How do I know if I have a problem with

substance use?

Home / Addiction A - Z / How do I know if I have a problem with substance use?
If you can't seem to stop taking drugs or alcohol—even though you want to stop—or if the urge to use feels too strong to control and you know it is causing harm to your health or relationships, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you think about or crave drugs or alcohol often?

  2. Have you ever tried to stop or cut down on drug or alcohol use but couldn't?

  3. Have you ever felt as though you wouldn’t be able to fit in or have a good time without being under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

  4. Do you find yourself using more than you meant to or needing more to get the same effect?

  5. Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or how it could impact you?

  6. Have you ever taken one drug to get over the effects of another?

  7. Have you ever made a mistake at school or work because you were using drugs or alcohol?

  8. Does the thought of running out of drugs or alcohol scare you?

  9. Have you ever stolen drugs or alcohol from someone, or stolen in order to pay for drugs or alcohol?

  10. Have you ever been arrested or hospitalized because of your drug or alcohol use?

  11. Have you ever overdosed?

  12. Has using drugs or alcohol hurt your relationships with family or friends?

If the answer to some or all of these questions is “yes,” you might be struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD). While certain factors can increase a person’s risk of developing a SUD, the disease doesn’t discriminate. People of all ages, genders, and backgrounds can suffer and recover from SUDs. You are not alone and there are resources that can help you.

Don’t wait for your symptoms to worsen before you seek help from a care provider. Like other chronic diseases, SUD gets worse the longer it is left untreated and health risks go up. The sooner you start treatment, the better your chances of long-term recovery. Make an appointment with a care provider who can assess the status of your illness and help you take the best course of action.


(301) 769-5966

11810 Grand Park Ave, Suite 500
North Bethesda, MD 20852

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