How Do I Know If I Need Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Mar 12, 2010 No Comments by

By nature, drug and alcohol use clouds our self perceptions, making it difficult to objectively evaluate our level of chemical dependency. Additionally, during drug or alcohol addiction, the combination of denial and intoxication can drive us to minimize, avoid, and justify our chemical dependency. This leaves many individuals wondering, “How do I know if I need drug or alcohol treatment?” Fortunately, there are ways to measure the effects that drugs and alcohol are having on our bodies, our relationships, our career pursuits, and our states of mind, to help us better assess our need for inpatient rehab or outpatient drug and alcohol treatment.

How Do I Know If I Need Drug and Alcohol Treatment?

The first step to knowing whether or not you need to explore drug and alcohol treatment is to honestly answer questions about substance abuse and its role in your life. Ask yourself the following questions when you are sober and have clarity of mind. You may even want to ask a loved one to help you find objectivity as you answer these questions. Three or more “Yes” answers may indicate a chemical dependency problem, necessitating that you seek an individualized chemical dependency program.

  • Tolerance Levels
    Does it take an increasing amount of the drug or alcohol in order to get the desired effect? Are you finding that your illegal or prescription drug usage is costing you more than it did a year ago? Do you need to have a whole bottle of wine each night to feel as good as you used to with one glass of wine?
  • Withdrawal Signs
    When you stop consuming drugs or alcohol, do you experience physical effects of anxiety (rapid heartbeat, sweating, etc.)? Do you have to use a different substance, in order to feel okay when you run out of liquor or your drug of choice?
  • Excess Usage
    Do you find yourself using more of a drug or drinking more than you expected in a given episode? Has your drug usage or drinking level increased, despite your desire to lower it?
  • Loss of Control
    Have you found yourself unable to stop taking drugs or drinking alcohol when you have tried to? Have you found your emotions and reactions spinning out of control while drunk or high?
  • Obsessive Thought Patterns
    Is a large portion of your time spent thinking about, using, or recovering from drugs or alcohol? Do you find that you are planning your next drink or high?
  • Avoidance and Lifestyle Changes
    Does your drug or alcohol use prevent you from engaging in behaviors that you had come to enjoy, such as hobbies or sports? Do you avoid seeing old friends because they do not approve of your substance use? Do you skip certain events because you cannot use drugs of alcohol?
  • Consequences of Use
    Does your drug or alcohol use continue despite your awareness of negative consequences? Are you experiencing nosebleeds or chronic coughing? Are you missing work because of drug use or hangovers?
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