Substance Abuse/Chemical Dependency

Substance Abuse/Chemical Dependency


Although illicit drug use gets the greatest publicity related to substance abuse, and is a major problem for and in communities of color, it should be remembered that other widely abused substances in our society, in virtually all racial and ethnic groups, are:
  • alcohol
  • tobacco (mostly cigarettes but also cigars and smokeless tobacco)
  • over-the-counter medications, and
  • prescription drugs.

Because substance abuse and addiction are so widespread throughout society, it’s a good idea to periodically assess whether or not one has warning signals of problems in this area.

We will be addressing all of the above and additional issues related to substance use and abuse. Following is information already available.

Health Power Checklist for Early Warning Signals of Substance Abuse/Addiction

To decide whether there is a possibility that alcohol or drugs are a problem for you, complete the checklist below. Put a check beside all of the items that apply to your behavior.

increased tolerance for the substance, thus more is needed to get the same “high”
increased self-confidence with alcohol or drugs
upset when drinking or using behavior is discussed
lying about drinking or drug use
confronted by friend(s) or family member(s) about your level of use or related behavior
inability to quit or control use of alcohol or drugs
related family problems
drinking or using alone
hiding or sneaking drinks or drugs
memory loss or blackouts

Note: If you checked three (3) or more items above, there is a definite possibility that alcohol or drugs are a problem for you. But, if you find out that you have, or might have a problem, You are the only one who can make the decision to get help. Health Power says, “Do it for yourself, and for those who love you”!

For additional information on substance abuse and chemical dependency, you can contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Tel. (301) 443-7265. Their web site can be reached directly through our “Relevant Resources” section.