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Medical History for Drug Use

During your medical exam, your doctor may ask you questions about alcohol, cigarettes, and drug use.

Your doctor may begin by asking about legal and accepted drugs, such as tobacco and caffeine. He or she then may ask about alcohol and over-the-counter and prescription drugs. And then your doctor may ask you about illegal drugs.

Some questions might include:

  • Have you ever used drugs? How old were you when you started? At what age did you use for the first time?
  • Which drugs do you take?
  • How do you take the drug?
  • When was the last time you used a drug? How often do you use the drug?
  • Do you ever use drugs when you are alone? Do you ever use drugs before or during social activities?
  • Have any of your friends ever been worried about your use of drugs?
  • Have you tried to cut down on or quit using drugs? When you try to quit, do you have any physical symptoms?

Your doctor also may ask you how you feel about drug use:

  • Do you think it's okay to use drugs?
  • Do you sometimes feel a strong need to use drugs?
  • Do you ever change your plans so you can use drugs?
  • Do you feel that your drug use is safe?
  • Do your friends think drug use is okay?

Your doctor may ask questions about problems at work or with the law or loved ones. For example:

  • Have you ever missed work or had problems at work because of drugs?
  • Have you ever been arrested for having drugs or because of something you did while using drugs? What happened?
  • Have you ever been arrested for driving while using drugs?
  • Have you ever been to jail because of drugs?
  • Do you feel your drug use is harming your relationships?

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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