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Managing Your Addiction

How Does it Affect Your Life?

​​​​​​​​Major Areas in Your Life to Think About

There are many areas in your life that have been (or could be) affected by alcohol, tobacco, drug use, or gambling. It can be helpful to look closely at these areas to see what the consequences have been. This can hel​p you focus on the areas you really want to change and build the motivation to do it. Read the questions below and think about how your addiction has affected your life.

Legal

  • Have you ever done anything illegal (e.g., theft, dealing, prostitution, pimping, breaking and entering, assault, impaired driving) while drinking or using drugs?
  • Have you ever been charged with any alcohol or drug-related offences?
  • What effect (e.g., custody, restitution, fines) did criminal charges have on your life?

Financial

  • How much money do I spend each month or year on my drinking, drug, gambling or tobacco use?
  • Have you spent money on alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or gambling that you wish you had used for other things?
  • Have you had to take care of court fees and fines?
  • Have you ever lost a job and pay because of drinking, using drugs, tobacco, or gambling?
  • Have you ever supplied your friends with drugs?
  • Have you taken money or pawned items from home to buy drugs or gamble?
  • Have you been in any accidents that made your insurance rates go up?

Family

  • Does your family trust you? Has this changed because of drinking, using drugs, using tobacco, or gambling?
  • Are there fights in your family because of your substance use or gambling?
  • Have you failed to keep promises and meet expectations because of your substance use or gambling?
  • Does your family avoid you when you drink or use other drugs? Do you avoid them? Has there been any violence in your family because of your substance use or gambling?

Relationships

  • How has my using negatively impacted my relationships?
  • Have your friends suggested that you cut down?
  • Have your friends been embarrassed by your behaviour?
  • Have you argued with friends about your substance use or gambling?
  • Have you failed to keep promises?
  • Do you trust your friends? Do they trust you?
  • Have you lost friends because of your substance use or gambling?

Recreation and Leisure

  • How has my using negatively impacted my hobbies or leisure activities?
  • Do most of your leisure activities involve alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or gambling?
  • How often do you do things that don’t involve alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or gambling?
  • Have you lost interest in activities that you used to like to do?

School or Work

  • Have you been suspended or kicked out of school because of substance use or gambling?
  • Have you lost a job because of substance use or gambling?
  • Have your grades changed because of substance use or gambling?
  • Do you miss school or work often?
  • Have you gone to school or work drunk or high?
  • Have your teachers or bosses talked to you about drinking, using drugs, tobacco, or gambling?

Physical Health

  • How has my using affected my physical health?
  • Have you ever had a blackout, hallucination, seizure, the shakes, or vomiting?
  • Have you ever had an overdose?
  • Have you been hurt (e.g., in an accident or fight) when drinking or using drugs? Has a doctor told you to stop drinking or using drugs?
  • Have you been sick and had to stay home because you were using?
  • Have you ever had a flashback? Have you ever injected drugs?

Emotional and Mental Health

  • How has my using negatively impacted my emotional and mental health?
  • Do you try to make it through the day?
  • Have you ever felt guilty or embarrassed about drinking, using drugs, using tobacco, or gambling?
  • Are you depressed about your life?
  • Are you moody?
  • Do you hide how much you're using or gambling from family or friends?
  • Do you feel like nothing has turned out right for you?
  • Do you drink or use drugs just to feel normal?
  • Have you ever tried to hurt yourself (e.g., slashing, burning, skin carving)?

Spiritual Health

  • How has using negatively impacted my spirituality?
  • How has my using impacted my sense of peace and my comfort in my own skin?
  • Do you feel less supported and less connected to others?
  • Do you feel like there is no purpose to your life?

For more information and to find an addiction services office near you, please call the 24-hour Help Line.

Current as of: January 3, 2017

Author: Addiction & Mental Health, Alberta Health Services