5 Tips for People Who Have Concerns Surrounding Drug or Alcohol Use
January 30, 2011
1. Take the Time to Honestly Examine Your Life
If you are reading this and you are concerned you may have an issue surrounding substance use, you are showing real courage. Maybe someone important has expressed concerns, maybe one day you woke up sick and didn’t know why, or maybe you just have a sinking feeling that something is wrong. Whatever the reason, the temptation to shove the problem under the rug and hope that it will go away is strong. Unfortunately, addiction has a way of getting worse and taking some time now to be really honest with yourself now could save you a lot of pain.
2. Things Don’t Have to be In Shambles to be Legitimately Concerned
You do not have to have lost your job, been convicted of a DUI, alienated your loved ones, or drink and use drugs constantly, for your concerns to be real. Many people who are become addicted to drugs and alcohol function very well in other areas of their life. It is enough that that there is a small part of you wondering or worrying that there might be an issue.
3. Your Perception of What is Normal is Strongly Determined by Your Environment
One of the biggest challenges in gauging the seriousness of a problem is that our sense of normal is strongly affected by the people around you. Of course, if you drink or use drugs frequently you are also likely to surround yourself by people that do the same and suffer similar consequences. This makes the problems seem normal.
4. List the Advantages and Disadvantages of Things Continuing as They are Now
Take the time to write out a list of advantages and disadvantages to continuing your current pattern of your drug or alcohol use. It is important to have a solid understanding of both the reasons you may want to make a change and the reasons you may want to keep using drugs or alcohol as you are now. Regardless of what you find, remember the decision of whether or not to make a change will always be up to you.
5. Talk to a Professional
Although it may turn out not to be necessary, it is worth considering speaking with a substance abuse professional. A good professional will be able to provide you with objective information about your symptoms, the severity of your use, and can answer questions about issues that may concern you. Because most substance abuse professionals have seen a large number of people with problems they can give you better sense of where you stand.
Although you may think that changing your use of drugs or alcohol will be a drag, many people actually begin to feel physically better if they stop using drugs or alcohol and enjoy the extra time they have to pursue other hobbies and work towards fulfilling important life dreams. Remember, you can always return to your old drug or alcohol habits if that is what you decide.