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I Think I Have a Problem...How do I know?

In the last edition of the DSM, DSM-IV, there are two categories: substance abuse and substance dependence. DSM-5 combines these two categories into one called "substance use disorder".

If your substance use causes significant problems in your life, such as health issues, disability, and or not meeting your responsibilities at work, home, or school, you may have a substance use disorder.

11 Official Criteria for a Substance Use Disorder

Substance use disorders are classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on how many of the diagnostic criteria you meet. The following is the DSM-5 criteria for a substance use disorder:

  1. Hazardous use: You've used the substance in ways that are dangerous to yourself and/or others, i.e., overdosed, driven while under the influence, and/or blacked out.

  2. Social or interpersonal problems related to use: Your substance use has caused relationship problems or conflicts with others.

  3. Neglected major roles to use: You've failed to meet your responsibilities at work, school, or home because of your substance use.

  4. Withdrawal: When you've stopped using the substance, you've experienced withdrawal symptoms.

  5. Tolerance: You've built up a tolerance to the substance so that you have to use more to get the same effect.

  6. Used larger amounts/longer: You've started to use larger amounts or use the substance for longer amounts of time.

  7. Repeated attempts to control use or quit: You've tried to cut back or quit entirely, but haven't been successful.

  8. Much time spent using: You spend a lot of your time using the substance.

  9. Physical or psychological problems related to use: Your substance use has led to physical health problems like liver damage or lung cancer, and/or psychological issues, such as depression or anxiety.

  10. Activities given up to use: You've skipped activities or stopped doing activities you once enjoyed in order to use the substance.

  11. Craving: You've experienced cravings for the substance.

Serious Man
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