By Bob Flannery
The short quiz is commonly referred to as “ The 20 Questions” and the original, developed by researchers in the addiction field, has been adjusted many times over the years to include all mood-altering substances and prescription medications. As a quick provider in indicating areas of concern, it has proven a valuable tool keyed to behavior among substance abusers and those who may be drinking too much alcohol.
If you or someone you know feels they may have a problem with alcohol, drugs or prescription pills we recommend answering the following questions as honestly as you can! All that’s needed is a simple “yes” or “no” and you’ll gain a perspective on what you should be doing to turn things around promptly .
• Have I been gulping drinks rather than sipping them?
• When I’m under pressure do I drink or do drugs more than usual?
• Has drinking and substance abuse made me more impulsive and less rational?
• Do I feel guilty about drinking and doing drugs?
• Have I lost time from work because of my dependencies on alcohol and prescription meds?
• Has my drinking and drug use caused abusive conduct at home with my spouse and children?
• Do I continue drinking when companions have stopped?
• Do I sneak drinks or pop pills before or during social events?
• Have I ever had an auto accident because of drinking or substance abuse?
• Do I forget things that happened when I drink or use drugs?
• If alcohol is not available at a social event am I uncomfortable?
• Am I harder to get along with after drinking for a while?
• Do I still claim I can stop drinking and doing drugs whenever I want?
• Do I crave a drink at any special time every day?
• Do I ever need a drink first thing in the morning or a pill to get going?
• Did I ever hide a bottle or a “stash at home?”
• Do I prefer to drink alone so it’s possible to drink more?
• Have I lost a job because of my drug use or drinking?
• Do I ever need a drink or a couple of pills to get rid of the “shakes?”
• Do chemical substances or alcohol help me build confidence?
If you answered “yes” to several of these questions it may be time for you to take a closer look at your drinking or use of mood altering drugs. If you took the test for someone else you might want to confront that person now with your results. Those who did answer “yes” should strongly consider consulting with a treatment professional now. One doesn’t jump to conclusions but this test will point out the proper direction to take.
Many of us have wondered about “social drinking” and others have pondered the “borders” of substance abuse. When does alcohol or some other mood-altering substance become a concern and how can we tell if we’re headed for trouble? The tests helps! When was “ alcohol” first discovered and by whom? Has alcoholism and addiction always been a problem among different societies? Why are some groups more than others effected and why do I drink differently than others. These doubts and recurring questions are more and more troubling as dependency grows and addiction to drugs and alcohol becomes a true fear.
The 20 Questions can help advance such a plan. Doubts accompany almost any intake of mood altering substances when capacity limits have been exceeded. Excesses are actually symptomatic and recognized as markers where guilt begins and we ponder major changes in behavior with alcohol or prescription drug intake. It’s a point universally shared and may be most important for anyone interested in avoiding the consequences of alcoholism and drug dependency. So how do we know if we’ve turned the corner on our drinking and it’s become an addiction? In the early days of alcoholism and drug treatment therapists and counselors would say: “If you think you have a problem with alcohol or drugs you almost certainly do!” That would often suffice as a personal diagnosis and was followed by a list of behaviors that usually accompany frequent and obsessive bouts with alcohol.
The next step requires honesty with ones self. Since denial is, however, a prime symptom of alcoholism and drug addiction that may not be as easy as it sounds. A clearer answer lies in the person’s conduct. We can be sure we’re headed for possible alcoholism and addiction if our consumption of any chemical substance has begun to adversely affect a major part of our life.
According to professionals in addiction and alcoholism treatment there is another way of saying it: “An alcoholic or addict is a person who excessively and uncontrollably uses any substances to the point where it interferes with health, family or employment.” We recommend you take the “ 20 Questions ” honestly and follow up with action if the results you get indicate more problems ahead.
If you or someone you know is experiencing the consequences of alcohol abuse or feels a growing dependency on drugs, please contact The Beachcomber Family Treatment Center . Telephone: 561- 734 – 1818. Our treatment specialists will speak with you promptly! Over 5,000 Beachcomber residents have followed our footsteps to recovery since we began our journey in South Florida in 1976. Please call us today !
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