Checklists: Substance Abuse and Codependency

Substance Abuse-How to Recognize It

How Much is Too Much?

 A woman who has more than seven drinks* per week or more than three drinks per occasion.
 A man who has more than 14 drinks* per week or more than four drinks per occasion.
 Older than 65 years and have more than seven drinks* per week or more than three drinks per occasion.

At-Risk Behavior

 Drink or use drugs and drive or operate machinery, or if you mix alcohol or drugs with other medicine (over-the-counter and prescription drugs).
 Don't tell your surgeon, physician, or pharmacist that you are a regular drinker or user of mood-altering drugs.
 Are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant and drink or use drugs. (Even small amounts of alcohol can hurt an unborn child. Other drugs are also dangerous in pregnancy.)
 Drink alcohol or use drugs while you are looking after small children.

Am I Addicted?

If you use mind and mood altering substances to:

 Relax, relieve anxiety, or go to sleep.
 Be more comfortable in social situations.
 Avoid thinking about sad or unpleasant things.
 Socialize with other regular drinkers or drug users.

And if you:

 Worry about having enough alcohol or drugs for an evening or weekend.
 Hide alcohol or drugs, or buy alcohol at different stores so people will not know how much you are drinking.
 Switch from one kind of drink to another, hoping that this will keep you from getting drunk.
 Try to get "extra" drinks at a social event or sneak drinks when others aren't looking.

I know I have a problem if I:

 Can't stop drinking or using drugs once you start.
 Have tried to stop drinking or using drugs for a week or so but only lasted a few days.
 Fail to do what you should at work or at home because of drinking or drug use.
 Feel guilty after drinking or using drugs.
 Find that other people make comments to you about your drinking or drug use.
 Have had a drink or used drugs in the morning to get yourself going.
 Can't remember what happened while you were drinking or using drugs.
 Have hurt someone as a result of your drinking or drug use.

What do I do about problem drinking?

Try to cut down to safe drinking levels: less than seven drinks per week and less than three drinks per occasion for women and older people, and less than 14 drinks per week and less than four drinks per occasion for men.

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Signs and Symptoms of Codependency

 Having difficulty understanding how to be "normal" like others
 Being unable to maintain relationships with others
 Having low-esteem and low self-worth
 Not being able to complete projects resulting in frustration
 Blaming others for negative feelings
 Not accepting responsibility for actions
 Feeling guilty for having a fun and socializing with others
 Bestowing harsh judgments upon yourself and feeling you are no good
 Not allowing yourself to make mistakes
 Overreacting to change. (or intense fear of / inability to deal with change.)
 Inability to see alternatives to situations, thus responding very impulsively.
 Constantly seeking approval and affirmation, yet having compromised sense of self.
 Feelings of being different.
 Confusion and sense of inadequacy.
 Being either super responsible or super irresponsible. (Or alternating between these.)
 Lack of self confidence in making decisions, no sense of power in making choices.
 Feeling of fear, insecurity, inadequacy, guilt, hurt, and shame which are denied.
 Isolation and fear of people, resentment of authority figures.
 Fear of anger or bottling anger up till it explodes.
 Hypersensitivity to criticism.
 Being addicted to excitement / drama. (Chaos making.)
 Dependency upon others and fear of abandonment.
 Avoidance of relationships to guard against abandonment fears.
 Confusion between love and pity.
 Tendency to look for "victims" to help.
 Rigidity and need to control.
 Lies, when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.

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