If you’re concerned about your drinking or drug use, you might not know what step to take next. Some people go into substance abuse treatment programs, but it’s not always easy to tell if your problem is that bad.

“Is it time to get sober?” is a question everyone who uses drugs or alcohol has to ask themselves, and sometimes the answer is yes.

Here are a few things to consider when asking yourself, “Is it time to get sober?”

  •         Do you lie about your use? Responsible drinking and legal drug use are not secrets. For most people, there’s nothing wrong with having a beer at a barbeque or taking a pain pill after surgery. But when you are sneaking pills and hiding bottles, that’s a problem.
  •         Has your use gotten in the way of something important? Have you been so hung over you couldn’t go to work? Passed out before a child’s concert, or so drunk during it that you didn’t remember much of it later? Gotten high and missed a test or a job interview? Real life is more important than using any substance—but if you’re missing real life, it might be time to get sober.
  •         Have you ever tested yourself? Have you told yourself you wouldn’t drink or shoot up for a week, or during finals, or some other set amount of time, and then gave in after just a few days? Why couldn’t you make it? Did you find a “good enough” reason to break your promise, or were the withdrawal symptoms just too much to handle? Whatever your reason, if you can’t do without, you should probably consider getting sober.

  •         Have your loved ones or friends commented on your use? It’s embarrassing when someone seems to criticize you, and it’s easy to get defensive and tell yourself they don’t know what they’re talking about. But are the people who know and love you best genuinely worried about you? Maybe they’re on to something.

  •         Is there documented evidence of your use? If you’ve gotten a DUI or a possession charge, your substance use is no longer just a private matter. The same is true if you’ve been fired from your job if your spouse has filed for divorce. Those are public announcements of events caused by your use. That’s probably not what you had in mind when you said you could handle it.

  •         Has your use hurt someone else? This happens in countless ways. One young man stole his stepmother’s guitar and pawned it to pay for meth. A father with visitation drank his way through the kids’ weekend and is no longer allowed to see them. A young woman told herself she’d stop using while she was pregnant but couldn’t. A person with an addiction tells him or herself, “As long as I’m only hurting myself, there’s nothing wrong with it.” That may be true, but when you start hurting others, it might be time to get sober.

These are only a few of the signs that can help you answer the question “Is it time to get sober?” Check the websites of AA and NA and other groups to get a more thorough list of signs that you need help with. Support is available to help you find the answer to that very important question.  

The addiction helplines at Hired Power are available 24/7.  Call us at 800-910-9299 for more information on how you can stop drinking and get sober.