1 Am I an Addict? This is NA Fellowship-approved literature. Copyright © 1983, 1988 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved. O nly you can answer this question. h our usage, we told ourselves, “I can handle This may not be an easy thing to do. All throug it.” Even if this was true in the beginning, it is not so now. The drugs handled us. We lived to a person whose life is controlled by drugs. use and used to live. Very simply, an addict is Perhaps you admit you have a prob lem 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 tify with our problems, you may an addict once you begin to take positive action. If you can iden lution. The following questions were written by recovering addicts be able to identify with our so in Narcotics Anonymous. If you have doubts ab out whether or not you’re an addict, take a few ons below and answer them as honestly as you can. moments to read the questi 1. Do you ever use alone? Yes No drug for another, thinking that 2. Have you ever substituted one No Yes one particular drug was the problem? 3. Have you ever manipulated or lied to a doctor to obtain prescription drugs? Yes No No Yes 4. Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to obtain drugs? No u wake up or when you go to bed? Yes 5. Do you regularly use a drug when yo 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 8. Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was Yes or what it would do to you? No performance ever suffered 9. Has your job or school No Yes from the effects of your drug use? No 10. Have you ever been arrested as a result of using drugs? Yes No Yes 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? Yes No No Yes 13. Have you ever tried to stop or control your using? 14. Have you ever been in a jail, hospital, No Yes or drug rehabilitation center because of your using? No 15. Does using interfere with your sleeping or eating? Yes
2 16. Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you? No Yes No 17. Do you feel it is impossible for you to live without drugs? Yes No Yes 18. Do you ever question your own sanity? No Yes 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? Yes No No Yes 21. Have you ever felt defensive, guilt y, or ashamed about your using? No 22. Do you think a lot about drugs? Yes No Yes 23. Have you had irrational or indefinable fears? No Yes 24. Has using affected your sexual relationships? No 25. Have you ever taken drugs you didn’t prefer? Yes No of emotional pain or stress? Yes 26. Have you ever used drugs because No 27. Have you ever overdosed on any drugs? Yes No Yes 28. Do you continue to use despite negative consequences? No Yes 29. Do you think you might have a drug problem? u can answer. We found that we all answered “Am I an addict?” This is a question only yo ons “Yes.” The actual number of “Yes” responses wasn’t as different numbers of these questi important as how we felt inside and how addiction had affected our lives. s. This is because addiction is an insidious Some of these questions don’t even mention drug 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.
3 “We were searching for an answer when we re ached out and found Narcotics Anonymous. didn’t know what to expect. After sitting in a We came to our first NA meeting in defeat and that people cared and were willing to help. meeting, or several meetings, we began to feel Although our minds told us that we would never make it, the people in the fellowship gave us hope by insisting that we could recover. [...] Surr ounded by fellow addicts, we realized that we were not alone anymore. Recovery is what happens in our meetings. Our lives are at stake. We found that by putting recovery first, the progra m works. We faced three disturbing realizations: 1. We are powerless over addiction and our lives are unmanageable; 2. Although we are not responsible for our disease, we are responsible for our recovery; 3. We can no longer blame people, places, and things for our addiction. We must face our problems and our feelings. 1 The ultimate weapon for recovery is the recovering addict.” 1 Basic Text, Narcotics Anonymous
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