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Family, friends and employers all care about the person struggling with alcohol or drug dependence. In many ways, there can be a lot of frustration and sadness generated, putting stress on our most important and meaningful relationships. Addiction, drug abuse, and alcoholism damage quality of life for the one using, as well as for his family and friends. The consequences of alcohol and drug misuse don’t stop there, as it can—and often does—lead to many problems in the workplace.
Signs and Symptoms of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Alcoholism, and Addiction
Drug and Alcohol Abuse*
* Not being able to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home because of recurrent alcohol or drug use
* Recurrent alcohol and drug use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving)
* Recurrent drug and alcohol-related legal problems (e.g., DUIs)
* Continued drug and alcohol use despite social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the drug and alcohol
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction*
* Tolerance: A need for more and more amounts of drugs and alcohol to get intoxicated
* Withdrawal: Getting withdrawal symptoms when suddenly stopping drinking or using after prolonged and heavy use: e.g., tremors, nausea, sweating, and shakiness
* Alcohol or drugs is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period of time than was intended
* Unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control alcohol and drug use
* A lot of time is spent in activities to obtain drugs and alcohol, use alcohol or drugs to recover from its effects
* Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of alcohol or drug use
* Alcohol and drugs use is continued despite persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problems most likely caused or exacerbated by the alcohol or drugs
(*Adapted from the American Psychiatric Association. 1994. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.) (DSM-IV). Washington, D.C.: APA))
Also, check out a Substance Abuse Symptoms Checklist by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of the San Fernando Valley.
Family and Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Drug and alcohol abuse and alcoholism within the family can take its toll on all involved. Stress, hurt, anger, sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, fear, disgust, and mistrust are just some of the feelings that can be a part of the emotional roller-coaster experienced within a family. The problem of drug and alcohol abuse, alcoholism and addiction to any substance knows no boundaries when it comes, race, ethnicity, country, and rich or poor. While there are no easy answers, a person with an alcohol or drug problem can get help… and the healing can begin. To read more, please visit our pages, Spouses & Companions and Parents & Children.
Friends and Drug Abuse and Alcoholism
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Friends, like family, can go through a roller-coaster of emotions when a friend has a problem with alcohol or other drugs. Maybe you’ve seen the pattern of destruction spiraling down and down, more and more, over weeks, months, or even years, or perhaps you’re a new friend seeing your friend’s drinking or drugging problem for the first time. Either way, if you’re reading this, you care.
Many people have recovered from alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and other drug addiction, leading clean and sober lives. Your friend can too, but may need professional help. To read more, please visit our page, Spouses & Companions.
Employers and Work Environment and Alcohol and Drugs
Not having a drug and alcohol free workplace can have some serious repercussions for a business and employees. One of the best things a company can do is to have a drug and alcohol free workplace program. To read more about what you can do, please see our page about alcohol and the workplace.