1. Does the person take drugs in larger amounts or for longer than intended?
  2. Do they want to cut down or stop using but can't?
  3. Do they spend a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from the drug?
  4. Do they have cravings and urges to use the drug?
  5. Are they unable to manage responsibilities at work, home, or school because of drug use?
  6. Do they give up important social, recreational. or work-related activities because of drug use?
  7. Do they use drugs again and again, even when it puts them in danger?
  8. Do they continue touse, even while knowing that physical or mental problem could have been caused or made worse by the drug?
  9. Do they take more of the drug to get the wanted effect?
  10. Have they developed withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the drug? (Some withdrawal symptoms can be obvious, but others can be more subtle-like irritability or nervousness.)

If the answer to some or all of these questions is yes, your friend or loved one might have a substance abue problem.  In the most severe cases, it is called addiction.  It can happen to people from all backgrounds, rich or poor, and it can happen at any age.