Official Substance Use Disorder Criteria According to DSM 5

No one sets out to have a substance abuse problem, but many individuals develop one without realizing it. Addiction is a disease that affects behaviour and how the brain functions. It’s a problem with no boundaries and doesn’t discriminate between gender, race, or even one’s social background. A poor person or a wealthy person with a substance abuse problem is the same in many aspects.

What causes an individual to become hooked on something? Recognizing the signs provides valuable insight when determining if a person has an addiction. However, while outsiders may see signs early on, the individual with a problem might have no clue until confronted by concerned friends and family members. That’s the moment when the question “am I an addict?” suddenly takes center stage.

Recognizing the Warning Signs of Addiction

Addiction can happen quickly or take years to consume a person’s soul. Telltale signs are present in all instances, including behavioral changes, physical symptoms, and psychological signs. Behavioral changes, such as sudden changes in hobbies or interests, neglecting responsibilities, taking unnecessary risks, or being uncharacteristically impulsive, are often the first changes that others notice.

A sudden drop or gain in weight with no explanation, frequent nosebleeds, and pupils that remain dilated or glazed over are some of the physical changes that often occur when an addiction takes over. Paranoia, mood swings, and irritability are frequently associated with substance abuse issues. These psychological signs might lead to depression and a lack of motivation as the brain requires more of the addictive property it craves.

Determining the Scope of a Substance Abuse Disorder Using Three Categories

A person with a substance abuse disorder falls into one of three categories: mild, moderate, or severe. An individual with a mild problem only has one or two symptoms, while a moderately addicted individual may have four or five symptoms present. When a severe case of substance abuse disorder is determined, six or more symptoms are a common occurrence.

Classifying the severity of an addiction is crucial when deciding which form of treatment an individual receives. With proper care, a person’s chance for a full recovery is well within reach.

Eleven Factors Are Used to Determine a Substance Use Disorder

When classifying a substance abuse issue, many thoughts come to mind. In the early stages, an unintended addict may use a substance for longer than initially planned and in larger quantities than they should. Cutting down isn’t easy, and spending a lot of time acquiring, using, and locating the addictive substance is a priority. Craving an addictive substance is foremost in thought, and continual substance usage interferes with getting work done.

Even when an addictive property causes issues in a relationship, a substance abuser doesn’t recognize that it is the cause. A substance use disorder individual cancels many important events and activities to spend more time using an addictive substance. If the substance puts an individual in danger, they fail to recognize what it is doing. If the drug of choice causes issues with other medical conditions, the person using it doesn’t understand the implications. Finally, a substance user always needs more to feel satisfied, and any developing withdrawal symptoms find relief by taking more of what caused the problem in the first place.

Breaking Away is a Process That Requires an Intervention

Substance use disorder requires intervention and continual support to break away from its power. There are several treatment options available, including detoxification, behavioral counseling, inpatient residential treatment, medication-assisted treatment, support groups, and other outpatient programs. It all begins with admitting that you have a problem.

Brenda Kimble

Brenda Kimble is an entrepreneur and mother of 2 daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family.