face of adverse social or health consequences? For example, getting reprimanded at work or gaining excessive weight.
If you can honestly answer yes to three or more of these questions, you may have an addiction issue, and should probably seek out some form of professional help for assistance. If you do not answer yes to three of these questions, but are having doubts about your drinking or drug use, you are likely a substance abuser, but not yet dependant.
If you answer yes to less than three
If you are not yet dependant, you are at great risk to become so if you do not curtail your usage, but the difficulty in reducing consumption is much less than for addicted people, and you may well be able to stop or moderate your consumption without professional help.
Moderation is always the key, but for too many of us moderation gets thrown out the window along the road to abuse and dependency. If you need some help with drinking or drug use, consult with a local doctor for advice, with local addictions services, or visit an AA or NA meeting for advice.
Substance abuse problems very rarely go away on their own, and it takes determination, and often professional help to better addiction, and enjoy a life of sobriety.