Discover When Partying Becomes Addiction
Partying can be a fun way to relax and unwind on the weekends and—when done without drugs and only moderate alcohol intake—a healthy way to combat stress. If, however, you are the type of partier who uses illicit drugs or who binge drinks, you could be heading down a dangerous road to addiction, serious health problems and even death. It may be time to question your partying habits and take a hard look at your actions. Are you partying responsibly and moderately? Or are you getting out of control?
When Does Partying Become Addiction?
Partying may be as innocent as hanging out with friends at a house party with a couple of beers or going to a club for a few hours of dancing, but it can also mean using club drugs, drinking excessively, and making dangerous choices. You may even start partying and using what are considered to be non-addictive club drugs just once a week, but then find that you want to do it more and more. How do you know when you have crossed the line from a fun night out to going out of control and heading down the path to addiction?
Here are some signs of addiction to watch for:
- You daydream about and crave the high you get when using a party drug or binge drinking. When you start to plan your party binges during the day and look forward to them more than once a week, you should be concerned.
- You develop a tolerance. In other words, you need more and more of a drug or alcohol to achieve the high and the euphoria that you crave.
- You start to use drugs or alcohol more often and in greater quantities. With tolerance comes the desire to use more. Be concerned if you start to increase the frequency of drug use or drinking in order to chase your high.
- You make poor decisions while under the influence. A serious aspect of problem drinking and drug abuse is engaging in risky behaviors that negatively impact your life. If you continue to use after getting sick from substance abuse, after missing work, or after getting into legal trouble, you have a problem.
Can You Turn Your Partying Around?
If you are beginning to question how much and how hard you party, you are in a good position to turn things around. Start cutting back right away. If it helps, do so in small steps. Eliminate one night of partying each week. On the nights that you do party, reduce your consumption of drugs or alcohol. Sometimes going cold turkey is not the most successful way to cut back.
Use your friends to help you stay focused on your mission to slow down. Tell everyone that you intend to cut back and ask for support. If any of your friends encourage you to party in spite of your declaration, they don’t have your best interests in mind and you need to let them go. For your nights off from partying, find sober friends to spend time with and engage in fun activities that don’t involve drinking or drugs.
If you try to cut back and find that you can’t do it, you may be further down the road than you thought and you may need professional help. Find an experienced substance abuse counselor or turn to a local support group for more resources. With professional help and the support of your friends and family, you can turn your life around before it is too late.