How To Identify Substance Abuse Issues

“We primarily trade in nighttime and in events that facilitate socializing, of which taking substances goes hand in hand. I literally struggle to think of the last event that I attended that didn’t have booze flowing through it…”

-Ghibli (DJ)


The day-to-day grind of a career in music can often lead to feelings of loneliness, irregular wake/sleep hours, demanding travel schedules, extended periods of time away from family, friends and support networks, financial instability and intense competition. Combined with the adrenaline of performing, after-show gatherings, late nights, and pressures to perform, it’s no wonder so many in the music industry rely on substances to cope with the rigors of such a complex lifestyle.  

But when does using become a problem?

How To Identify Substance Use Issues


      • » Trouble quitting even when desired.
      • » Continued use of substances even with increased consequences. These can include legal issues, relationship/family troubles, poor job performance, loss of job, DUI’s.
      • » Obsessive thoughts surrounding using and when the next time an opportunity to use will arise.
      • » Having a hard time setting “limits” around when and how much to use.
      • » Loss of interest in ordinary aspects of life.
      • » Increased tolerance of substances in order to get the same effects.
      • » Physical withdrawal symptoms when substances are not present:  Depression, nausea, sweating, headaches, irritability.
      • » Borrowing or stealing money to pay for substances.
      • » Hiding your substance abuse from others and/or using in private.
      • » Changes in appearance including weight fluctuations, bloodshot eyes, and pale skin. 
  • » Increased time spent in social circles who have more access to substances. 
  • » Doctor shopping to get prescriptions for the same drug or problem.
  • » Looking into other people’s medicine cabinets for drugs to take.
  • » Mixing of different substances to increase effects. 
  • » Needing substances to feel “normal” and/or to escape from internal thoughts.

If you would like additional information on substance abuse, to find out if treatment might be right for you, and/or help finding support, or please sign up for our free Case Management service or visit RehabAid.

For additional help, consider scheduling a call with a case manager to discuss the options that Backline can provide for your mental health and wellness journey.