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If you’re finding that you’re saying ‘yes’ to quite a few of these questions or if you’ve got those nagging concerns that won’t quit, it’s time to consider reaching out for some professional guidance. Healthcare professionals and addiction specialists can help. They can provide you with a thorough evaluation and personalized support tailored to your needs.

It’s important to know that you don’t have to go through this journey on your own. There’s support available, and if you need a hand finding your way, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the National Center for Wellness and Recovery (NCWR) Addiction and Recovery clinic. There is no shame in seeking help.

The following questions may be helpful in determining whether you need to seek professional help. Remember only licensed medical professionals can diagnose and treat substance use disorder. In case of a medical emergency, please dial 911. For immediate and confidential emotional support, please call 988 to reach the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Substance Use Disorder Questions

Frequency and Quantity

  • Have I been using a substance more frequently than I used to?
  • Am I using larger quantities of the substance than before?

Loss of Control

  • Do I find it difficult to control or limit my substance use?
  • Have I unsuccessfully tried to cut down or quit using the substance?

Cravings and Urges

  • Do I experience strong cravings or urges to use the substance?
  • Do I spend a lot of time thinking about when and how I will use it next?

Neglecting Responsibilities

  • Have I started neglecting my responsibilities at work, school or home because of my substance use?
  • Are my relationships with family and friends suffering because of it?

Legal and Financial Issues

  • Have I faced legal problems or financial difficulties related to my substance use?
  • Have I engaged in illegal activities to obtain or use the substance?

Risk-Taking Behavior

  • Do I take risks, such as driving under the influence, while using the substance?
  • Have I put myself or others in dangerous situations because of my substance use?

Physical and Psychological Health

  • Am I experiencing physical health issues as a result of using the substance?
  • Has my mental health deteriorated, leading to symptoms like anxiety or depression?

Failed Attempts to Quit

  • Have I tried to quit or cut down on using the substance but couldn’t sustain it?
  • Do I feel powerless in the face of my substance use?

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Do I experience withdrawal symptoms, like nausea, tremors or anxiety, when I don’t use the substance?


  • Have I built up a tolerance, meaning I need more of the substance to achieve the desired effect?


  • Do I isolate myself from friends and family to use the substance in secret?
  • Have I lost interest in activities or hobbies I used to enjoy?

Unsuccessful Efforts to Cut Down:

  • Have I attempted to cut down or control my substance use without success?
  • Do I find myself returning to using the substance even after promising to quit?

Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences

  • Have I continued to use the substance even when it caused problems in my life, such as relationship breakdowns or job loss?

Preoccupation with Substance

  • Do I spend a significant amount of time thinking about the substance, obtaining it or using it?
  • Does it dominate my thoughts and priorities?

Changes in Values and Priorities

  • Have my values and priorities shifted, with the substance taking precedence over other important aspects of my life?

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