Drug and Alcohol Problems
If you are concerned that alcohol or drug use may have been a part of the cause of an injury or illness in your life, learn more about how to know if there is a problem and how to get help.
How Can I Tell if I Have an Alcohol or Drug Problem?
Review these items as you think about your drug or alcohol use:
- The number of drinks or amount of drugs can't measure an alcohol or drug problem.
- An alcohol or drug problem can't be measured by the number of years you've been drinking or using.
- An alcohol or drug problem can't be measured by the kind of alcohol you drink or drug you use.
- An alcohol or drug problem is measured by what the alcohol or drug is doing to you.
- An alcohol or drug problem is measured by getting drunk or high when your plan was to stay sober.
- An alcohol or drug problem is measured by getting less pleasure from drinking or using but continuing to drink or use.
- An alcohol or drug problem is measured by how much alcohol is getting in the way of your life, like your health, physical safety, feelings, work, money problems, family and personal relationships.
What are Symptoms of Addiction?
Ask yourself these questions as you think about your drug or alcohol use:
- Have you ever felt you ought to cut down on your drinking or drug use?
- Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking or drug use?
- Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking or drug use?
- Have you ever had a drink or used drugs first thing upon awakening to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?
If you answered yes to one or more of these items or questions, it could mean that your alcohol or drug use is no longer just "social" and that it may be out of control.
Serious side effects to watch for if you drink or use drugs regularly are: shakiness, vomiting, diarrhea, sudden sweating, rapid heartbeat, confusion, seizures, inability to recall events (blackouts), and hallucinations (hearing or seeing things not really there). If you experience some or all of these symptoms, it could mean your body has become addicted to the alcohol or drugs you are using. Anyone displaying these symptoms should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.
Who do I Call if I have Questions or Problems?
If you think you have a problem with alcohol or drug use, please contact Mental Health Services at Denver Health at 303-602-HELP (4357) to learn more about substance abuse services for children and adults.