Are you an Alcoholic or Addict?


How do you know when your passion for/obsession with/overuse of alcohol/weed/sex/your preferred drug or process, tips over into addiction?


Are you asking yourself whether you’re an alcoholic, addict or sex addict? “Is your drinking or drugging really a bigger problem than you allow yourself to think?”; “Does your wife/husband/boss have it right and is there actually have a problem?”; “Why can’t you seem to stop drinking when you start (but you’re surely not an alcoholic because you’re not a *daily drinker)?”


The truth is, you generally won’t know when you cross the invisible line into physical and mental addiction until it’s too late. However, your body will give you definite physical warning signs. And your intuition/innate intelligence/gut feeling (whatever you’d like to call that feeling). You know the feeling - that deep inner knowing we all have, that keeps us alive as humans and clearly indicates to us out truth, this will inform us.


Firstly, your body will give you distinct signs when your enthusiastic use of or indulgence in a substance, tips over into unhealthy behaviour. In terms of drinking and drugging, below are a few questions for you. 

  • if you’re experiencing a racing heart, shakiness and anxiety the day after drinking (and this has progressed from a simple feeling of malaise, headache and or nausea)

 your body has developed a dependency of the substance. 

  • If the ends of your fingers are tingling, you’re starting to look at permanent nerve damage and need to seek help. 

  • If you’re taking a morning drink to calm your nerves or seeking out another hit of drugs - again, it’s time to address your usage. 

  • If sex has turned into hours of porn use each day, constant cheating on your partner and hours spent lining up sex, it’s time to take a look at things.  

  • If gambling is entering your mind every day and your savings are running low, there’s a problem.  

  • If your day is planned around when to have sugar - binge and purge - you have a problem. 


It’s also highly important to note that addiction is most likely a result of complex trauma, often a combination of many little traumas that happened in your early life. You are not weak-willed or morally bankrupt. Addictive behaviour is the pathological soothing of a deep psychological wound. Even if you think you’re mostly “fine” and are doing it for fun, it’s likely there’s more going on under the surface - addictions numb our feelings. With our feelings numbed and our perceptions radically altered, sometimes we destroy ourselves before we’re willing to look at our own behaviour. Whether you’re reading this article for yourself or a friend, the takeaway here is – if you think there’s a problem do seek to understand more and see a professional.


As humans we all have craving minds. If we’re courageous enough to do the inner enquiry then we can change our lives for the better.  All addictive patterns, are exactly that: patterns. There is a chase, a high, a low, a feeling of loss, emptiness, despair or shame. The more we indulge in these patterns the lower the low, or deeper the shame becomes. 


An Addiction Recovery coach can discuss with you the DSM IV and we do a deep dive analysis. However, the truth about the state of your use/misuse/abuse can be understood by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Have you tried to control your usage but not been able to (not succeeded)?

  • Have you tried to cut out the drug or activity and not been able to?

  • Has it (drug or substance) negatively affected your work, relationship, family or spiritual life?

  • Has your usage had any legal consequences? For example, a DUI charge. 

  • When not using or engaging with the substance or behaviour are your spending  a significant amount of time obsessing over using or working to obtain it.


If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to one of these questions, your usage has crossed into the unhealthy. Now this could be a one-off; we can all abuse a substance or process for a period, experience consequences and then right the ship. However, if you’re answering ‘yes’ to two or more of these questions, we’re looking at abuse and if you’ve answered ‘yes’ to all five we’re likely looking at a severe addiction.  Addiction is a chronic brain relapsing disorder. If you have a moderate to severe addiction it will not resolve itself, because the neurology of the brain has changed.  Now this does not mean you’re destined to a lifetime of AA, NA, GA or SLA meeting in dingy church basements, jail or death.  There are many ways to recover, which may, or may not include 12 step meetings, and an incredible and powerful new lease on life. The future can be incredibly bright but denial will not land you in a brighter future. 


*being a daily drinker does not indicate alcoholism; someone who has 1 or 2 drinks every day can be a very healthy drinker, while someone who doesn’t drink for months and binges can be severe alcoholic.


