How Does The DSM Define Addiction?

Eleven criteria exist to diagnose a substance use disorder, according to the DSM-V. To be diagnosed, someone must meet at least two of the criteria within a one year period of twelve months. There are three levels of a substance use disorder diagnosis: mild, moderate, and severe. Two to three criteria designates a mild disorder Four to five criteria designates a moderate disorder. If someone meets six or more of the criteria for substance use disorder, their diagnosis is considered severe. What is most curious about addiction is that the people who are living with addiction see these diagnostic criteria as normal behaviors. When someone learns that they meet more than one, or perhaps more than six of these criteria, it can be hard to realize what exactly that means because living in this way has been normalized for so long.

Here are the eleven criteria for a substance use disorder:

      1. Hazardous use: Substance use has posed a threat to self or others
      2. Problematic relationships: Substance use has negatively impacted relationships
      3. Neglected responsibilities: Substance use causes failure to meet requirements of various responsibilities, including school and work
      4. Symptoms of withdrawal: Upon halting the use of substances, there are physical as well as psychological symptoms of withdrawal
      5. Developed tolerance: In order to achieve a similar or greater effect from the substance(s) of choice, more of the substance has to be used
      6. Increased use and volume: Since a tolerance develops, there is more of the substance being used for longer amounts of time.
      7. Trying to quit: Numerous unsuccessful attempts have been made to reduce use or stop use entirely.
      8. Prioritization: More time is being devoted to substance use.
      9. Health Consequences: As a result of substance use, both physical and psychological health has begun to suffer.
      10. Loss of passion: Substance use takes the place of beloved activities or past times.
      11. Cravings: When not using the substance or under the influence of the substance, there are intense cravings for the substance, either physical or psychological, or both.

Addiction is a complex, multilayered disorder which involves behaviors, compulsive thoughts, obsessive thinking, physical dependency, and much more. If you identify with any of these criteria, now is the time to ask for help. Tree House Orange County offer’s treatment programs for men living with addiction. Helping men find freedom from addiction, our programs teach men how to create sustainable change for a sustainable recovery. Call us today for information: (855) 202-2138

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