Chemical dependency evaluations determine if a person has a drug or alcohol abuse disorder, or a drug or alcohol dependence disorder.
To be diagnosed with chemical dependency, a person must meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, criteria. Blood tests or other lab tests (urine, hair, and nails) may be used to see what types of drugs a person has taken recently. Other assessment may be done to determine substance abuse or dependency and may include gathering details about a person’s medical, social or psychological history, and signs of intoxication or withdrawal.
Alcohol abuse or the use of any mood-altering drug can cause serious problems. Problems with drug or alcohol abuse may come from an attempt at self-medicating for mental health problems such as anxiety or depression. People may have genetic tendencies or were raised in an environment around alcoholics or drug abusers. It may be some combination of different factors leading to the problem.
Spotting Alcohol and Chemical Abuse and Dependancy
Drinking is a common part of culture, but the line between socially drinking and a drinking problem is a fine one. Even casual alcohol or drug use can lead to an addiction, which can create problems physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Some possible signs of alcohol abuse:
- Guilt or shame about drinking
- Never can stick to just one or two drinks
- Drinking is causing relationship problems
- Hiding drinking habits from others
- Loved ones have expressed worry about habits
- Drinking to feel better or relax
- Using alcohol when it’s dangerous such as while driving or taking other medication
- Getting arrested for DUI or disorderly conduct
- Neglecting responsibilities
Alcohol abuse often leads to alcohol dependence. Either way many problems are similar, but alcohol or drug dependence is when the body becomes chemically dependent on alcohol.
Beyond casual use of drugs or alcohol, the body will start to build up a tolerance, where the body needs more of the substance to experience the same effects. Then without the chemical, the body will experience withdrawal, which can involve anxiety, shaking, sweating, nausea, insomnia, depression, irritability, and more.
Some signs of drug addiction
- Relationships are being negatively affected
- Taking risks while using drugs such as using dirty needles, driving
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal if without the chemical
- Using even though it’s damaging your life
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Getting arrested for DUI or other legal troubles
- Feeling powerless to stop
- Thoughts revolve around using and figuring out how to get more of the drug
- No longer participating in activities you once enjoyed
Getting professional help from Atlanta Behavioral Consultants
Denial is a problem with drug and alcohol abuse or dependency. Many will underestimate its affect on them, but the costs can be drastic: losing friends, jobs, money, and physical and mental health. Admitting that there is a problem is a big first step. Facing alcohol abuse or addictions takes courage, but it also requires support. Changing your habits is tremendously difficult without accountability and without the support of professionals who can help you not to fall back into old ways when it gets hard. It takes more than just wanting to quit, but there are many tools that can equip someone along the road to recovery.
To learn more or get in contact with us at the Atlanta Behavioral Consultants, please call Ms. Schechtman or Dr. Drutman at 770.910.9135.