Anytime Is the Right Time to Ask For Help with a Substance Use Problem

Denial and procrastination pose the two greatest barriers in knowing when to ask for help concerning substance use. Denial is the No. 1 symptom of alcohol and drug abuse. Procrastination is human nature, and using the holiday season as an excuse to procrastinate dealing with substance use concerns is just a handy way to put off reality…

“I’ll get serious about my drinking issues as soon as New Year’s Eve has passed.”

“I’ll put down the drink when I’m not so tempted at all the holiday parties.”

“I’m just going to take this pill to calm down from all the holiday rush, and then I’ll stop.”

People with concerns about overuse of alcohol or drugs tend to have mastered this type of thought manipulation. The truth of the matter is that anytime is the right time to ask for help with substance use. You don’t have to wait until disaster strikes to find out how to succeed at healthy living without the use of drugs or alcohol.

Symptoms Of Addiction Indicate When To Ask For Help

Addiction is a progressive disease, which means the problems and repercussions of alcohol and drug abuse continue to worsen. Sometimes the disease progresses rapidly; in other cases, more slowly. Knowing the symptoms of progressive alcohol or drug abuse may help you avoid the health problems, misery and chaos that come with uncontrolled substance use.
Some symptoms that indicate problematic substance use, and therefore point to the time to ask for help, include:

  • Increased tolerance – When your body seems to be able to tolerate increasing amounts of alcohol or drugs without the usual effects, it could indicate growing dependence. Other factors, such as gender, family history, eating habits and sleep patterns also may affect tolerance, but it is a symptom that requires attention.
  • Withdrawal – Symptoms of withdrawal vary, depending on the substance being used and the duration of use. Symptoms can range from feelings of nausea and inability to focus, to convulsions and violent behavior.
  • Relationship problems – When relationships with family, friends and employers consistently become volatile, argumentative and lacking trust, alcohol and drug abuse often is at the root of the problem. When people become more focused on their substance of choice than on responsible and loving behavior, it is time to ask for help.

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About the Reviewer: Chris Barnes

Chris BarnesChristopher Barnes has worked in health care for over thirty years. He is a graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a double Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1982. Christopher Barnes is currently the Director of Clinical services at The Discovery House where he has been employed for the past five years. Because of his extensive experience in health care & substance abuse he has an excellent rapport with constituents, clients, and other professional organizations in the counseling/social service community.

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