Warning Signs



Addiction to alcohol or other substances is not always easy to identify. If many of the following clues are present, it may be that you need to seek help.


1. Minimizing The common refrain of “I can stop anytime I want.” Hiding the use of substances is also a major clue.

2. Belligerence and Intimidation. Mean-spiritedness, sarcasm and/or regular belittling usually leads to people feeling they must “walk on eggshells” around you.

3. Lying and promise breaking. Both hallmarks of substance abuse or addiction, these include the often-made (and broken) promise to “never do it again,” whatever “it” is.

4. Recurring financial difficulties. Repeated money crises; a lot of borrowing and a general sense that you are constantly “digging yourself out of a hole.”

5. Mood Swings. While this may have other origins, it often stems directly from the contrast of being under the influence (happy, calm, outgoing) or not (irritable, angry, withdrawn).

6. Lack of self-responsibility. People who abuse substances tend to habitually blame others for the negative circumstances in which they find themselves.

7. Sense of Entitlement. A common attitude is “The rules don’t apply to me.” Justifying illegal or immoral actions because “I deserve it” is another form of entitlement.

8. Oblivious to negative effects. No matter how far down they sink, people who abuse alcohol or drugs often do not seem to “get” how bad things are.

9. Surrounded by enablers. Someone abusing alcohol or drugs likes to be around people who will cover up, make excuses for, or “rescue” them.

10. Thriving on turmoil. While there may be lots of drama, goals are never reached and there is little to show for all the “excitement.”