FREE Assessment

This document is a tool to be used for diagnosing the level of your substance dependency. By reading the introductory explanation and by answering the questions that follow with honesty and an open mind you’ll discover the severity of your problem and find some suggested next steps for a healthy recovery.

A simple explanation of alcoholism and addiction:

There are 3 certain characteristics that can be assumed for someone that is addicted or severely dependent.

1) When someone starts drinking or using, are they able to stop at a certain point or do they appear to have lost the ‘off button’? Have they lost this ability to control just how much they consume?

Typically, an alcoholic or an addict already knows that they can’t control their consumption anymore, so they often try to hide and disguise just how much they are tolerating and consuming.

Example: A good example of this is when you head out for the evening with the intention of just having one drink and yet, once you’ve had that 1st one you can’t stop yourself from having the second, third, fourth, etc.


  • Can you control yourself once you’ve started binging?
  • Are you able to stop at the appropriate time or when someone requests that you stop?
  • Or do you start making excuses and justifications as to why you’re going to continue, despite the potential conflict your causing with your home, family, work, friends, etc.
  • Do you keep returning to the dealer or off-licence multiple times during a ‘session’?

2) The more subtle side of addiction is the inability to stop oneself from starting another binge again, despite any previous promises. They’ve lost the power to of choice (“Shall I? Shan’t I?”).

They appear to be unable to stop themselves from doing it all again, despite knowing the harm they caused themselves and their loved ones the last time.

Notwithstanding any previous memory of recent troubles their previous binges may have caused them, they seem to be hopeless in their ability to choose not to do it all over again. To outsiders this is despairing to witness.

Example: A good example of this would be when you promised your partner or friend that you would behave yourself on an occasion, but found yourself breaking that promise and not even knowing why, inevitably bringing shame or embarrassment to the people you’re with.


  • Are you able to fully commit and enjoy yourself in the company of others, or even when alone, without the use of mood or mind altering substances including alcohol?
  • Have you solemnly promised loved ones that you wouldn’t do ‘it’ again, only to find yourself breaking that promise without a reasonable reason why?

3) They display personality shifts, which can easily be compared to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Their attitude becomes selfish and self-centred and their spirit (lust for life) seems lost or misdirected.

The most profound part of addiction is the inability of the afflicted individual to see for themselves how they negatively change and evolve once under the influence. This is often referred to as “being in denial”. They fail to listen when others around them encourage them to stop despite many ultimatums’ they may give.

Addictions to anything may be spotted by new personality traits such as greed, selfishness and being self-centred.

Hiding and becoming secretive about the levels of use are also likely to cause discreet shifts in personal relationships and behaviours.

Emotional unavailability due to this dependency will manifest and magnify itself louder and louder.

Example: There are two good examples for this, and they’re both rather different. The first could be when you lost your patience or temper and shouted at someone, and then later began to feel remorseful having to apologise for your behaviour without being able to understand why you reacted like that. The second example of this actually goes the other way, and they become resentful, bitter and twisted about the scenario, refusing to accept any responsibility or show any remorse, continuing to blame the other party.


  • Have you noticed a change in your ability to pay attention to your family or colleagues, preferring to concentrate upon your own needs?
  • Do you prefer to drink and / or use in your own environment without distractions?
  • Do you find yourself planning ahead in order to make sure you have access to booze and / or drugs?
  • Are you able to accept complete responsibility for your life, or do you feel strongly that there are specific people who’ve given you reason to be angry?
  • Are there people you’d like to say sorry to but you’ve not yet found the right time or place (or courage)?

The solution to this malady usually requires a profound change in the individual, bringing them to a point of acceptance whereby recovery from this disease is a very real probability. This takes time, but is ultimately the most rewarding gift anyone with addictive illness can receive.

Complete the self-assessment below:

