Frequently Asked Questions

Young man in front of grafitti wall

It’s important to know how to recognize some of the warning signs, both for yourself and for your friends and loved ones. Often a person who is addicted does not show any discernable signs until the condition is quite developed.

Consider these facts about alcoholism

  1. If you drink heavily after a confrontation or argument, or because of emotional pain, you may feel that you need alcohol or other drugs to reduce the unpleasant feelings. But there are other ways to cope with unpleasant feelings without using alcohol or other drugs.
  2. If it takes more and more alcohol or more and more drugs to get the same effect, you know you have a problem. You are saying the reason for drinking or drugging is to relieve painful feelings or to get high. You are trying to get away from something negative and looking for something you think is more positive. After a while, the high won’t get higher and you won’t be able to get rid of whatever is bothering you. In the meantime, you will have become addicted and have that added problem to deal with before finding better and more positive ways of coping with your problems.
  3. If you remember last night—starting out, beginning to drink, maybe having a few extra drinks before your friends arrived “just to get in the mood,” feeling pretty good, having a good time, having a few more drinks—but then, that’s all you remember—you’ve had a blackout. Blackouts are a major problem. They are linked to all those extra drinks or to the large quantity you’ve started to consume.
  4. The blackouts alarm you to the point of switching drinks, switching jobs, and switching promises to yourself. Nothing works. You’re now suffering some work-related problems and beginning to have money problems. You don’t tell anyone. You drink some more or use other drugs, but they don’t seem to help anymore. You feel out of control. You are. Alcohol and/or other drugs have taken over your life.
  5. You’ve begun to realize that others are talking about your drinking or drugging. Vague questions really irritate you because you know that these questions are really to find out if you are going out to get drunk or stoned. At first you thought that these questions were selfish and nagging, but deep down, it bothers you that others may care about you more than you care about yourself. It may be that these people don’t know how to care for you. You may have to help them know how.
  6. Your hands shake in the morning. You’re frightened, scared, and many times terrified. You feel like a little child, alone, unhappy, miserable, and depressed. You don’t care much anymore about anything. Life has passed you by and it wasn’t fair. You may begin to contemplate suicide. Everyone is extremely irritated with you or has left you and its seems they didn’t care. You don’t eat much. Instead you drink, sometimes for several days at a time. Nothing relieves the pain and after a while, you can’t even drink very much anymore. At this point, you are in the late stages of alcoholism.

From: “Moving Forward With Your Life!” U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Publication No. 93-2000.

girl taking joint from friend

What are signs of drug or alcohol use in young people?

Often it is difficult to spot signs of drug use in young people since some of the signs and symptoms are common in perfectly normal adolescents. While there is no single warning sign for drug or alcohol use, some indicators of a potential problem include:

Read more »
Small child leaning on dad

Rule-making guidelines for parents

Children look to parents for information about life decisions and choices, such as how to succeed in school and why they shouldn’t use drugs. They look to other kids for information about popular culture, such as fashion fads or what’s cool.

Read more »

Is it possible to “drug-proof” my children?

Drug-proofing our children empowers them to actively resist the pressure to use drugs or alcohol and helps them to take steps to stop the abuse if it has begun.

Read more »
About Alcohol & Drug Recovery Fund

Alcohol & Drug Recovery Fund provides healing help to those affected by alcoholism and drug addiction.

Learn more »
Get in touch

Phone: 626-991-0009
Email: email (at) alcoholanddrugrecovery (dot) org