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How can I tell if my substance use is problematic?
Early warning signs of problem behaviors include:
  • Changes in personality

  • Unpredictable or inconsistent behaviors

  • Deterioration in personal hygiene and appearance

  • Job or financial difficulties

  • Loss of interest in activities which seemed important

  • Isolating yourself from family and friends

  • Changes in sleep patterns (sleep disturbances, restlessness, nightmares)

  • Impairment of memory and judgment

  • Decline in school performance

  • Decreased motivation and drive

  • Outburst in temper usually brought about because of lowered tolerance to pressure and stress

  • Disciplinary problems increase

  • Legal difficulties


Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Have any of your friends or family members ever expressed concern about your alcohol/ drug use?

  • Have you ever experienced problems with family, friends or co-workers because of your D&A use?

  • Do you feel more comfortable around others after drinking or getting high?

  • If you can't use alcohol or other drugs, do you ever feel shaky, nervous, anxious or irritable?

  • Do you think your substance use has hurt the people close to you in any way?

  • Have you ever experienced cravings for any substances?

  • Have you ever missed work, days at school, or time with family because you were sick due to your alcohol or drug use?

  • Have you experienced any employment difficulties related to your D&A use, or are you in debt because of your use?

  • Have you built up a tolerance for alcohol or other substances (i.e., Does it take more to feel the same effect?)?

  • Have you ever found it difficult to stop or cut down your alcohol/ drug use?

  • Do you ever drink or use more than you intended to?

  • Have you ever had a blackout?

  • Have you ever woken up with the shakes after drinking or using?

  • Do you ever drink or get high in the morning?

  • Do you use drugs or alcohol to deal with problems?


Answering "yes" to any of these questions may indicate a problem with drug or alcohol use. If you are concerned, call and ask about your options for treatment services.


MH/ID - Drug and Alcohol

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1. I do not have any health insurance. How can I get treatment for myself or my family member's substance abuse problem?
2. My health insurance will not pay for drug and alcohol treatment – what should I do?
3. What can I do if I think someone I know has a drug or alcohol problem?
4. What are Twelve-Step Programs?
5. How can I tell if my substance use is problematic?
6. How can I tell if my child has a drug or alcohol problem?
7. What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?
8. What is codependence? Does your office fund outpatient services for codependents?
9. Are psychotherapeutic drugs addictive?
10. My church group or community organization is interested in a speaker to address alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues. Who should I call?