A man stands at a bar with lights

Alcohol and drug use is everywhere. Whether it be a beer commercial during a football game, a billboard for the newest flavor of liquor, or a famous rapper smoking a blunt in the newest music video – mind-altering substances are an integral part of our society and have been since before written history even began.

We celebrate great milestones with a drink, and we send goodbyes to lost loved ones over a drink. With such drastic social acceptance for drug and alcohol use, it can often be difficult to realize when one has crossed the imaginary line from a social drinker/user to one with a substance abuse problem.

To make matters worse, the signs that someone may have a substance abuse problem are not always as clear as the classic “gutter-bum drunk”, and maybe slightly subtler. This list provides some of the key signs that you or a loved one may have a substance abuse problem.

Loss of control

After an embarrassing weekend, many of us would honestly swear we would “only have a few A woman is standing in front of alcoholic drinksdrinks next time and go home”. As soon as the first drink or substance was in us, however, there was absolutely no telling when we would stop. No matter how earnest our promise to ourselves to control our using was, often we’d wake up the next day once again wondering “how did that happen”? This is the origin of the classic AA slogan, one is too many and a thousand is never enough – and is a classic sign you may have a problem with alcoholism.

Phenomenon of craving

While normal people will often look forward to the end of the week when they can hit the bars with friends, etc – the problem drinker/user will spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about the next fix. This often will lead to the point of true obsession. The user may be able to go periods of time without using, but in the interim, will devout countless hours of thought to the next fix.

Blacking out

Drinking or drugging to the point of not having any recollection of our actions the prior night is often a clear sign one may have a serious problem. This includes waking up the following morning and needing help piecing together the events of the night before, with little to no memory at all of what happened.

Blaming all problems on anything and everything but the drink/drug

Often the problem drinker/user will be blind to the connection between many of their daily problems and with their substance use. They may blame their financial problems on their employment (or lack thereof), instead of the amount of money wasted on substances. They may blame relationship problems on their friends or significant others, and not their own actions under the influence.

This may even extend to legal trouble, such as DUI’s – the problem drinker/user will often blame the police or the circumstance, rather than being under the influence as the source of their troubles. Often times, the problem drinker/user is the last person to see the connection between their problems and use.

Drinking/using alone

As the problem drinker/user’s habit becomes more obvious to those around them, often they will retreat from going out socially- preferring instead to drink/use alone in their own homes. This gradual withdrawal from the social world is often a clear sign that one may have a substance abuse problem.

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.