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Exercise #7: 
Stopping Denial As You Think About Your Addiction Symptoms

In this exercise you will review the common symptoms of substance abuse and dependence and asked to decide if each symptoms applies to you.  You will then be able to tie all of your answers together and see if you meet medical criteria for substance abuse or dependence or at high risk of developing it.  At each step in this process, you will be asked to notice if you were able to recognize and stop your denial when it was turned on.

1.         Do you use alcohol more than twice a week?  Do you consider that a problem: Please Explain.

2.         On the days when you use alcohol, do you usually have three drinks or more? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

3.         Do you use non-prescription drugs from time to time? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

4.         Do you use prescription drugs that change your mood or personality? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

5.         Do you sometimes use more than the amount prescribed? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

6.         Do you get intoxicated on alcohol or drugs more than twice a year?  (Youíre intoxicated if you use so much that you canít function safely or normally, or if other people think you canít function safely or normally). Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

7.        When youíre not using alcohol or drugs, do you ever put yourself in situations that raise your risk of getting hurt or having problems? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

8.        Have you ever felt that you should cut down on your drinking or drug use? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

9.         Have other people ever criticized your drinking or drug use, or been annoyed by it? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

10.       Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking or drug use? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

11.       Have you ever done things while you were using alcohol or drugs that you regretted or that made you feel guilty or ashamed? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

12.       Have you ever used alcohol or drugs first thing in the morning to feel better, or to get rid of a hangover? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

13.       Have you ever thought that you might have a problem with your drinking or drug use? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

14.       Have you ever used alcohol or drugs in larger quantities that you intended?  For example, have you ever used more than you wanted to or could afford to? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

15.       Have you ever used alcohol or drugs more often than you intended?  For example, have you ever planned not to use that day but done it anyway? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

16.       Have you ever used alcohol or drugs for longer periods of time than you intended?  In other words, have you ever not been able to stop when you planned to? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

17.       Have you ever had a desire to cut down or control your use?

18.       Have you ever tried to cut down or control your use? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

19.       Do you spend a lot of time getting ready to use alcohol or drugs, using, or recovering from using? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

20.       Have you ever failed to meet a major life responsibility because you were intoxicated, hung over, or in withdrawal (having discomfort because you were no longer using)? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

21.       Have you given up any work, social, or recreational activities because of alcohol or drug use? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

22.       Have you had any physical, psychological, or social problems that were caused by, or made worse by, your alcohol or drug use? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

23.       Have you ever continued to use alcohol or drugs even though you knew they were causing physical, psychological, or social problems, or making those problems worse? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

24.       Did your tolerance (your ability to use a lot of alcohol and drugs without feeling intoxicated) increase after you started to use? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

25.       Do you ever get physically uncomfortable or sick the day after using alcohol or drugs? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

26.       Have you ever used alcohol or drugs to keep you from getting sick the next day, or to make a hangover go away? Do you consider that a problem? Please Explain.

27.       When you use alcohol or drugs, what do you want those substances to do for you that you believe you can't do without them?

28.       When you use alcohol or drugs, what to you want those substances to help you escape from that you believe you canít escape without them?

Finding Out What You Answers Mean

To find out what the answers to the questions mean, letís complete the following steps:

First, letís count how many times the client answered "Yes" to questions 1 - 13.  and write that number down.

Second, letís count how many times the client answered "Yes" the questions 14 - 26. and write that number down.

If you answered "No" to all of the questions, you are probably at Low Risk of Addiction.

If you answered "yes" to three or more of the questions numbered I through 13, and "No" to all of the remaining questions you are probably at High Risk of Addiction.

If you answered "Yes" to more than three of the questions numbered I through 13, and "Yes" to between three and six of the questions numbered 14 through 26 you are probably in the Early Stages Of Addiction.

If you answered "Yes" to more than three of the questions numbered 1 through 13, and "Yes" to between six and nine of the questions numbered 14 through 26 you are probably in the Middle Stages Of Addiction.

If you answered "Yes" to more than three of the questions numbered I through 13, and "Yes" to more than nine of the questions numbered 14 through 26 you are probably in the Late Stages Of Addiction.

You are probably dependent upon alcohol or drugs you believes that:  (1) alcohol and drugs can do things for you that you can't do without those substances, or (2) alcohol and drugs can help you cope with things that you can't cope with unless you're using,. Only people who are dependent on alcohol or drugs expect these substances to do things for them that they can't do without them.

Now letís complete the two part denial check using the Denial Self-Monitoring Form.

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