looks like fun, huh?
By Cheryl Steinberg
There’s a difference between recreational use and full-on addiction. Those of us who realize this also know that drinking and using drugs isn’t necessarily fun. Here are 7 signs your drinking/drug use has stopped being fun.
#1. People are constantly confronting you about it
Seriously, how much fun are you having when the people closest to you: your family, friends, girlfriend/boyfriend – are ‘nagging’ you about your drinking and drugging? When it’s gotten bad enough that others are noticing and speaking up about it, that’s a sign that you have a problem and that it’s affecting your loved ones – the people you supposedly care the most about. When you see how much it’s hurting them, that can’t be too much fun, either.
#2. You don’t want to do it anymore; you have to do it
One of the glaring signs your drinking/drug use has stopped being fun is that you no longer have a choice in the matter. Rather than wanting to get drunk or high, you need to, in order to avoid terrifying withdrawal symptoms or else to just feel normal. So, tell me, how enjoyable is it to feel like a slave to the substance?
#3. You’re experiencing health problems
You’re constantly waking up feeling like absolute dog sh*t, maybe it’s a head-splitting headache and hangover or it’s being dope sick. Or, you’ve noticed that you’re getting frequent headaches, losing or gaining weight rapidly, have a persistent and nasty couch, constant skin infections from picking at your face, arms, and legs, and so on.
#4. You end up in the hospital
Whether it’s yet another overdose or a gut pain that has you doubled over in the fetal position, thinking you’re dying (it’s really an attack of pancreatitis) that lands you in the hospital, you’re becoming a ‘frequent flyer’ at the Emergency Room and that really sucks. Who wants to spend their time in the hospital? Not really my idea of fun.
#5. There’s no one around anymore
Certainly you’d agree that your substance abuse has stopped being fun when you’re using/drinking by yourself. That’s the thing about substance abuse and addiction; it causes you to become increasingly isolated and lonely.
#6. The alcohol/drugs make you physically sick but you can’t stop
For some of us, the drugs and alcohol started to make us sick but, without them, we were much worse off. So, we kept on drinking and using because we didn’t have another option.
For example, my drug use started with alcohol in high school but, by the time I was in college, alcohol stopped working for me: I couldn’t drink enough to get drunk because even the smallest amounts of it made me feel sick. Then I discovered Tramadol, an opioid. I noticed that, when I took it and then drank, I could drink more and get drunk. Plus, the synergistic effect of the two drugs made it all that much better of a high.
But, again that stopped working and I could no longer drink. I didn’t mind because I had painkillers in my life at this point. Fast forward several years later and I’m shooting pills and heroin. Eventually, I developed a nasty migraine condition that would get worse when I used opiates. But I couldn’t stop using them or I’d get violently dope sick. I was in a no-win situation. That’s such a terrible place to be stuck.
#7. Your drinking/drug use causes mental problems
Although we often turn to alcohol and other drugs to self-medicate our psychological problems, such as depression and anxiety, even auditory hallucinations, eventually, these substances turn on us, making matters way worse. Our mental health only deteriorates; our anxiety increases, our depression becomes even more extreme, psychosis is common – as many of us end up in psych wards, and so on.
If you recognize that you are continuing to drink or use other drugs despite no longer wanting to, it can be a scary realization. The good news is that there is another option rather than continuing your substance abuse. You can stop and recovery is possible. Call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist who can tell you all about it and answer all of your questions.