What is Substance Misuse?

Substance misuse includes the use of drugs that can change your mood, such as tranquilizers, alcohol, or illegal drugs. "Risky Drinking" or unsafe use of medications are also substance misuse. This abuse can cause many health problems and problems with family and friends. 

drug 943759 640Medication misuse can also occur when using prescription over-the-counter drug that is different from how it is prescribed. Taking too much or too little, even mixing medications are ways mediction is misused.

Take the Self-Assessment of Drinking Patterns below to see if you should worry about your drinking.

Self-Assessment of Drinking Patterns

Take this short quiz to see if you should be worried about your drinking. Score one point for every "YES" answer, zero points for every "NO" response.

Add up your score in the end. 


 Questions  YES   NO 
 1. When talking with others, do you ever underestimate how much you drink? (Telling others you drink less than you do)    
 2. After a few drinks, you have sometimes not eaten or been able to skip a meal because you didn't feel hungry?    
 3. Does having a few drinks help decrease your shakiness or tremors?    
 4. Does your alcohol sometimes make it hard for you to remember parts of the day or night?    
 5. Do you usually take a drink to relax or calm your nerves?    
 6. Do you drink to take your mind off your problems?    
 7. Have you ever increased your drinking after experiencing a loss in your life? (Someone you love dies.)    
8. Has a doctor or nurse ever said they were worried or concerned about your drinking?    
9. Have you ever made rules to manage your drinking?    
10. When you feel lonely, does having a drink help?    
Total Score    


SCORING KEY: If you scored 2 or more "YES" responses it might indicate an alcohol problem. Talk with your doctor or contact one of the resources below to get help with managing your or a loved one's drinking. 

Additional Resources

Got Meds? Dispose of them safely

24-Hour Kiosk Drop-Off in Somerville, MA

Preventing Teen Prescription Medicine Abuse: Fact Sheet

Message from the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation