Am I an Addict?

Only you can answer this question.

This may not be an easy thing to do. All through our usage, we told ourselves, “I can handle it.” Even if this was true in the beginning, it is not so now. The drugs handled us. We lived to use and used to live. Very simply, an addict is a person whose life is controlled by drugs.
Perhaps you admit you have a problem with drugs, but you don’t consider yourself an addict. All of us have preconceived ideas about what an addict is. There is nothing shameful about being an addict once you begin to take positive action. If you can identify with our problems, you may be able to identify with our solution. The following questions were written by recovering addicts in Narcotics Anonymous. If you have doubts ab out whether or not you’re an addict, take a few moments to read the questions below and answer them as honestly as you can.

1. Do you ever use alone?
Yes

No

2. Have you ever substituted one
drug for another, thinking that
one particular drug was the problem?
Yes

No

3. Have you ever manipulated or lied to a doctor
to obtain prescription drugs?
Yes

No

4. Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to obtain drugs?
Yes

No

5. Do you regularly use a drug when yo
u wake up or when you go to bed? Yes

No

6. Have you ever taken one drug to overcome the effects of another?
Yes

No

7. Do you avoid people or places that
do not approve of you using drugs? Yes

No

8. Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was

or what it would do to you?
Yes

No

9. Has your job or school
performance ever suffered
from the effects of your drug use?
Yes

No

10. Have you ever been arrested as a result of using drugs?
Yes

No

11. Have you ever lied about what or how much you use?
Yes

No

12. Do you put the purchase of drugs ahead of
your financial responsibilities?
Yes

No

13. Have you ever tried to stop or control your using?
Yes

No

14. Have you ever been in a jail, hospital,
or drug rehabilitation center because of your using?
Yes

No

15. Does using interfere with your sleeping or eating?
Yes

No

16. Does the thought of running
out of drugs terrify you?
Yes

No

17. Do you feel it is impossible for you to live without drugs?
Yes

No

18. Do you ever question your own sanity?
Yes

No

19. Is your drug use making life at home unhappy?
Yes

No

20. Have you ever thought you couldn’t fit in or have a good time
without drugs?
Yes

No

21. Have you ever felt defensive, guilt
y, or ashamed about your using?
Yes

No

22. Do you think a lot about drugs?
Yes

No

23. Have you had irrational or indefinable fears?
Yes

No

24. Has using affected your sexual relationships?
Yes

No

25. Have you ever taken drugs you didn’t prefer?
Yes

No

26. Have you ever used drugs because
of emotional pain or stress?
Yes

No

27. Have you ever overdosed on any drugs?
Yes

No

28. Do you continue to use despite negative consequences?
Yes

No

29. Do you think you might have a drug problem?
Yes

No

“Am I an addict?” This is a question only yo
u can answer. We found that we all answered
different numbers of these questi
ons “Yes.” The actual number of “Yes” responses wasn’t as
important as how we felt inside and how addiction had affected our lives.
Some of these questions don’t even mention drug
s. This is because addiction is an insidious
disease that affects all areas of our lives—even thos
e areas which seem at first to have little to do
with drugs. The different drugs we used were not as important as why we used them and what
they did to us.
When we first read these questions, it was frig
htening for us to think we might be addicts.
Some of us tried to dismiss these thoughts by saying:
“Oh, those questions don’t make sense;”
Or,
“I’m different. I know I take drugs, but I’m not an addict. I have real emotional/family/job
problems;”
Or,
“I’m just having a tough time getting it together right now;”
Or,
“I’ll be able to stop when I find th
e right person/get the right job, etc.”
If you are an addict, you must first admit th
at you have a problem with drugs before any
progress can be made toward recovery. These qu
estions, when honestly approached, may help
to show you how using drugs has made your lif
e unmanageable. Addiction is a disease which,
without recovery, ends in jails
, institutions, and death. Many of us came to Narcotics
Anonymous because drugs had stopped doing what we needed them to do. Addiction takes
our pride, self-esteem, family, loved ones, and ev
en our desire to live. If you have not reached
this point in your addiction, you don’t have
to. We have found that our own private hell was
within us. If you want help, you can find it
in the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous.