Questions to Ask Yourself Regarding Substance Use Disorder

January 31, 2023

By Shelly Parkman, LPC, LCAC, Director of Substance Use Disorder Services at Prairie View

Substance use disorder is the result of many contributing factors such as genetics, trauma, environment, upbringing and many other things. Those persons who start using alcohol or drugs early in life run a greater risk of crossing the invisible line and becoming dependent.

Some questions you should ask yourself are:
•    Have I ever felt the need to cut down on my drinking or drug use?
•    Have people ever annoyed me by criticizing my drinking or drug use?
•    Have I ever felt guilty about my drinking or drug use?
•    Have I ever felt I needed a drink or to use drugs first thing when I wake up to steady my nerves or get rid of a hangover? 

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may possibly be experiencing a substance use disorder.

Remember, it’s not so much how often or how much a person uses that defines whether they are addicted as much as how their life is being affected by their use of substances.

Help Is Available
If a person does believe they might have a problem with alcohol or drugs, I encourage them to reach out to a professional substance use disorder counselor for an evaluation. 

Prairie View offers outpatient substance use treatment for adults and youth, including substance use evaluations and individual, family and group therapy for substance use and support for maintaining sobriety. Prairie View also offers a Medication-Assisted Treatment program to help relieve the withdrawal symptoms and cravings. MAT can be used to assist individuals with alcohol and opioid use disorder.

Prairie View is a dual diagnosis facility so other mental health needs can be met simultaneously.

For more information, call 800-992-6292.

No Shame
There is no shame in reaching out for help. 

This disease does not define a person. In other words, your disease is not who you are but something you have.

Even if you have an illness, it does not excuse the bad behavior that often accompanies it. You are not at fault for having a disease, but you are responsible for getting treatment.

Like other chronic diseases, treatment is not necessarily a cure but it does respond to medication, lifestyle changes, regular monitoring for complications, and behavioral support.

Stopping alcohol or drug use is just one part of recovery from this disease.

Recovery is a difficult process and requires a big effort on the part of the patient. Staying in recovery is hard because you need to learn new ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. Treatment often involves self-help groups such as AA/NA and therapy. Medication can be helpful as well as an adjunct to therapy for addictions to alcohol and opiates.