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How to tell if a friend or family member could be abusing alcohol or drugs

It’s difficult to know when to say something when you’re worried about a friend’s drug or alcohol use. Ask yourself…

How does it affect you?

  • Have you lost time from classes, studying or a job in order to help your friend cope with problems caused
    by her drinking or drug use?
  • Is your friend’s drinking or drug use making you unhappy in any aspect of your life?
  • Is your friend’s behavior affecting your reputation in a way you don’t like?
  • Have you ever felt embarrassed or hurt by something he said or did while intoxicated?
    Have there been outbursts of anger or irritability?
  • Have you ever had to take care of your friend because of her alcohol or drug use?

How does it affect your friend?

  • Does your friend drink in order to get drunk?
  • Does your friend drink or use drugs in an environment that you would rather avoid?
  • Has there been a change in your friend’s peer group?
  • Has your friend ever wanted to cut down on drinking or drug use?
  • Does your friend slam drinks?
  • Does your friend ever drink to steady his nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
  • Has your friend ever been in trouble because of drinking or drug use?
  • Does your friend find it necessary to drink or get high in order to enjoy a party?
  • Are drugs or alcohol affecting your friend’s academic performance?
  • Does your friend drink to escape from or to cope with problems or stress?
  • Does she use drugs or alcohol to avoid painful feelings?
  • Has your friend ever been unable to remember things she said or did while drinking (blacked out)?
  • Has your friend ever had a frightening experience with drugs but continued to use?
  • Is your friend annoyed when people criticize his drinking?
  • Has your friend ever received medical care for something related to drinking or drug use?
  • Have you noticed a decline in personal health or appearance?
  • Does anyone in your friend’s family drink to excess regularly?
  • Do any close relatives have a drinking or drug problem?