How to Recognise if your Habit is an Addiction

Having a cheeky bottle of wine every day might have helped you get through the lockdown. But if you’re still craving a bottle daily now, chances are you could have an addiction.

While you might not think you’re addicted, an addiction is defined as something ‘you use more than you would like’ or ‘continue using despite negative consequences’. So, do you keep saying ‘just one glass’ but can’t stop until the bottle is empty? Do you have a difficult time turning down a line of cocaine on a night out even though you know you’ll feel rough the next day? If so you have to accept — you have a substance problem.

Still not convinced? Here are some other signs you need to look out for:

Have you ever had a long day and all you want is a glass of wine? Or noticed that as soon as you or a loved one has a stressful day at work, all you need is a cigarette? Although seemingly triggered by stress, these situations could be the start of an addiction problem rather than a habit.

For example, do you:

  • Often find yourself seeking out situations where you can drink, smoke or do drugs on a regular basis?
  • Crave a drink during work, and beg people to go for a cheeky midday pint?
  • find yourself walking an inconvenient way home just so you can grab another bottle of wine ‘if you fancy it’?
  • Seek out parties on the weekend as an excuse to take drugs?

While these actions may not seem like much, they could be early signs of substance addiction.

If you struggle with mental health and feel like substances help you escape from it all, well…you’re wrong. They actually exacerbate your condition, making your symptoms worse. And with 15% to 30% of people who have an addiction who also suffer with a mental health condition, they will therefore make you feel more depressed or anxious.

As well as behavioural changes, you’ll also see a drastic difference in your personality. Do you suddenly get irritated with the people you loved if you’ve not had a drink or can’t get access to one? Are you hiding things from people to make your habit seem less severe than it is?

One of the most common signs of addiction is anger. The National Institute of Drug Addiction conducted a study that found a large rise in anger and abusive behaviour among people who had substance issues.

If you or a loved one has noticed changes in your personality due to substance use, or if someone you know is struggling with addiction, it may be time to seek help.

If you’ve come to realise a little habit may be more of a problem, there are hundreds of organisations that can help you get back control over your life. Here’s a list of possible self-referral websites you can visit for information on getting help:

For more personal assistance, speak to your GP or our WellBe coordinators who can help you find therapy, counselling and life coaches that specialise in Healthy Habits.

Written by Alison Irlam
WellBe is spearheading the way to a brighter future for corporate wellness. Our innovative portal is scientifically designed and tailored to each individual employee to improve their wellbeing. We specialise in a range of services from coaching and therapists, to meditation and reading materials. Our aim is to reduce workplace stress that costs UK businesses £42 billion per year. Get in touch with us by visiting our site for more information.

Discover and access health and wellbeing services based on your needs.