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Warning Signs

I Know Someone Else Who Has a Problem:

      Do you think that your friend may have a problem with alcohol or drugs that could end up ruining their life? Does it really upset you and hurt you to see your friend acting this way? Do you want to help? Here are some tips to help you approach a friend that you feel may have a problem and to help direct them to the resources they will need to get better.

Warning Signs

There are some warning signs that you may observe if your friend has a problem. He or she may:

* Use more alcohol and/or another drug than in the past;
* Deny or try to hide drinking and/or other drug use;
* Avoid talking about his/her use and behavior when intoxicated and minimize the amount and frequency of and problems related to drug use;
* Forget or deny things that happened when s/he was intoxicated;
* Choose friends who are heavy drinkers or drug users;
* Often drink and/or take drugs to relax or forget about problems;
* Try to justify or excuse his/her drinking and/or other drug use;
* Drive a car or operates machinery while intoxicated, or is arrested for drunk driving;
* Behave differently when intoxicated (for example, a person who is normally quiet and mild-mannered becomes loud and angry when intoxicated);
* Deny having a drinking problem because s/he drinks only beer or wine, or denies having a drug problem because s/he only uses marijuana, over-the-counter diet aids or some other supposedly "harmless" substance;
* Have problems related to alcohol/drug use-accidents, conflicts, financial difficulties, absenteeism, frequent illness, hangovers- with work, family and friends.
* Think a lot about alcohol/other drugs;
* Avoid social functions where alcohol and/or other drugs may not be available;
* Seem to have a low self-image and use alcohol/drugs to feel better.
* Make you embarrassed, anxious or afraid when s/he is drunk or high;

     If several of these warning signs apply to your friend, you have good reason to be concerned. The more signs that apply, the worse the drinking or drug problem is likely to be. Your friend may have other problems as well. But alcohol/drug abuse won't solve those problems and may even make them worse.

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