Comorbid Conditions Symptom Tests

[Self-Test] Could You Have a Substance Use Disorder?

Take this self-test to see if your patterns of drug and/or alcohol use indicate a substance use disorder — a condition that disproportionately impacts individuals with ADHD.

Problematic patterns of substance use (i.e., drug and/or alcohol use) that significantly interfere with functioning and quality of life are potentially indicative of a substance use disorder (SUD). SUDs are chronic but treatable diseases that affect millions of Americans, and often co-occur with other conditions, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Compared to the general population, individuals with ADHD — especially untreated ADHD — are more likely to use substances and face a greater risk for developing SUDs.1 2 Treating ADHD greatly improves these outcomes.

Take the self-test below to see if you may be showing signs of problematic drug use and/or other addictions. Share the results with your doctor or a licensed mental health professional who is experienced in diagnosing and treating substance use disorders. Note that answering “strongly agree” or “agree” to at least two of the questions below may signal the need to talk to your provider about your substance use.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use issues, call SAMHSA’s National treatment and referral helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit to locate treatment facilities for mental and substance use disorders. Dial or text 988 for free and confidential support if you or someone you know is in distress. Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger.

This self-test was adapted from criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-5). It is designed to screen for the possibility of an SUD, and it is for personal use only. This test is not intended as a diagnostic tool. Only a licensed health professional can diagnose an SUD.

I’ve often been unable to fulfill my obligations and responsibilities at work, school, or home due to my recurrent drug and/or alcohol use.

My drug/and or alcohol use is causing or worsening problems with my family, friends, colleagues, and others.

I have used drugs and/or alcohol in physically hazardous circumstances, like while driving a car or operating machinery.

I often drink alcohol and/or use drugs in larger amounts or for longer periods than I intend to.

I’ve spent a lot of time either using alcohol and/or drugs, recovering from its effects or otherwise in activities to obtain alcohol and/or drugs.

My drug/and or alcohol use is causing or worsening problems with my physical and mental health.

I’ve been unsuccessful in my attempts to cut down or control my alcohol and/or drug use.

I drink alcohol and/or use drugs to relieve or avoid symptoms of withdrawal.

I experience symptoms of withdrawal (e.g., nausea, vomiting, fever, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, restlessness, muscle aches, gastrointestinal symptoms, sadness) after a few hours or days without drinking alcohol and/or using drugs.

I am spending less time or have given up on social, occupational, or recreational activities because of my drug and/or alcohol use.

I need to drink more alcohol and/or use an increased amount of drugs to achieve intoxication or a high.

I have drug and/or alcohol cravings. Sometimes the urge to use the substance(s) is all I can think about.

I want to cut down or control my alcohol and/or drug use.

(Optional) Would you like to receive your symptom test results — plus more helpful resources — via email from ADDitude?

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Signs of Addiction: Next Steps

View Article Sources

1 Wilens, T. E., Martelon, M., Joshi, G., Bateman, C., Fried, R., Petty, C., & Biederman, J. (2011). Does ADHD predict substance-use disorders? A 10-year follow-up study of young adults with ADHD. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50(6), 543–553.

2 van Emmerik-van Oortmerssen, K., van de Glind, G., van den Brink, W., Smit, F., Crunelle, C. L., Swets, M., & Schoevers, R. A. (2012). Prevalence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in substance use disorder patients: a meta-analysis and meta-regression analysis. Drug and alcohol dependence, 122(1-2), 11–19.