Have you found yourself posing this question repeatedly, whether to yourself or someone dear to you? Are you grappling with uncertainty about whether your actions constitute abuse rather than just use? Please take into account the following questions; they are designed to assist you in recognizing whether a concern exists that requires attention.


Can you get through the week without using drugs or alcohol?

Do you find yourself trying to control your using, bargaining with yourself that you will only use or drink over the weekend, or have you started indulging daily? Do you find that even if you are trying to control or curb this habit you are obsessing over your next fix?


Are you able to stop using drugs or alcohol when you want to?

Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms (felt sick) when you stopped consuming substances? Have you had medical problems because of your drug or alcohol use (memory loss, sweating, shaking, vomiting, convulsions)


Do you abuse more than one mind altering substance at a time?


Do you find that to “balance” yourself you use more than one substance? If you consumed a downer (alcohol, pain medication) you need an upper (cocaine, Cat) to get you going? After a night of drinking, do you need to line of Coke to sober you up?


Have you had “blackouts” or “flashbacks” as a result of drug use?

Have you woken up in the morning not sure how you got back home, trying to remember what happened? Have your family or friends been so upset with you about something you did or said, but you can’t remember it at all?


Do you ever feel bad or guilty about your drug use?

How often do you feel shame and guilt? Or just find yourself angry with yourself, but find yourself taking that frustration out on others?


Does your partner (or parents) ever complain about your involvement with drugs?

Has drug abuse created problems between you and your family? Have you neglected your loved ones because of your use of drugs?


Have you lost friends because of your use of drugs?

Are you that person who is the last one to leave the party, asking everyone to stay for “one last drink”? have any of friends told you the next day that they are upset with you and the way you behaved? Have you noticed that friends who don’t use substances have drifted away from your life?


Have you been in trouble at work because of drug abuse? Have you lost a job because of drug abuse?

How many Monday mornings have you called in sick? (and probably felt sick after THAT kind of weekend) Have you been accused of losing your concentration and focus at work, harming the company you work for? Have you been fired lately


Have you gotten into fights when under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

Its common to “lose your shit” when intoxicated. Maybe you connect to your anger much faster after consuming mind altering substances, perhaps you become more argumentative.


Have you engaged in illegal activities or been arrested while intoxicated?

Has anyone been called to come bail you out of jail? As you read this, how many times did you relate to the questions, knowing you have a story you can share from your life? If you have tried to control your drinking or using so many times, maybe it’s time to accept that your using is controlling you and your life. There is no shame in asking for help, it might be the best time in your life to change and get onto your journey of healing and health.



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