Is a family member chemically dependent?

To determine whether or not an alcohol or drug problem is affecting your family, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does someone in your family undergo personality changes when he or she uses alcohol or other drugs?
  • Are you sometimes anxious before holidays or social occasions because you are worried that he or she may disrupt it by getting high or drunk? * Have you ever found it necessary to lie to employers, relatives, or friends to hide his or her alcohol or drug use?
  • Have you ever hidden car keys, thrown out the alcohol or drugs, or used other methods to attempt to control his or her use?
  • Have you ever felt embarrassed or felt the need to apologize for his or her actions?
  • Have you ever asked him or her to stop or cut down on his or her use of alcohol or other drugs?
  • Has he or she ever promised to stop or cut down on his or her use of alcohol or other drugs?
  • Has he or she ever promised to stop using alcohol or other drugs without success?
  • Has he or she ever failed to remember what occurred during a period of alcohol and/or drug use?
  • Does he or she avoid social situations where alcohol and/or drugs will not be available?
  • Does he or she have periods of remorse after periods of use and does he or she apologize for his or her behavior?
  • Does he or she justify his or her use by blaming a stressful lifestyle or difficult emotional situations?
  • Do other family members fear or avoid this person after he or she has been using alcohol or other drugs?
  • Has another person expressed concern about his or her drinking or drug use?
  • Has he or she ever made promises that he or she did not keep because of drinking or drug use?
  • Has his or her reaction to a given amount of alcohol or other drugs changes?
  • Does he or she deny a drinking problem because he or she drinks only wine or beer?
  • Do you find yourself avoiding social situations that include alcohol or other drugs?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, there is a possibility that someone in your family is developing a problem with alcohol or other drugs. If you answered "yes" to two or more, chemical use is probably causing serious problems in your family.

Reprinted by permission of Substance Abuse Community Council of Grosse Pointe from the pamphlet "How Do I Know? Where Do I Go?"