Are you worried that a friend or a family member has an alcohol or drug addiction? Knowing whether the problem is severe enough to require professional help can be confusing. Several signs might indicate an alcohol or drug problem, but how can you tell if someone has a problem? Knowing if someone has a problem is essential if you’re concerned about a family member or loved one’s drinking or drug use. If someone doesn’t depend on the substance, they may not have a problem — but they can still abuse it. Keep in mind that addiction is not limited to illicit drugs. Many people become addicted to legal substances like alcohol, tobacco, and prescription medication. If you suspect that someone has an alcohol or drug problem, you can visit Pacific Ridge rehab center in Portland, OR any alcohol treatment center near you to get help for them.

How Do You Know If You Have An Alcohol Problem? 

Do they have to get fired from work for drinking, losing their family, being homeless, or ending in jail? Not necessarily! You can identify an alcohol or drug problem much earlier. The critical question is: “How does this person’s behavior change when they drink? If the person drinks and their behavior becomes more destructive, they have a problem. If they drink and become more violent or abusive, they have a problem. If they drink and their ability to take care of their job or family erodes, they have a problem. If they start lying about how much they are drinking, they have a problem. If the person cannot control how much they drink, once they start drinking, then you know that there is a problem with alcohol. Sometimes people fool themselves into believing that their drinking is under control because there are times when it doesn’t interfere with what needs to get done. They may think that even though their boss commented on the odor of alcohol on their breath at work one day, it doesn’t mean that she noticed every day.

If you are concerned about your use of alcohol or drugs, taking this quiz is one way to find out if you might have a problem. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may want to take a closer look at your behavior:

  • Do you drink or use drugs alone?
  • Have you ever had a complete loss of memory due to your drinking or drug use? (blackouts)
  • Has your drinking/drug use caused trouble at home?
  • Do you sometimes feel bad or guilty about your drinking/drug use?
  • Have you ever attended Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings?
  • Has your drinking/drug use ever created problems between you and your parents? Between you and your friends?
  • Do you drink or use drugs to build up your confidence?

It’s important to distinguish between alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Alcohol abusers are at risk of becoming alcoholics in the future. Sure signs indicate someone is an alcoholic. The symptoms can be physical, behavioral, or psychological. It’s important to note that someone who abuses alcohol may have some of these same signs, but not all of them. Someone with alcoholism will show these signs and continue to drink despite adverse health or social consequences.

People with alcohol, marijuana, and other drug problems can show certain behaviors when using and not using their drug of choice. Some physical symptoms of alcoholism include:

  • There is a need for increased amounts of alcohol to “feel” the effect (tolerance).
  • A persistent desire to cut down on drinking or unsuccessful efforts to cut down on drinking
  • Withdrawal symptoms occur when there is a reduction in alcohol intakes, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety.
  • Drinking more than intended

Behavioral symptoms include:

  • Drinking alone or in secret
  • Being unable to remember conversations or commitments is sometimes referred to as “blacking out.”
  • Repeatedly neglecting responsibilities at work or school

There are many ways to know if someone has a drug problem:

  1. The person may have told you that they have a drug problem.
  2. The person may be experiencing negative life consequences due to their substance abuse. (e.g., being fired from work, getting in trouble with the law, losing friendships/familial relationships, etc.)
  3. People around them will probably suspect that something is going on because they will start to notice changes in the individual’s behavior and lifestyle.

People struggling with addiction often pull away from their existing social support systems and begin hanging out with new groups of people (i.e., new friends who offer access to drugs and alcohol). They also tend to start neglecting areas of their lives that are important to them (e.g., family, work obligations, etc.).