Imagine for a moment how much more enjoyable and productive life might be in the absence of excessive drinking and drug abuse.
Time to take a look at how you’re using alcohol and/or drugs in your life? What we put into our body matters. Substances like drugs and alcohol have a huge impact on our brain and activate its reward system. Often people try to replicate that feeling of being high or intoxicated despite ever-increasing personal loss and suffering.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE INDICATORS
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM–5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) lists the criteria needed to be diagnosed with a substance use disorder. Some of the hallmarks identified in this list include: craving, drinking or using more than intended, using at great personal cost and experiencing withdrawal.
ASSESSING YOUR USE OF SUBSTANCES
Clinicians highlight two benchmarks for determining a substance use disorder, tolerance and withdrawal. Your answers to the questions below will provide an indication as to whether or not you might be experiencing a substance use disorder.
- On a typical day, do you have 2 or more drinks?
- Is it difficult to stop drinking once you start?
- Do responsibilities at work or home go undone because of drinking?
- Have you forgotten events due to drinking?
- Do you ever need a drink in the morning?
- Has anyone expressed concern about your alcohol consumption?
- Do you wrestle with guilt after you drink?
- Have you ever used drugs for other than medical reasons?
- Do you need drugs to make it through your week?
- Have you ever abused more than one drug at a time?
- Do you struggle with guilt about your drug use?