Do you find yourself taking drugs or drinking alcohol excessively? Do your friends or family constantly talk to you about drugs or alcohol problems? Do you crave drugs or alcohol more than tending to your family or seeing your friends? Is your job and finances stable? Do you sell or pawn your belongings? Do you get scared when you are low or out of your medication or drug of choice? Are you ignoring symptoms about yourself that others can see and have been trying to bring to your attention? If you said yes even one of these, you need to examine your life a bit closer.
Problems related to Substance Use and Abuse
There are harmful repercussions to substance abuse. It is a problem for the abuser whether or not they are actually addicted. Some problems include:
- Chemical addiction: A person who is controlled by a substance or drug is an addict. It is a continuation usage of a substance or drug with the inability to stop using it.
- Chemical dependency: Once a person spends more time seeking or taking drugs and withdrawals from family and friends, it’s a cue to look into their problem. Dependency becomes more noticeable when they continue a pattern of drug use despite bigger problems occurring in their lives. Substance abusers will also show signs of withdrawal from their everyday activities, society, and this can even affect their jobs or school attendance. There is also a higher tolerance to the substance, not being able to quit after many attempts, and a continuing of the substance even after bad occurrences.
- Substance abuse disorder: Once a substance becomes abusive by a user, it is called a “disorder”. This disorder begins when continuing problems happen to the person or in is life. A few of the problems may be driving while using, lacking at the job, missing school, withdrawal from friends, family and getting into trouble with the law.
Do You or a Loved One Have a Problem?
There is a test that you can take online if you think that you or a loved one may have developed a drug/alcohol or addiction problem. The following questions were written by recovering addicts from Narcotics Anonymous (NA). They were published in NA’s brochure called “Am I an Addict?” If you have questions about whether you are or aren’t an addict, you may take a few moments to study the questions below and try answering them as honestly as you can.
- Do you recognize that you may have a problem with drugs?
- Do you steal drugs from friends, loved ones or others?
- Do you stay away from people who warn you of your drug problem?
- Do you ever use substances/drugs by yourself?
- Do you want or use drugs when you wake up and before you go to sleep?
- Have you ever taken a different drug thinking that the other one was the problem?
- Do you ever take other types of drugs to overcome the ones you are using?
- Have you ever lied to the doctor about your medicine in order to get yours sooner?
- Do you have unreasonable fears?
- Does the thought of running out of your drugs scare you?
- Is your drug use making life at home unhappy?
- Have you ever lied to anyone about using or how much you use?
- Does using interfere with your eating or sleeping habits?
- Do you think a lot about drugs?
- Have you ever overdosed on any drugs?
- Do you feel it is not possible to live without drugs?
- Have you ever been arrested as a result of using drugs?
- Have you ever tried controlling or stopping the drugs?
- Have you ever taken drugs you did not prefer?
- Do you continue to use despite negative consequences?
- Have you ever used drugs because of emotional pain or stress?
- Is your sex life affected by drug usage?
- Do you get offensive when asked about drugs?
- Do you ever feel shame or guilt about using?
- Do you ever question your own sanity?
- Have you ever taken/used a drug without knowing its effects on you?
- Is it more important to buy drugs than to pay bills?
- Do you feel you need drugs to fit in?
- Has work or school been put aside due to drugs?
- Has rehab, jail, or a hospital been a part of your life due to drug usage?
- Is it impossible for you to live without drugs?