Social Drinking & Drug Use
Most people who drink alcohol are social drinkers, and most people who use drugs are social users.
Social drinkers & drug users...
...drink or use simply to enhance the pleasure of normally pleasurable experiences, and that's what
...don't experience problems of any kind associated with drinking or using.
...never feel out of control or that they've had too much to drink or use.
...don't think about how much or how often they drink or use; it's just not an issue.
...never get complaints about how much or how often they drink or use because there's nothing to
Alcohol & Drug Abuse
Some people who drink alcohol and/or use drugs become substance abusers. Alcohol and drug abusers,
or substance abusers...
... use alcohol or drugs to help them change the way they feel about themselves and/or some aspect(s) of
... experience some problems associated with their alcohol or drug use but use those experiences to set
appropriate limits on how much and how often they drink or use.
... seldom, if ever, repeat the alcohol- and drug-related behaviors that have caused them problems in the
... know what their limits are and drink or use within those limits - unless they have a good reason not to.
... get complaints about their drinking or using and accept those complaints as expressions of concern
for their well-being.
Alcoholism & Drug Addiction
A few people who drink alcohol and/or use drugs become alcoholics and/or addicts. Alcoholics and drug
...experience negative consequences associated with drinking or using but continue to drink or use
despite those consequences.
...set limits on how much or how often they will drink or use but unexpectedly exceed those limits.
...promise themselves and/ or other people that they will drink or use in moderation but break those
...feel guilty or remorseful about their drinking or using but still fail to permanently alter the way they
drink or use.
...get complaints about their drinking or using and resent, discount, and/or disregard those comments
Alcohol & Drug Use Management
Social drinkers & users, substance abusers, and alcoholics & addicts can best manage their
relationships with alcohol and drugs in different ways.
Social drinkers and social users are fine. They need do nothing. Drinking and using in and of itself is not
the issue. If it's really not a problem, then it's not a problem.
Substance abusers may not need to abstain completely from the use of alcohol and drugs, but they need
to deal with the problems and issues that make them want to change the way they feel, even it means
getting professional help.
Alcoholics and addicts need to abstain completely from all addictive and potentially addictive mood- and
mind-altering substances, and they will almost surely need professional help and/or support to
accomplish that goal.
In addiction/alcoholism, defense mechanisms often distort reality to a dangerous extent. It gets harder to
cover up the truth when the consequences start to pile up...broken families, legal charges, ruined careers.
Also, the defense mechanisms can harm the addicts/alcoholics loved ones...some of them start to wonder
if they are the crazy ones, because the addict is so sure that they have no problems.
Denial: simply to deny the truth "I don't have a problem"
Rationalization: to make the irrational sound rational through the use of justification and excuses. "I'm
not hurting anybody." "I can stop whenever I want""I've had a hard day, I deserve a drink.""I relaxes
Isolating: Efforts to hide and maintain the addiction distances them from loved ones, the company of non
addicts becomes painful.
Blaming: pointing the finger at someone else. It takes the heat off by putting it on someone else. "If my
husband had fixed the tail light, I wouldn't have gotten this DUI." "If you lived here, you'd drink too."
Minimizing: watering down the problem. Ex: "I never drink before noon, I'm not an alcoholic." "At least
I don't use as much as him."
MYTHS OF ALCOHOLISM
1. Alcohol is a stimulant-ONLY AT FIRST, then decidedly depresses.
2. Beer by itself is OK – ALL ALCOHOL IS EQUALLY DAMAGING. 12oz. beer = 8oz. Wine = 11/2
3. If you eat well, alcohol won’t bother you – Sure, food only slows the absorption of alcohol into the
blood stream, and only to a curtain point.
4. Coffee will sober you up, don’t count on it, remember coffee is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant.
5. Alcohol will settle my nerves or stomach, Hmm.. What do you think its doing to the lining of your
6. I’ll be alright as long as I don’t mix drinks, PROGRESSIVE… PEOPLE… If you have ever mixed
alcoholic drinks what is that saying about your drinking habits.
7. Alcohol helps me sleep. You mean pass out, alcohol disrupts sleep-reduces REM sleep needed for
dreaming and could cause hallucinations.
8. I’m not an alcoholic. I’ve never had the DT”S, Ever lost control?
9. I drink because I like the taste, ever burn yourself on purpose?
10. I don’t have a drinking problem, it’s my job or boss, my wife or husband, my nerves, and I need that
11. If I change my geographic location my problem will go away, don’t look now but you’re lost baggage
12. If I work everyday I’m not an alcoholic, (see # 10)
13. If I don’t drinking everyday I’m not an alcoholic, perhaps, but may be you’re just drying out.
14. If I use something else other than alcohol to get high, I won’t become alcohol dependant. No, you will
just have two addictions.
15. It’s MY BUSINESS, AND MY BODY, I’M NOT HURTING ANYONE, just your family, friends,
public safety, job, did I leave anything else out?
16. You can’t help an alcoholic till he/she wants help or hits “bottom” – An alcoholic is incapable of
rational, lifesaving decisions. You can speed up his/her “bottom”
17. For an alcoholic, one is too many…ten is not enough..(True)
|ARE DRUGS, ALCOHOL
AND OTHER ADDICTIONS
RUINING YOUR LIFE?
Answer the questions honestly,
remember everyone's addiction
is different and not all applies to
everyone, but most follow the
1. Do you lose time at work due
to drinking or using
2. Is drinking or using drugs
making your home life
3. Do you drink or use drugs
because you are shy with other
4. Does drinking or drugs use
5.Have you ever felt remorse
after drinking or using
6. Have you gotten into
financial difficulties as a result
7. Does drinking or drug use
make you careless of your
8.Do you turn to lower
companions and their inferior
9. Has your ambition decreased
since drinking and using
10. Do you crave a drink or
drug at a definite time of
11. Do you want a drink or drug
the next morning? (to take the
12. Does drinking or using
drugs cause you to have
13. Has your efficiency
decreased since drinking or
14. Is drinking or drug use
jeopardizing your job or
15. Do you drink or use drugs
to escape from worries or
16. Do you drink or use drugs
17. Have you ever had a
complete loss of memory as a
result of using?
18. Has your physician ever
treated you for
19. Do you drink or use drugs
to build up your self-
20. Have you ever been to a
hospital or institution due to
drinking or drug
“Yes” to any of the questions ---
WARNING---you may be an
alcoholic or drug addict.
“Yes” to two ---chances are
YOU ARE AN ADDICT!
“Yes” to any three---Consider
finding assistance, remember it’
s a disease that without
assistance only becomes
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