Life events, both positive and negative, affect an individual’s emotional, physical and behavioral health. The following thought-provoking questions are not designed to make a formal diagnosis of an addiction or take the place of a professional evaluation or consultation. However, some of them might help you identify potentially harmful thoughts or behaviors and determine whether you or a loved one has a substance abuse problem or addiction that needs professional attention and treatment.
- Has someone close to you commented on your use?
- Do you find yourself preoccupied with the thoughts of drinking or using drugs?
- Is your home life unhappy because of your alcohol or drug use?
- Are you in jeopardy of losing your job or family because of use?
- Do you need to drink or use to have fun or to enhance your social life?
- Do you hide your use or lie about the amount you drink or use?
- Do you drink or use while you are alone?
- Do you suffer from loss of memory as a result of drinking/drug use?
- Do you drink or use to cope with feelings of pain, anger, anxiety or depression?
- Do you take more medication or feel the need for more than is prescribed?
- Do you go to multiple physicians to get the same medications?
At times, individuals may find difficulty in coping with stressors in their life. They may turn to drugs (prescribed or illegal) or alcohol to help them cope with feelings of anxiety, depression or fear. We can help. We have a caring team of professionals to address issues related to the use of chemicals.
Stopping the use of a chemical (alcohol/drugs) is the first step in treatment. It is impossible to treat for substance dependence unless a person is detoxified. In other words, the substance the individual is dependent on must be safely removed from their system.
Substance dependence needs to be addressed as a priority before other emotional illnesses can be treated. The abuser must refrain from further access to alcohol/drugs, monitored through the use of random drug screening. Family and friends are involved in treatment to increase an individual’s support system, which is vital to recovery.
We believe in and teach the disease model. Dependence is a medical illness. Alcohol/drug dependence is not a moral failing. Generally, it requires a life-long commitment to sobriety. The road to recovery may be long. Typically, trying “just one drink” is the initiation into a relapse episode. Self-help groups such as AA and NA are extremely helpful for individuals with substance abuse/dependence issues.
For additional information on Addiction/Chemical Dependency, see the Resources section.