Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have a problem with alcohol or drugs?

The fact that you’ve reached for this card says you may wonder about your relationship with alcohol or other drugs. Perhaps you find it difficult to cut back on your use, or you do things when you’re drunk or high that you later regret. You also may have reached for this card with a loved one in mind.

The purpose of this card is not to diagnose a substance abuse problem. Only a qualified professional, such as a doctor or counselor, can make such a diagnosis. The conclusions you draw from reading this card may lead you to seek assistance from just such a qualified professional.

The 15 questions that follow could indicate a loss of control over alcohol or other drugs. One “yes” answer is reason to be alert to the possibility that alcohol or other drugs have become a problem. The likelihood that the problem is serious increases with each succeeding “yes.”

Answer all questions with complete honesty. To be anything but honest on a self-test is a form of denial, and denial is another sign that alcohol or other drug use has become a problem.

  1. Do you frequently use alcohol or other drugs by yourself?
  2. Has your tolerance increased - do you have to use more of the substance to reach your desired high?
  3. Do you find it hard to cut back on your drinking or drugging even though you’ve promised yourself that you will?
  4. Are you having problems at work or school because of your substance use?
  5. Do you find yourself using alcohol or other drugs more regularly, such as every weekend or every time you’re with friends?
  6. Do you turn to alcohol or other drugs to get away from problems at home or on the job?
  7. Is there a history of alcoholism or drug addiction in your family?
  8. Have you ever tried to control your drinking or drug use by changing jobs, moving or ending a relationship?
  9. When you’re drinking or drugging, do you do things that you later regret?
  10. Do you sometimes drink or use drugs for days at a time?
  11. Are you purposefully mixing drugs, such as using marijuana or cocaine with alcohol?
  12. Have you been in trouble with the law because of your drinking or drugging?
  13. Has someone close to you ever said that you get drunk or high too often? Did this annoy you?
  14. Do you believe that you have to drink or use drugs in order to have a good time?
  15. Have you ever had a blackout (having no recollection of what happened) while you were drinking or drugging?

    If you’re concerned about your relationship with alcohol or other drugs after taking the self-test, talk to someone.

Just talking about your problems sometimes leads to new solutions. If you or someone you know needs information, guidance or help, call our Respond program at 1-800-366-1132. Respond offers confidential, caring assessments and referrals for individuals dealing with problems related to mental health issues and substance abuse. If you or a loved one are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 immediately.