Substance use disorders are difficult for the people to see within themselves. We can always compare ourselves to others and find someone who is worse off. Denial becomes more prominent as people progress in the disorder and we develop reasons and rational to explain our behavior. We create a dramatic image of an addict or an alcoholic that is unemployed, homeless and living under a bridge. But this is not always the accurate picture of a problem. In fact, according to the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.3 million Americans (9% of the population 12 and older) were classified as having substance abuse or dependence. So, a clearer picture may come from asking a few questions. Are you or someone you know concerned about your use? Is your use causing you to miss work or other obligations? Are you preoccupied with using or find it difficult to stop or control your use? Do you put yourself in risky situations when using? (Driving intoxicated, sexual promiscuity, fights) Does your using cause problems in your relationships? If you answered yes to any of these questions you may have a problem. Thankfully, there is help. The Heartview Foundation has served over 24,000 patients and their families. Call, stop by or visit our website at www.heartview.org
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