Alcohol and Drug Problems

Alcohol or Drug use problems can look like:

  • Family or friends expressing concern about using
  • Engaging in unsafe activities such as driving while intoxicated or unsafe sex
  • Possible legal problems
  • Use interfering with work, causing tardiness, absences, or not completing tasks
  • Using is important to fall asleep or makes sleep restless
  • A desire to reduce or stop using or attempts to stop using
  • Attending self-help groups, then using again
  • Consuming larger quantities, spending more money, or spending more time using than you intended
  • Reducing social or recreational activities
  • Problems with finances
  • Using when taking medications or having a health condition

Too often alcohol and drug use problems remain untreated. No single treatment is appropriate for everyone. Effective treatment attends to the multiple needs of the individual. Sometimes full abstinence works best, others may benefit from “harm reduction” or efforts to decrease use. Sometimes people experiencing problems with alcohol or drug use have other mental health issues. Counseling can help individuals identify triggers and urges to using and develop coping strategies for safety.