Recognizing that you or a loved one may have an alcohol or drug abuse problem is an important first step towards recovery. The risk of alcohol or drug abuse is higher for some members of the community. Some people who may have a higher risk of alcohol or drug abuse include:

  • Teenagers and young adults. Approximately one-half of all high school seniors in the U.S. admit to having used alcohol or an illegal drug.
  • Women. Women are more likely to have problems with prescription medicines. More than two-thirds of all tranquilizers are prescribed for women.
  • Adults older than age 65. This age group often experience problems because of the high number of prescription medicines and the lack of coordination between health professionals.


Signs to help you recognize alcohol abuse:

Do you or maybe a loved one have a problem with alcohol? The CAGE Questionnaire is a commonly used way of helping someone identify a potential problem. The name of the questionnaire comes from its four questions. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you or a loved one may have a problem with alcohol.

  • Have you ever felt you ought to Cut down on your drinking or drug use?
  • Do you get Annoyed at criticism of your drinking or drug use?
  • Do you ever feel Guilty about your drinking or drug use?
  • Do you ever take an Early-morning drink (eye-opener) or use drugs first thing in the morning ("a little hair of the dog that bit you") to get the day started or eliminate the "shakes"?

If you answer "yes" to even 1 of the questions, you or your loved one may have a problem with alcohol or drugs. The CAGE Questionnaire* should not be used to diagnose the disease. But the results indicate that a problem may exist. Also the answers to the CAGE questions provide clearer warning signs for adults than for teenagers. Talk to your primary care provider if you feel your child or teenager may have an alcohol or drug problem.


Recognizing drug abuse

Are you concerned about your use of drug? Or are you concerned a loved one may be abusing drugs? The links to the screening tools below will aid you in determining if the help of your PCP and Chemical Dependency provider is needed. 

The Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST-10) may be used by adults age 21 and older as a self-test tool 

The CRAFFT Screening Questions is a short questionnaire to be used by children and young adults under the age of 21 - Seek the help of your PCP or Chemical Dependency provider if your child answers YES to two (2) or more questions. This questionnaire is also available in Vietnamese and Spanish.


How can CareOregon help?

Click here to learn more about how our Addictions Benefit Coordinator Team can help you.

CareOregon is here to help you and your family on the road to recovery. We are here to support and assist you in accessing Chemical Dependent (CD) services. If you are experiencing warning signs for drug or alcohol addiction, you may want to consider talking to your Primary Care Provider.

  • Next, choose a Chemical Dependency Provider from your CareOregon Provider Directory. A Chemical Dependency Provider can help you determine if you or a family member may have a problem with alcohol or drugs. If a problem exists, the provider can help you make decisions and give you guidance on what is the best course of treatment or services available to you. You do not need to call CareOregon for a referral for chemical dependency (CD) services. A list of CD providers is in your CareOregon Provider Directory.Provider Directory
  • For chemical dependency treatment, covered benefits include: CD counseling office visits, acupuncture, methadone treatment and detoxification services. Residential CD treatment is not a covered benefit. Contact your CD provider for additional information,
  • Or, call Customer Service at either (503) 416-4100 or (800) 224-4840 to learn more about your benefits. TTY/TDD users may call 1-800-735-2900. 

Helpful Links

*Reference: Saitz R, et al. (2003). Addressing alcohol problems in primary care: A cluster randomized, controlled trial of a systems intervention. Annals of Internal Medicine, 138: 372–382.