An Example Of Substance Abuse

Most people have taken a drug at some point in their lives. Maybe you are consuming a drug at this very moment, sipping on a warm cup of morning coffee to get your day started with some much needed caffeine. Maybe you had a few glasses of wine with dinner. Maybe your wife left you and you find yourself drinking a few beers every night to take away your feelings of sadness. Maybe you have been smoking cigarettes since you were fifteen or recently were taking pain medicine after getting your wisdom teeth removed. Maybe you have used an illegal drug like marijuana or cocaine.

While there are some people who have no problems when using these substances, other people have extreme difficulty controlling their intake. The question is at what point does using a substance become a problem?

Consider this case: Mr. G is a 36-year-old man who is a science teacher at a high school in a middle-class town. His humorous and unusual teaching style has made him well-liked by both his students and his colleagues. Mr. G’s wife and son died in a car accident two months ago, and he has been overcome with grief ever since. At first, he would drink a six pack of beer before going to sleep every night. He began to drink more and more as days and weeks passed by.

Now Mr. G drinks about twelve beers each night or until he passes out. In the morning, he has a shot of vodka to get rid of his headache. He arrives to work late almost every day, and when he teaches class he is irritable or looks like he is in a fog. A friend has asked Mr. G how he has been handling things, to which Mr. G replies “I’m just going through a rough time. No worries.”

Does Mr. G have a problem? What will happen to him if he continues to drink in this way?

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