  • 1. Have you ever made the decision to quit drinking or using for a week, but only lasted for a couple of days? Or tried to cut down only to find that you couldn’t?
  • Most of us made all kinds of promises to ourselves, to our families and to our friends. Sadly we discovered that we could not keep them.
  • 2. Have any of your friends and family suggested that you may have a problem? Do you often wish people would mind their own business about your drinking or using and stop telling you what to do? Is this intrusion bothering you more than you can put into words (guilt, remorse, depression)? Is this causing conflict within your family, friends and your own conscience?
  • Our Sober Services staff or our home study kit will offer you the opportunity to talk about your own experiences, the trouble you found yourself in, how it affected you and what you did to try to stop. By sharing the difficulties you’ve experienced, especially with another person who has already recovered, you will be able to take a better look at yourself and stand a much higher chance at successful recovery.
  • 3. Have you ever drank or used more than you intended to? Have you ever regretted taking that first drink or line or pill? Have you ever had to take a drink or drug just to overcome or enhance the effects of the previous one?
  • When we (the Sober Services Team) consider our own experiences, we come to see how it was always the first drink or drug each day that set us off and really caused the damage. Once we had started drinking or using for the day, there really was no telling where it would lead us. Sometimes we used things we were unfamiliar with just to try to find a feeling we were more comfortable with.
  • 4. Have you begun drinking or using alone? Have you begun to realise that you need a drink or a drug to get started, or just to stop shaking in the morning? Or do you find it completely necessary to have that last drink or hit before going to bed? Are you using larger doses of drink or drugs just to get to that same feeling of comfort you crave?
  • This is a pretty sure sign that you are no longer drinking or using "socially" …and that you have a serious problem.
  • 5. Do you envy people who can drink or use without getting into trouble? Is your drinking or using interfering with your job, friends or family? Are you spending more time with people or in places you would have considered undesirable but for the availability for drink and drugs? Are you drinking or using in your bathroom, car, workplace, or other public places? Or maybe you have begun to avoid socialising with people you know disapprove of your drinking / using?
  • At one time or another, all of us at Sober Services have wondered why we were not like most people who can take it or leave it, and we asked ourselves where we went wrong. We need to learn new ways to deal with our drink or drug problems, since it was our own thoughts and actions that contributed to the amount of trouble we found ourselves in previously.
  • 6. Have you had any health problems connected with your drinking or using and still carried on doing it? Are you happy with your current sex life?
  • Be honest with yourself! It doesn’t take a Doctor to tell us that our drinking or using is causing us some serious damage. Even though we fear it may be permanent and will only get worse, never better, we still found we couldn’t stop by ourselves. The only hope is to stop drinking and using altogether, but that has proved to be impossible so far. While working with us you will discover how to stop and stay stopped – how to recover!
  • 7. Has your drinking caused you trouble and grief at home? Have you ever borrowed or stolen money to finance your next binge? Is your drinking / using habit causing you financial difficulties? Have you been lying or misleading those around you the exact amounts you are consuming? Have you manipulated a Doctor in order to obtain prescription drugs? Do you feel defensive, guilty or shameful about your behaviours and feel that people don’t listen to your point of view?
  • Before we began recovering, most of us said that it was the people or problems at home or in life that made us drink and use. We could not see that our drinking / using just made everything worse. It never solved problems anywhere or anytime. We spent so much time covering up our drinking and using, because we felt it was so important for our sanity. This is the basic outline of the insanity within our behaviour.
  • 8. Do you ever try to ensure you get an extra drink / line / hit than those around you are in because it wasn’t enough; or you have a more important need / tolerance for it? Or did you use whatever supply you had almost continuously until the supply was exhausted, always making sure you got the lions share, but without the ability to save any for the next time?
  • Most of us used to have a few drinks / lines / hits before we even left the house for an evening. If drinks / drugs were not shared fast enough, we would go some place else to get more – often somewhere alone. We were rarely able to save much more than enough to get us through the next morning.
  • 9. Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking / using any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk / high / stoned when you didn’t intend to?
  • Many of us kidded ourselves into thinking that we were still drinking / using because we wanted to. What we have discovered is that once we had one, we couldn’t stop. When we wanted to stop, we couldn’t stop long enough for our bodies to recover sufficiently before the next binge.
  • 10. Have you missed days off work because of your drinking or using? Or are you afraid that if you stop drinking and using that your quality of work will suffer – you will lose your energy, motivation, confidence etc?
  • Many of us can now admit that we “called in sick” plenty of times when the truth was that we were hung-over or on a binge. In actuality, once we have got into a sober and clean lifestyle, we find that we are far more capable of achieving our goals than we could possibly have imagined.
  • 11. Do you have an obsession to drink and use despite making firm promises to yourself that you will not start again? Are these thoughts so overpowering that you find it difficult to focus on your daily chores?
  • It is this obsession that makes it virtually impossible for us to stay stopped, despite our desires. Our freedom and will power is completely absorbed by this overwhelming thought of getting drunk / high / stoned once again.
  • 12. Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink or take drugs? Or the flip side – are you afraid of what will happen to the quality of your life if you stop drinking or using?
  • Many of us started to drink and use because it made life seem better, at least for a while. By the time we surrendered and asked for help we were drinking / using to live and living to drink / use. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *