CNN CNN Health

When Use Becomes Abuse

Content provided by: Better Medicine from Healthgrades

Drug or alcohol abuse occurs when you can’t control your use of these drugs. (Alcohol may be legal, but it’s still a drug.) Use also becomes abuse when it disrupts your life.

What Are the Signs?

Drug or alcohol use may be making it hard for you to:

  • Stay close to family and friends.

  • Get to work on time or do your job well.

  • Keep up with your bills.

If this sounds like you, you may be abusing alcohol or other drugs. You’re not alone. Drug or alcohol abuse is a common problem. Just know that there’s help whenever you’re ready to make a change.

Is this you?

These questions can help you take a closer look at your use. Circle any that apply to you:

  • Have you ever felt you need to cut down on the amount of drug or alcohol you use?

  • Do you ever feel annoyed when people criticize your use?

  • Have you ever felt embarrassed or guilty about your use?

  • Have you ever used drugs or alcohol first thing in the morning?

If you circled one or more, maybe it’s time to address your drug or alcohol use and make positive changes in your life.


Remember, you are not alone. Help is available. Ask your healthcare provider for resources related to drug or alcohol abuse. You can also call the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) national helpline at (800) 662-4357.

Last Annual Review Date: 2010-09-01T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright: © 2000-2010 The StayWell Company, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Did You Know?

View Source

Prescription painkillers, also known as opioids, are responsible for almost 3 in 4 prescription drug overdoses.