Top 10 addiction questions to ask yourself – addiction evaluation

Of the basic principles of recovery (honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness), you must begin with honesty in order to stop the cycle of addiction. These ten questions can help you start getting honest … with yourself. Print out these questions and set them aside for a time when you’re ready to evaluate any addiction.

minute read
  1. How often do you engage in this substance or behavior?
  2. Think about a typical day / week. On how many days do you engage in this substance or behavior? How many times per day?
  3. Think about the past year. What is the greatest number of times you’ve engage in this substance or behavior on any one occasion?
  4. How often during the past year have you found that you can’t stop taking this substance or stop this behavior once you had started?
  5. How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of a substance or behavior?
  6. How often during the last year have you needed this substance or behavior in the morning to get yourself going?
  7. How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after taking this substance / engaging in this behavior?
  8. How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because of a substance or behavior?
  9. Have you or someone else been injured as a result of taking a substance or engaging in a behavior?
  10. Has a relative or friend or a doctor been concerned about your use of a substance/behavior or suggested you cut down?
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. Outstanding post. A MUST read for anyone concerned that they might have a problem or for family members concerned. This pretty much sums everything up.

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  3. Thanks for all the feedback. Jane, I think that you are absolutely right. Denial is really about unwillingness to see things the way that they are, isn’t it? And Holly, I think that your question about behavior that is induced by a susbstance (and remorse for it) is right on target. I took these general guidelines from the HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s TIPS. If needed, I can find the reference page.

  4. This is a great list, and a wonderful tool for self-evaluation. As stated above, denial is a primary symptom of addiction. Addicts can be (and often are) told over and over again that they are addicts, but it usually doesn’t register until they make the discovery themselves.

  5. 2 years ago I would have read this post and answered yes to every question. Today, I have 22 months clean and sober, and my life is amazing. If you read this post and answered yes to many of the questions, think about going to treatment. I did a treatment program at Safe Harbor in Orange County, California and it absolutely changed my life. Check it out if you’re curious about treatment options for women.

  6. I agree with Mike, great Top 10 List

    Also, I agree with some of what Jane said including “Denial is a primary symptom” , a very true statement.

    One key point in your Top 10 is # 10 – # Has a relative or friend or a doctor been concerned about your use of a substance/behavior or suggested you cut down?

    I think this is hard for addicts to determine. Most of the time they train themselves to ignore people’s questions and/or concerns. I think it’s one of the greatest challenges in acknowledging a problem – the addict realizing and listening to people’s concerns.

  7. Well this is a very interesting read. Nice list of suggestions of what to look for in a family member or friend or even to look for within yourself. Kudos to all who help with addictions and substance abuse. 🙂 If we cant help ourselves, then getting help from a place with a proven track record…rocks! Keep fighting the fight…we will win 🙂
    Much love to all!

  8. Nice post. For anonymity sakes please feel free to call me Bill, I am an alcoholic whom has been through rehab twice and am discovering the beauty of sobriety. This is a good checklist!

  9. Very good questions. Would you consider adding a question that addresses the person’s personality changes when engaged in the behavior or substance? When I was under the influence of alcohol or engaged in codependent behavior, I did things, or said things that I would never have done or said if I had not been drunk or acting out. Many times, friends and family are the first to notice these things.

  10. People that are not alcoholics never try to convince people that they are not alcoholics.

    Alcoholism/addiction is the only disease that tells you you don’t have a disease.

    Denial is a primary symptom.

    If you think you have a problem with alcohol, you probably do.

  11. thanks for the post. Great top ten. It’s important when people review this list they are incredibly honest with themselves. Sometimes people ‘forget.’

  12. I think this is very important work. Many times, we are engaged in addictive behavior and we don’t even realize that we have an addiction. The tragedy of this of course is that we stay in our addiction and fail to take advantage of the wonderful help that is available.

    Nice post. Thanks,


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