Self assessment for addiction
Many different things can assist us to cope with the ups and downs of a busy life, but some we can get overly reliant on. For example the line between regular drinking and becoming an alcoholic can be a fine one – a line you don’t want to cross!
Addiction Counselling can help you manage the risks and prevent these taking hold of your life.
The four L’s test : Liver, Lover, Livelihood & Legal
Worried about drugs, alcohol, porn, food or internet use? Here’s a quick check. Consider the impact of your use on these four areas of your life:
- Liver : Is it harming my physical well-being? Either physical, psychological or emotional
- Lover : Is it damaging my relationships?, Partner, children, family, friends, lovers etc.
- Livelihood : Is it effecting my finances? Accommodation, work, education, recreation etc.
- Legal : Is it getting me into trouble with the law? Either criminal or civil proceedings or putting you at risk
This is a quick way of assessing the impact of addictions on your life.
You can choose is the price or risk is too high. You can decide on your own rock bottom, you don’t have to wait till it robs you of what you love.
What is an addiction?
People can become addicted to many different things. Commonly we think of alcohol and drugs when we think of addictions, but people can also become addicted to gambling, online pornography, sex workers, self-harm, exercise, internet gaming, eating or food, to name a few. Further, the internet age means addictions are effecting an increasing number of young people.
My addiction was a way of avoiding my problems.
Am I using to ‘solve’ other problems?
Often addictions simply start out as a way of having fun or relieving boredom. Other times it is a way of managing life difficulties. Either way, over time this can lead to repeated use resulting in psychological or physical dependence. For some addiction may be a daily problem, for others specific stressors may trigger their use or relapse.
Because I had no other way of handling my frustration, I held onto the idea that my addiction was reasonable and justified even when it was destroying my life.
Can I stop using?
Generally, we see something as an addiction if someone feels unable to stop a behaviour, or experiences problems caused by a behaviour. For example, missing work due to hangovers, spending more than they can afford on gambling, or becoming unwell due to drug use, eating in ways that are damaging to the body, or neglecting friends or family.
My addiction was something I hung onto for dear life. When so much else had been taken from me there was no way I was going to give it up without a fight.
If you have any addiction concerns, it helps to talk to a professional trained in addictions. They can help you decide if your use is a problem. They can help you make practical plans to start change and prevent relapse to help you feel more in control.