Symptoms of Alcoholism & Drug Addiction

Addiction and substance abuse create a battle that takes a physical, mental, and emotional toll on millions of women. It can feel impossible to get out of the destructive cycle and start your life over. Sanford House believes in empowering women to take charge of their lives and transform what may seem dark and unrelenting into something beautiful.

Identifying the signs and symptoms of alcoholism and drug addiction in yourself can help start your journey to recovery.

Women may ask themselves, “Am I an alcoholic?” or “Am I an addict?” If you use alcohol and/or drugs to cope with difficulties and avoid feeling bad, addiction can creep up on you. Not all drinkers or drug users become addicts, but as your tolerance increases, your risk is greater. It is important to examine the following symptoms of alcoholism, drug abuse and the signs of addiction.

What is Substance Abuse – Signs and Symptoms

You’ve lost control over your drinking and/or using drugs.

You often drink more alcohol or use more drugs than you wanted to, for longer than you intended, or despite telling yourself you wouldn’t.

You want to quit drinking or using, but you can’t.

You have a persistent desire to cut down or stop, but your efforts to quit have been unsuccessful.

You have given up other activities because of alcohol and/or drug use.

You’re spending less time on activities that used to be important to you (hanging out with family and friends, going to the gym, pursuing your hobbies) because of your using.

Alcohol and/or drugs take up a great deal of your energy and focus.

You spend a lot of time drinking or using, thinking about it, or recovering from its effects. You have few if any interests or social involvements that don’t revolve around drinking or using drugs.

You drink or use drugs even though you know it’s causing problems.

For example, you recognize that your alcohol and/or drug use is damaging your marriage and/or other relationships, making your depression worse, or causing health problems, but you continue to use anyway.


Myth #1: I can stop drinking/using drugs anytime I want to.

Perhaps you can or you cannot, but more than likely, this is just an excuse to continue to use. Telling yourself so may give you the illusion that you are in control when other areas of your life are not.

Myth #2: My drinking/using drugs is my problem. It doesn’t hurt anyone else.

If you ask, you would find that your using affects many people around you, and that your problem is also their problem.

Myth #3: I don’t drink every day, so I can’t be an alcoholic. I only drink beer or wine, so I can’t be an alcoholic. I only smoke pot, so I can’t be an addict. (or similar alcohol or drug use, fill in your choice).

Alcoholism and/or drug addiction is NOT defined by what you drink or use, or even how much you use. It is the effects of your using that define the problem.

Myth #4: I’m not an alcoholic or addict because I have a job and I am doing okay.

Just because you are employed and/or high-functioning doesn’t mean you are not addicted. Over time, the effects of abuse will catch up with you.

If you are experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms of alcohol abuse or drug addiction or feel you may have an addiction problem, contact us today to learn more about the treatment options we offer.

Treatment Options