Friday, April 1, 2011

Ask For Help

The Air Force policy on illicit drug use is very straight forward - zero tolerance. As members, we are not to participate in any illegal activities that involve the production, distribution, or the use of illicit drugs. However, this article is not going to address why you should not use drugs, but how you can recognize if you, a friend, or a family member may have a substance abuse problem and ways to seek help.

Understand an Addiction

An addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing Brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Can addiction be treated successfully? Yes, there are many new treatment methods that teach a person how to deal with the powerful disruptive effects of an addiction. Can addiction be cured? No, but a person can be taught how to manage and gain control of their addiction so they can live a very positive and productive life. Having an addiction does not need to be a life sentence. The questions below can help you recognize someone with a substance abuse problem. When answering the questions, keep in mind that drug use includes prescription medications, illicit drugs, tobacco, and alcohol.

*Do you have a substance abuse problem?

1. Do you feel like you can't stop, even if you wanted to?
2. Do you ever feel bad or guilty about your drug us?
3. Do you need to use drugs to relax or feel better?
4. Do your friends or family members complain or worry about your drug use?
5. Do you hide or lie about your drug use?
6. Have you ever done anything illegal in order to obtain drugs?
7. Do you spend money on drugs that you really can't afford?
8. Do you ever use more than on recreational drug at a time?

If you answered 'yes" to one or more of the questions, you may have a drug problem.

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How to Get Help

The first step to fighting a substance abuse problem is to ask for help by making one phone call to 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or to your Drug Demand Reduction Program Manager at 612-713-1673.