SUBSTANCE ABUSE SYMPTOMS CHECKLIST
1. Frequent intoxication
- Does the person report or appear to be frequently high or intoxicated?
- Do recreational activities center around drinking or other drug use,
including getting, using, and recovering from use?
2. Atypical social settings
- Does the immediate peer group of the individual suggest that substance
abuse may be encouraged?
- Is the person socially isolated from others and is substance abuse
- Is the person reluctant to attend social events where chemicals won't be
3. Intentional heavy use
- Does the person use "social drugs" with prescribed
- Does the person use more than is safe in light of medications or
- Does the person have an elevated tolerance as evidenced by the use of
large quantities of alcohol or other drugs without appearing intoxicated?
4. Symptomatic drinking
- Are there predictable patterns of use which are well known to others?
- Is there a reliance on chemicals to cope with stress?
- Has the person made lifestyle changes yet the drug use has stayed the same
or increased? (eg. changed friends or moved to another area)
5. Psychological dependence
- Does the person rely on drugs as a means of coping with negative
- Does the person believe that pain can't be coped with without medication?
- Does the person obviously feel guilty about some aspect of the person's
use of alcohol or other drugs?
6. Health problems
- Are there medical conditions which decrease tolerance or increase the
risk of substance abuse problems?
- Are there recurring bladder infections, chronic infections, bed sores,
seizures, or other medical situations which are aggravated by repeated alcohol
or other drug use?
- Did the disability occur when the individual was under the influence, even
if it is denied by the person?
7. Job problems
- Is the person underemployed or unemployed?
- Has the person missed work or gone to work late due to use of alcohol or
- Does the person blame the disability for work related problems?
8. Problems with significant others
- Has a family member or friend expressed concern about the person's
- Have important relationships been lost or impaired due to chemical use?
9. Problems with law or authority
- Has the person been in trouble with authorities or arrested for any
alcohol or drug related offenses?
- Have there been instances when the person could have been arrested but
- Does the person seem angry at "the system" and at authority
figures in general?
10. Financial problems
- Is the person's spending money easily accounted for?
- Does the person frequently miss making payments when they are due?
- Does the person appear angry or defensive but doesn't know why?
- Is the person defensive or angry when confronted about chemical use?
- Does increasing isolation suggest heavier substance abuse?
- Is the person giving up or changing social and family activities in order
- Does the person focus on disability to the exclusion of other aspects
- Does the person blame the disability for what goes wrong?