This series of questions about one’s use of alcohol and/or drugs is an informal inventory of “tell-tale signs” with many items tailored to lawyers. It is not a list of official diagnostic criteria and does not substitute for a professional evaluation (which NHLAP can help you obtain).
- Do I plan my office routine around my drinking or drug use?
- Have I tried unsuccessfully to control or abstain from alcohol or drugs?
- Do my clients, associates, or support personnel contend that my alcohol/drug use interferes with my work?
- Have I avoided important professional, social, or recreational activities as a result of my alcohol/drug use?
- Do I ever use alcohol or drugs before meetings or court appearances, to calm my nerves, or to feel more confident of my performance?
- Do I frequently drink or use drugs alone?
- Have I ever neglected the running of my office or misused funds because of my alcohol or drug use?
- Have I ever had a loss of memory when I seemed to be alert and functioning but had been using alcohol or drugs?
- Have I missed or adjourned closings, court appearances, or other appointments because of my alcohol/drug use?
- Is drinking or drug use leading me to become careless of my family’s welfare or other personal responsibilities?
- Has my ambition or efficiency decreased along with an increase in my use of drugs or alcohol?
- Have I continued to drink or use drugs despite adverse consequences to my practice, health, legal status, or family relationships?
- Are strong emotions, related to my drinking or drug use (e.g., fear, guilt, depression, severe anxiety) interfering with my ability to function professionally?
- Are otherwise close friends avoiding being around me because of my alcohol or drug use?
- Have I been neglecting my hygiene, health care, or nutrition?
- Am I becoming increasingly reluctant to face my clients or colleagues in order to hide my alcohol/drug use?
A “yes” answer to any of these questions suggests that it would be wise to seek professional evaluation (NHLAP can help you arrange), but may or may not indicate that you have a diagnosable addictive disorder. Evaluations of alcohol/drug problems should be done by a clinician with addiction credentials and/or experience working in an addiction-oriented setting.
CALL US . . . We Can Help . . .1-877-224-6060 or 603-491-0282