How to Assess if You Have a Substance Abuse Problem

How to Assess if You Have a Substance Abuse Problem

Drugs are considered any sort of substance that changes either your brain or body functionality. They come in both legal and illegal varieties, such as alcohol or street drugs respectively, and some cause physiological dependency while others do not. Telling if you have an abuse problem can be difficult, but this will give you a few ways to assess your usage.


Cravings are the telltale sign of an addiction. There is a major difference between really wanting a substance once and not needing it again for weeks or months, and cravings that come on weekly or daily. Cravings tend to be worse with substances that cause dependence, but this can occur with any substance as you may crave the good feelings that come from using the substance.

Consider how often you think about and crave the substance. If you’re frequently feeling the need for it and thinking about how to get more, then you may have a substance abuse problem.

You Do Whatever You Can to Get More

Those without a substance abuse issue might be annoyed if they can’t use the substance when they want it, but they will quickly move on with the rest of their day. Those suffering from substance abuse feel that they need the substance now and will do whatever they can to get more. This can mean anything from spending money that should be used for bills, associating with people only to get more substances or even participating in illegal activities.

According to AION Health, “individuals with an opioid addiction will resort to drastic drug-seeking behaviors if the substance is not taken frequently.” This is very prevalent in opioid addictions, but it can also be displayed with any other type of addiction.

Higher Tolerance

The feelings aren’t as good anymore and you need more for the same feeling. Tolerance is an issue that comes up with any substance. What used to make you feel amazing barely does anything now. You need more and more to feel good. Soon you need high levels of the substance just to feel baseline.

If you find yourself taking much more than you did when you started, then this can be indicative of an addiction issue. Your body is no longer reacting the same because it has become too accustomed to the influx of your chosen substance or substances and you need more to get a semblance of the good feeling. Those with a higher tolerance should consider treatment for substance abuse problems.

Taking Risks

You find yourself taking risks either in an attempt to get more or while under the influence. A classic example is driving under the influence, but the risks manifest differently in each person. This can mean having unprotected sex with strangers, using contaminated needles, participating in illegal activities that you normally wouldn’t and other risks.

Attempting to Stop

Many people who use substances have a moment of clarity and want to stop or cut down on how much they are using. Those without an addiction will usually find this quite simple. They saw that the substance was causing undue problems and they stopped or reduced their usage. Those with an addiction issue will often go back to their normal amount of usage or use even more after attempting this.


There is a difference between use and abuse. Telling the difference can be difficult, but these methods can help you look at your usage habits to see if they are troubling or not.


Share this post

Post Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.