There is a way out of this. The shame, fear, uncertainty. When it comes to addiction, if you have not crossed that invisible line of no return, you could save yourself years of heartache and many tens of thousands of dollars. If you fear you have a problem here on Heal.me you find an Addiction Specialist or Recovery Coach (one who specialises in addiction and is trauma-informed). Althernatley you can find a 12 step or SMART Recovery program









As humans we have an innate wisdom at our core, a knowing on how to stay alive, and we know within ourselves when somethings not right (even if we try to numb those feelings or drown those thoughts). If you’re asking yourself whether you have a problem, you (more than?) likely do, even if it’s mild and you can recover relatively easily. If you’re reading this article, something is likely amiss.  As humans we all have craving minds. If we’re courageous enough to do the inner enquiry then we can change our lives for the better.  All addictive patterns, are exactly that: patterns. There is a chase, a high, a low, a feeling of loss, emptiness, despair or shame. The more we indulge in these patterns the lower the low, or deeper the shame becomes. 


An Addiction Recovery coach can discuss with you the DSM IV and we do a deep dive analysis. However, the truth about the state of your use/misuse/abuse can be understood by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Have you tried to control your usage but not been able to (not succeeded)?

  • Have you tried to cut out the drug or activity and not been able to?

  • Has it (drug or substance) negatively affected your work, relationship, family or spiritual life?

  • Has your usage had any legal consequences? For example, a DUI charge. 

  • When not using or engaging with the substance or behaviour are your spending  a significant amount of time obsessing over using or working to obtain it.


If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to one of these questions, your usage has crossed into the unhealthy. Now this could be a one-off; we can all abuse a substance or process for a period, experience consequences and then right the ship. However, if you’re answering ‘yes’ to two or more of these questions, we’re looking at abuse and if you’ve answered ‘yes’ to all five we’re likely looking at a severe addiction.  Addiction is a chronic brain relapsing disorder. If you have a moderate to severe addiction it will not resolve itself, because the neurology of the brain has changed.  Now this does not mean you’re destined to a lifetime of AA, NA, GA or SLA meeting in dingy church basements, jail or death.  There are many ways to recover, which may, or may not include 12 step meetings, and an incredible and powerful new lease on life. The future can be incredibly bright but denial will not land you in a brighter future. 



*being a daily drinker does not indicate alcoholism; someone who has 1 or 2 drinks every day can be a very healthy drinker, while someone who doesn’t drink for months and binges can be severe alcoholic.



There is a way out of this. The shame, fear, uncertainty. When it comes to addiction, if you have not crossed that invisible line of no return, you could save yourself years of heartache and many tens of thousands of dollars. If you fear you have a problem here on Heal.me you find an Addiction Specialist or Recovery Coach (one who specialises in addiction and is trauma-informed). Althernatley you can find a 12 step or SMART Recovery program


World Drug Report 2019: 35 million people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders while only 1 in 7 people receive treatment United Nations report, Vienna, 26 June 2019 World Drug Report 2019: 35 million people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders while only 1 in 7 people receive treatment



  • Almost 74% of adults suffering from a substance use disorder in 2017 struggled with an alcohol use disorder.1

  • About 38% of adults in 2017 battled an illicit drug use disorder.1

  • That same year, 1 out of every 8 adults struggled with both alcohol and drug use disorders simultaneously.1

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017.1

  • Almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, yet only 10% of them receive treatment.

  • Drug overdose deaths have more than tripled since 1990.

  • From 1999 to 2017, more than 700,000 Americans died from overdosing on a drug.

  • Alcohol and drug addiction cost the US economy over $600 billion every year.

  • In 2017, 34.2 million Americans committed DUI, 21.4 million under the influence of alcohol and 12.8 million under the influence of drugs.

  • About 20% of Americans who have depression or an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder.

  • More than 90% of people who have an addiction started to drink alcohol or use drugs before they were 18 years old.

  • Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 are most likely to use addictive drugs.

  • Almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, yet only 10% of them receive treatment.

  • Drug overdose deaths have more than tripled since 1990.

  • From 1999 to 2017, more than 700,000 Americans died from overdosing on a drug.

  • Alcohol and drug addiction cost the US economy over $600 billion every year.

  • In 2017, 34.2 million Americans committed DUI, 21.4 million under the influence of alcohol and 12.8 million under the influence of drugs.

  • About 20% of Americans who have depression or an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder.

  • More than 90% of people who have an addiction started to drink alcohol or use drugs before they were 18 years old.

Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 are most likely to use addictive drugs. -  Recovery Worldwide, LLC

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