If alcohol or substance use—your own or someone else’s—is affecting your well being, your relationships, or your work, it’s time to make a change. There are plenty of resources for help, but self-assessment is a good place to start.
Tang provides a free, anonymous online screening to help you assess your use of alcohol. If you are concerned about your own alcohol use, or your behavior when using, start there. Lawlifeline also provides an online self-evaluator to help you assess whether substance use (or a treatable mental health problem) may be affecting you or a friend. For further evaluation, the California State Bar asks twenty questions and the NIH identifies eleven symptoms that could indicate a problem.
Whether or not these tools work for you, you can always drop by Student Services, Dr. Zaruba’s office, or Tang Social Services to discuss your concerns and decide what to do next. If you are concerned about your own substance use, or a friend, roommate, or family member’s use, it’s probably time to talk.
Much of professional networking involves alcohol and it’s no secret that some lawyers turn to alcohol and other drugs to manage the stresses of the profession. Now is the ideal time to get the facts, assess your habits, and develop a plan to keep consumption within healthy limits throughout your career.
If you’re looking for more information:
- Lawlifeline has articles on alcohol use and dependence, alcohol and depression, and addiction.
- While primarily aimed at undergraduates, Tang still has much useful information on alcohol use including risks and consequences, academic performance, second hand effects, consumption habits, reasons, and norms.
- Columbia’s Go Ask Alice also has extensive information on alcohol and other drugs.
- Rethinking Drinking is produced by a division of the National Institutes of Health. It provides evidence based information on alcohol use including the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of alcohol-related problems.
Support for Quitting or Managing Use
Tang Social Services offers confidential and non-judgmental counseling with alcohol and drug specialists. They are available to talk with you about your own use or that of a friend, roommate or family member. Call 510.642.6074 to make an appointment.
Tang has also compiled a list of local support groups. Meeting times and locations can change so call first to confirm.
Rethinking Drinking offers self-help tips for cutting back or quitting. It also offers a change plan, advice on social support, and info on professional help. A list of additional resources and information can be found here.
The Other Bar
The Other Bar has a weekly support meeting for law students on Thursdays at 3:30 pm at Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. You can also connect with The Other Bar at meetings in Oakland or San Francisco, or check out their resources online.
The State Bar Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP)
877.LAP 4 HELP (877.527.4435)
The California State Bar Lawyer Assistance Program offers confidential assessment, counseling, and support to attorneys struggling with substance abuse, mental health concerns, stress, burnout, and other issues that impact work and productivity. Law students seeking an evaluation or someone to talk to can call 1.877.527.4435.
The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Program (CoLAP)
The ABA CoLAP maintains a list of national addiction and recovery resources for attorneys struggling with dependency, mental health, and related issues.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
SAMHSA exists to ensure that Americans can find treatment for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues in their local area. Their list of treatment resources can be found here and here.