Using drugs or alcohol sometimes starts off as fun. It may be something that you do with your friends and you may like how it makes you feel or act. Sometimes, though, it can start to not feel fun any more and you might wonder if your use is starting to get out of control.
Sometimes you realize that your use is causing problems. You may notice that using is becoming your only focus and that your grades and relationships are starting to slip. You might notice that there’s more fighting going on with your parents about your substance use. Your substance use might also be causing you problems with the law or it may be affecting your physical health.
Other times, you may hear other people in your life tell you that they think you have a problem with drugs or alcohol. This may be hard to hear and you may not necessarily agree with everything they have to say. It might be helpful to reflect on this feedback and decide for yourself whether your substance use is becoming a problem.
If you’re worried that you might have a problem with drugs or alcohol, it can be helpful to write down “The Good Things About My Use” and “The Bad Things About My Use”. Be sure to be honest, this is just for you to think about. Under the “Good Things” heading, think about all the reasons why you continue to use. Under the “Bad Things” heading think about the impact of your use on your relationships, your school or work, family, your mental health and any other negative consequences of your use. Take a look at what you’ve written. If there are a few things in the “Bad Things” column, it might be time to talk to someone about your substance use.
Sitting down with a professional to talk about your use may be helpful. They will be nonjudgmental and can help you take stock of the impact that using is having on you. There are lots of ways to help you quit or cut back on your substance use and they can help support you around the goals that you set for yourself.