Determining if you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem can often be difficult. Often if use of alcohol or other drugs, whether legal or illegal, causes problems in your life, it is felt to be a problem. There are several screening tools that can be used to determine if a problem is present.
There are varying degrees of substance abuse problems:
Misuse - The intentional use of a substance to reach intoxication.
Abuse - Use of a substance that leads to family, occupational, social and even legal problems.
Dependence - Use of a substance to the point where a tolerance is developed, some withdrawal symptoms may be present upon abstinence, and where there is unpredictability over the ability to control/moderate use.
Bingeing - A sporadic use of a substance to excess.