There are increasing numbers of people who find themselves having problems with crystal.

Whether these problems be financial, emotional or physical, it is sometimes difficult for users to identify whether they have issues with their drug use before it is too late.

Here is a simple test to see whether you may be having problems with your crystal use. Choose a time frame (for example, the past month) and then answer each of the following questions about how you felt during this time.

Did you think your crystal use was out of control?

(0) never or almost never; (1) sometimes; (2) often; (3) always or nearly always.

Did the prospect of missing a hit/ smoke of crystal make you anxious or worried?

(0) never or almost never; (1) sometimes; (2) often; (3) always or nearly always.

Did you worry about your use of crystal?

(0) not at all; (1) a little; (2) quite a lot; (3) a great deal.

Did you wish you could stop using crystal?

(0) never or almost never; (1) sometimes; (2) often; (3) always or nearly always.

How difficult did you find it to stop, or to go without crystal?

(0) not difficult; (1) quite difficult; (2) very difficult; (3) impossible.

For each 0 answer, give yourself a score of 0, for 1, give yourself a score of 1, and so on. Give yourself a total score. So how did you score? As a general guide, people who score 4 or higher on this scale are usually also experiencing some health, emotional or social problems from their crystal use.

Scores 0-3: Most people who score low are using weekly or less, and not feeling very dependent on crystal, but might be starting to worry a bit about their crystal use.

Scores 4-5: People who score 4 or 5 are often starting to experience some problems because of their crystal use. They are usually using crystal two or three days a week, but don’t feel the need to use the drug all the time. This is a good time to moderate crystal use before it gets out of hand.

Scores 6 or greater: Most people who score 6 or higher are aware that crystal is causing problems, and might already be thinking about how to cut back on their use, and where they can get help to do this.

If you find yourself with a higher score you may consider seeking help. Speak to your GP or contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 9361 8000 or 1800 422 599 (outside Sydney).

ACON also has a range of services for the community that includes counselling, support and referral.

Remember: if you do not want any negative consequences, do not use the drug and, no matter how many times you have used a substance, never be blas?/p>

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