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Substance use

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and your health

Many people find it hard to admit when they have an alcohol or drug problem.

Often, those around you may see your problem before you do.

Are drugs or alcohol a problem for you?

Does alcohol or substance use cause problems in your health, your work, or your life at home?

You may have a problem with drugs or alcohol if:

  • you think about them frequently
  • you keep trying to quit but can't
  • you often drink or use more than you plan to

Take a substance–use quiz (PDF) to find out if you might have a problem with drugs or alcohol, or take our short online self-assessment to find out if you are drinking too much.

Getting help

Quitting may be the only way to stop the problems alcohol or drugs are causing in your life.

It may not be easy to quit. But recovery benefits you, and everyone around you. The rewards of better health, better relationships, and a sense of accomplishment make the challenge worthwhile.

Get help now with addiction treatment services at Kaiser Permanente.

Alcohol, drugs, and your children

A major concern for many parents is the use of alcohol, cigarettes, inhalants, and other drugs among children and teens.

Children who learn about the risk of drugs at home are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs than those who are not taught about the dangers.

Get more information about teen alcohol and drug abuse and how to recognize and deal with teen substance use.

The Partnership at Drugfree.orgKaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites. helps parents prevent, intervene, and find treatment for their children.

For family and friends

Addiction is a disease. A person with an addiction is not choosing a drug or alcohol over friends or family. He or she needs professional help to deal with the addiction.

The best thing you can do is to help the person get the help he or she needs and take care of yourself. Making sure you get understanding and respect will help you stay healthy in both physical and emotional ways.

Learn ways to deal with a friend or family member with an addiction.

Related links

Alcoholics AnonymousKaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites.
Al-Anon Family Groups (for friends and families of problem drinkers)Kaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites.
Narcotics AnonymousKaiser Permanente is not responsible for the content or policies of external Internet sites.
Opioid use and safety
Rethinking Drinking

Reviewed by: Andrew Bertagnolli, PhD, November 2015
Additional Kaiser Permanente reviewers

©2015 Kaiser Permanente