Is a Family Member Chemically Dependent?

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, there is a possibility that someone in your family is developing a problem with alcohol or other drugs.  If you answer “yes” to two or more, chemical use is probably causing serious problems in your family.

  • Does someone in your family undergo personality changes when he or she uses alcohol or drugs?
  • Are you sometimes anxious before holidays or special occasions because you’re worried that he or she may disrupt it by getting drunk or high?
  • Have you ever found it necessary to lie to employers, relatives, or friends to hide his or her alcohol or drug use?
  • Have you ever hidden car keys, thrown out the alcohol or drugs, or used other methods to attempt to control his or her use?
  • Have you ever felt embarrassed or felt the need to apologize for his or her actions?
  • Have you ever asked him or her to stop or cut down on use of alcohol or other drugs?
  • Has he or she ever promised to stop using alcohol or other drugs without success?
  • Has he or she ever failed to remember what occurred during a period of alcohol or drug use?
  • Does he or she avoid social situations where alcohol and/or drugs will not be available?
  • Does he or she have periods of remorse after periods of use and does he or she apologize for his or her behavior?
  • Does he or she justify his or her use by blaming a stressful lifestyle or difficult emotional situation?
  • Do other family members fear or avoid this person after he or she has been using alcohol or other drugs?
  • Has another person expressed concern about his or her drinking or drug use?
  • Has he or she ever made promises he or she did not keep because of drinking or drug use?
  • Has his or her reaction to a given amount of alcohol or other drugs changed? (need more or less of the alcohol/drug to get the same effect)?
  • Does he or she deny a drinking or drug problem because he or she only drinks beer or wine?
  • Do you find yourself avoiding social situations that include alcohol or other drugs?

As published in Love First, by Jeff & Debra Jay.  Reprinted with permission of Substance Abuse Community Council of Gross Pointe from the pamphlet “How Do I Know?  Where Do I Go?”