There is a difference between a social user and an addict. While neither is good, there are concrete ways to tell when your addiction has taken over and has become out of control. Do you know what these signs are?

Your daily life has changed

People tend to be creatures of habit and a daily routine is developed day after day. You know what drives you – what gets you up and moving in the morning. For some, this focus is a child or children. For others, it could be a career. Still, others may find that being a student and moving toward a degree is the current focus. Whatever it may be – you have your reasons for getting up and facing each new day.

You know that your addiction is out of control when what you get up for changes.

For example, when you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing on your mind? How about when you go to bed at night? And what about all the hours in between – are you fulfilling them with your daily routine? If your mind becomes focused on searching for your next drink instead of any other normal focus – you have a problem.

You lose the things you love – and you don’t seem to care

Take a moment to think about all the people you love and cherish – parents, children, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins. How about your best friend or even your pet? Now that you have listed these individuals, reflect on your relationship with each. Is it healthy? Do you communicate regularly? Do you work to protect this relationship?

When you find that you begin to hurt the people you love the most or that your relationships are rocky, then you may be heading in the wrong direction. However, once you realize this and you no longer care – that is when you know that your alcohol addiction is likely out of control.

Lies, lies, and more lies

Telling lies can be exhausting. You must tell one lie to cover another lie to cover yet another lie. And, on top of that, you must remember what the lies were that you told and exactly who you told them to! Why would anyone want to do this?

When you are trying to cover up a behavior that you know you shouldn’t be doing, you will have to lie. Addictions cause people to have to lie. If everyone knew the truth about your addiction, then they would be giving you their thoughts, opinions, and offer their assistance to try and help. When you are in the heart of your alcohol addiction, you may not think that you need help. In fact, all of this, compounded, can just aggravate the situation and lead you further down addiction highway.

If you find that your behavior is leading you to lie, then your addiction is out of control. If you can’t be honest about it, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

Your health has become affected

When you are moving through your life in a normal way, you are likely generally healthy. Sure, we all have ailments, but they are due to the wear and tear on our bodies. However, addicts struggle with health issues – from malnutrition to injury to serious disease.

The life of an addict can lead you down some dark roads and can even lead you to be very risky with your health. Your mind is preoccupied with getting your next drink, as well as keeping your secret. You will go to great lengths to get it. The furthest thing from your mind is a well-balanced, home-cooked meal, or a trip to the gym.

If you find yourself ailing from health issues resulting from the lack of care and concern over your body, then your addiction may be out of control.

You are facing legal issues

Honest, law-abiding citizens do not usually find themselves dealing with legal issues. If you wake up in the morning, take your kids to school, head off to work, then come home, cook dinner, read the kids a story, and go to bed – why would you be dealing with the law? Ok, maybe a speeding ticket, but that is about it.

However, if you find yourself an addict, full of lies to cover your secrets and engaging in unhealthy behavior, you may very easily find yourself facing legal issues. These could be anything from possession of an illegal substance, abuse, public intoxication, DUI/DWI, etc.

Legal issues can come to you very easily as the result of an out of control addiction.

Facing financial woes

In your normal day to day life, you work and find responsible ways to pay your bills and take care of any other financial obligations. However, what happens when you no longer have that stability? Financial woes are common among addicts who have spun out of control. The substance of choice costs money and addicts will do what they need to do to get their fix. This could include depleting bank accounts, borrowing from friends and family, or even stealing or committing other criminal acts  to get the money needed.

If you find yourself quickly slipping from being a financially stable individual to juggling debts and other financial woes, your addiction is likely out of control.

What may seem like a little social fun can very quickly spiral to an out of control addiction. Unfortunately, once it reaches this point, the addiction affects all areas of a person’s life – from honesty in relationships with family members, your daily living routine, your care and concern for those who mean the most to you, and financial woes you cannot handle.

Knowing the signs of an out of control addiction is important. While it may be difficult to stop yourself once the tailspin starts, it is helpful to have a plan in place. Once you recognize any of these 6 signs in your life, take action – and seek help!