Addiction is a complicated disease for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that each addict is different and may exhibit different signs of addiction. Because of the fact that no two addicts and no two addictions are exactly the same, one may wonder whether they are in fact addicted to a drug or alcohol.

Here are 5 questions that may be helpful in assessing whether you have a problem. Answering “yes,” to one or more of these questions may be a sign that you are in fact addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Have Important Relationships Been Damaged Because I Use?

When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, their interpersonal relationships often suffer. There are a number of reasons for this. Addiction alters the brain’s neurons and changes the way the brain functions so that you become singularly focused on finding and using more drugs. This often means that you may choose using over the people in your life.

It can also mean that because of your use and addiction, you are not able to behave in a way that is generally expected of you by those who are your friends or family members. Drug and alcohol addiction also alters your personality and moods, and may thus have a severe impact on your relationships.

Are You Experiencing Financial Problems Because of You Use?

Because of the fact that addiction leads an addict to prioritize using above even the most important aspects of their lives, a person’s finances may suffer a major hit when they become addicted to drugs or alcohol. If you find that you are unable to pay for vital expenses like rent, bills, and groceries, but that you are continuing to spend money on drugs or alcohol, you may strongly consider seeking treatment.

Have Loved Ones Reached Out to Help?

Often, it may become clear to the friends and family of an addict that an addict has a problem before it becomes clear to the addict themselves. There are a number of reasons for this, not least of which is the fact that because an addict’s brain is so programmed to procure drugs at any cost, it may keep an addict in denial about the severity of their problem so that they may continue to use. If you have been approached by friends or family, especially on more than one occasion, there is a strong possibility that you are exhibiting addictive behavior.

Do You Drink or Use to Excess?

Those who drink in moderation can easily and comfortably have one drink and then stop using. They may drink only one or two nights a week, and do not drink to get drunk. Experiencing signs of binge drinking, such as blacking out or drinking or using to the point of becoming ill are serious signs that you cannot moderate your use and that you are not in control of the amount of alcohol or other substance you imbibe.

Have You Tried to Stop Using & Found That You Are Unable To?

Addiction is not a sign of mental or moral weakness. It is a disease. This means that when a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they may be completely unable to stop without professional help. Making an attempt to stop using and then finding yourself unable to resist the urge to use again is a fairly clear sign that you are not in control of your use and that you may be suffering from addiction. Seeking the help you need can put an end to the vicious cycle of quitting and relapsing.