I recently had a conversation with a friend who is questioning whether or not he has a substance abuse problem. For him he knows I work in the substance abuse field. Therefore, it seemed natural for him to contact me about his concerns. But, there are many people who do not have the luxury of having someone close to them who might be able to point them in the right direction. So, asking for help is not always an easy thing. But, there are several ways to get guidance if you or a loved one needs information.
The first thing I would say is that if you are thinking you have a problem with substances then you probably do. “Normal” drinkers don’t have a conversation in their heads about having a problem. In the case with my friend, he explained to me that when he drinks a few beers he has the urge to use cocaine. But, he conveyed to me that he is not a regular user because it’s not always around. Yet, when it is there he can’t just take it or leave it…he takes it! Our conversation led him to make an appointment with a therapist. So, if you talk to a loved one or even a stranger about what you are thinking it’s a great start. Also, if you are too nervous to talk, write down what you are thinking and give it to that person.
Next, I would suggest contacting either your physician (or a physician) or someone in the mental health field. They should be able to advise you about what to do. In addition, there are resources in your community who will steer you right. Contact your local Community Service Board or even the local Alcoholics Anonymous General Service Office. Also, I would highly recommend seeing a therapist. This is a great way to express what you are thinking without someone judging you. Finally, the internet is your friend too. Research different treatment programs in your area. You can also learn about the disease of addiction through the world wide web. A recent article discusses the dangers of trying to beat an addiction alone.
No matter what road you take it is critical to realize that stopping any addiction is much easier with the help of another person. The old saying goes…”A problem shared is a problem cut in half!” Try it and you will be on a course to an easier way of living.