Only you can answer this question. This may not be an easy thing to do. All through our using, 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 about 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?
2. Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking that one particular drug was the problem?
3. Have you ever manipulated or lied to a doctor to obtain prescription drugs?
4. Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to obtain drugs?
5. Do you regularly use a drug when you wake up or when you go to bed?
6. Have you ever taken one drug to overcome the effects of another?
7. Do you avoid people or places that do not approve of you using drugs?
8. Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or what it would do to you?
9. Has your job or school performance ever suffered from the effects of your drug use?
10. Have you ever been arrested as a result of using drugs?
11. Have you ever lied about what or how much you use?
12. Do you put the purchase of drugs ahead of your financial responsibilities?
13. Have you ever tried to stop or control your using?
14. Have you ever been in a jail, hospital or drug rehabilitation centre because of your using?
15. Does using interfere with your sleeping or eating?
16. Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you?
17. Do you feel it is impossible for you to live without drugs?
18. Do you ever question your own sanity?
19. Is your drug use making life at home unhappy?
20. Have you ever thought you couldn’t fit in or have a good time without drugs?
21. Have you ever felt defensive, guilty or ashamed about your using?
22. Do you think a lot about drugs?
23. Have you had irrational or indefinable fears?
24. Has using affected your sexual relationship?
25. Have you ever taken drugs you didn’t prefer?
26. Have you ever used drugs because of emotional pain or stress?
27. Have you ever overdosed on any drugs?
28. Do you continue to use despite negative consequences?
29. Do you think that you have a drug problem?
“Am I an addict?” This is a question only you can answer. We found that we all answered different numbers of these questions “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 drugs. This is because addiction is an insidious disease that affects all areas of our lives – even those 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.
-from Narcotics Anonymous (http://www.na.org/admin/include/spaw2/uploads/pdf/litfiles/us_english/IP/EN3107.pdf)