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Boys' Night
Vitamins and pills

My Friends and Family Think I Have a Problem…How do I know?


Substance use falls on a spectrum and is progressive. Often how you see yourself on this spectrum and where your friends and family see you are not the same. This is where I can help.  Having a comprehensive assessment can help you know what your next steps should be. 

Do you identify with any of the scenarios below?

  1. Experimental UseNew Experience

  • Use a substance once or twice to experience the effects.

  • Experience the effects intensely due to low tolerance.

  • Typically don't have negative consequences as a part of use.

  2.  Social Use – Adds to Life, Becomes Misuse

  • Use substances on occasion and can readily control use.

  • Major life areas are not affected.

  • No emotional pain resulting from use.

  • Tolerance begins to increase and a pattern of use develops i.e. every weekend or every day.

  • Purpose for friends getting together starts to revolve around the use of substances.

  • May experience some negative consequences such as hangovers, blackout, and/or missed appointments.


  3. Harmfully Involved – Becomes Life, Compulsive Use

  • Use substances regularly and frequently.

  • Use more of the substance over a longer period of time.

  • Make attempts to control use of the substance but have difficulty doing so.

  • Major life areas are affected as major substance use continues in spite of negative consequences.

  • May experience withdrawal when attempt to cut back on use and tolerance continues to increase.

  • Have collected paraphernalia such as pipes or needles. Have a stash hidden somewhere close by or have a well stocked wine rack or refrigerator.

  • Have established rituals for obtaining substance and most of time and energy is spent on obtaining and using the substance.

  4. Dependent – Takes over Life

  • Use the substance regularly and feel loss of control.

  • Most major life areas such as relationships, work, and friendships are negatively affected.

  • Patterns and consequences are unknown and unpredictable.

  • Experience extreme emotional pain, feelings of helplessness, and withdrawal when the substance is not used.

  • Have pulled away from family and friends that object to use.

  • Have an extremely hard time “maintaining a normal life”.

  • Emotional and mental state has diminished to the point of thoughts of suicide.

  • Feel like a failure due to not being able to quit voluntarily.

  • May not have the strength to ask for help when it is needed most.

Prescription Drugs
Friends Drinking Beer
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