Josh Chandler | April 26, 2021

The 11 Official Criteria for Substance Use Disorder

How Addiction Is Officially Diagnosed

The diagnosis of addiction usually starts with the individual or a loved one realizing there a substance use disorder exists, and they need to seek help. During this time, a person may speak to their primary medical practitioner, a drug and alcohol rehab professional, a psychologist or psychiatrist, or another counseling person at their place of employment, school, church, or other organization or institution.

Professionals from various fields will often start by asking questions about the person’s behavior and substance use. From there, a course of treatment can be outlined and implemented. 

Click here to call Muse Addiction Center today. Our staff is available 24/7 to provide answers and begin the admissions process. Call (800) 426-1818.

The 11 Diagnostic Criteria For Addiction 

  • Hazardous use: Abusing drugs in any amount can be a danger to your health in various ways. First, even an initial use of a substance like heroin or cocaine can cause a dangerous reaction or overdose. Second, many drugs reduce a person’s inhibitions to taking part in dangerous activities, and this can range from unprotected sexual encounters to driving under the influence to committing minor crimes.
  • Social or interpersonal problems related to use: One of the enormous tolls of a person’s alcohol or drug abuse as part of substance use disorder is often their relationships. Even if the other person in the relationship also drinks or uses, conflicts can quickly occur as the problems brought on by drug or alcohol abuse mount.
  • Neglected major roles to use: A common sign of drug addiction is neglecting the everyday responsibilities of life. These include failing to live up to what is expected of you at school, work, or home.
  • Withdrawal: Experiencing withdrawal symptoms is a sure sign of addiction. These can be covered up as something more benign as many withdrawal symptoms like headaches or stomach issues mirror everyday illnesses.
  • Tolerance: Having to use more of a drug to get the same effect is another sign of addiction referred to as tolerance. This can occur with everyday substances like caffeine as well as drugs or alcohol that are being abused.
  • Used larger amounts/longer: Over some time, whether an individual becomes tolerant to a drug or not, they may use a more significant amount to experience a more potent high. They may also drink or use drugs for more extended periods for the same reason.
  • Repeated attempts to control the use or quit: It’s never bad to try and stop or reduce your drug abuse or drinking. However, if you have tried several times and are not successful, this can be a sign of addiction and substance use disorder.
  • Much time spent using: Extended drug abuse usually leads to people setting aside other activities and spending a lot of their time using. Ignoring past hobbies or leisure activities is another criterion that is looked at when analyzing whether someone is struggling with substance use disorder.
  • Physical or psychological problems related to use: Substance use disorder can have many side effects. Physically drugs and alcohol can have negative impacts on basically every part of your body. Depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems are also typical.
  • Activities are given up to use: Even the busiest person usually has some leisure activities in their life. People enjoy a wide variety of hobbies, from hiking and biking to golf and tennis to chess and other board games. These activities are often given up when a person is suffering from substance use disorder. 
  • Craving: You may feel like you’re only using a drug recreationally or drinking socially. If you start to crave a substance instead of using it only infrequently at your discretion, this may be another sign of substance use disorder.

Seeking Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

An essential first step in anyone’s recovery is seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. At Muse Treatment in Los Angeles, we have treatment options that can fit anyone’s care needs. From inpatient to outpatient to aftercare services, we’re here to help you start on your path to a healthier lifestyle. Call us today at (800) 426-1818 to begin your journey to overcoming a substance use disorder. 

Drug Addiction,Dual Diagnosis,
Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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