I Can't Possibly Have a Problem

The Warning Signs of Drug Abuse and Addiction

Drug and alcohol problems can affect every one of us regardless of age, sex, race, and marital status, place of residence, income level, or lifestyle. Most people won't walk up to someone they're close to and ask for help. In fact, most will probably do everything possible to deny or hide the problem.

Many of the signs of abuse, such as sudden changes in mood, difficulty in getting along with others, poor job or school performance, irritability, and depression, might be explained by other causes. Unless you observe drug use or excessive drinking, it can be hard to determine the cause of these problems. Your first step is to contact a qualified alcohol and drug professional in your area who can give you further advice.

You or a loved one may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, if:

  • You can't predict whether or not you will use drugs or get drunk.
  • You believe that in order to have fun you need to drink and/or use drugs.
  • You turn to alcohol and/or drugs after a confrontation or argument, or to relieve uncomfortable feelings.
  • You drink more or use more drugs to get the same effect that you got with smaller amounts.
  • You give up activities that you or your loved ones used to do such as sports, homework, or hanging out with friends who don't use drugs or drink
  • You use drugs and/or drink alone.
  • You remember how last night began, but not how it ended, so you're worried you may have a problem.
  • You have trouble at work or in school because of your drinking or drug use.
  • Get into trouble with the law
  • You are taking risks, including sexual risks and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • You or your friend or teen has been suspension from school for an alcohol- or drug- related incident
  • You make promises to yourself or others that you'll stop getting drunk or using drugs.
  • You feel alone, scared, miserable, depressed even suicidal.

Help is available if you or friend/family members have experienced any of the above warning signs.   Even though you or they may be hesitant to seek help, understand that there are specialized and individualized treatment programs that offer a range of organized and structured services that can include individual, group, and family therapy for people with alcohol and drug abuse problems.

Find out more on the different types and approaches of treatment or what you need to consider in a treatment program by calling 888/471-0430.

(Source: A Quick Guide to Finding Effective Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment (CSAT/SAMHSA, NCADI Publication No. PHD877)


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