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Amphetamine Dependence Symptoms and DSM-IV Diagnosis

Amphetamine Dependence Symptoms and Diagnosis Overview:

Amphetamine Dependence symptoms and diagnostic criteria follow below. While some of these Amphetamine Dependence symptoms may be recognized by family, teachers, legal and medical professionals,  and others, only  properly trained mental health professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, professional counselors etc.) can or should even attempt to make a mental health diagnosis. Many additional factors are considered in addition to the Amphetamine Dependence symptoms in making proper diagnosis, including frequently medical and psychological testing considerations. This information on Amphetamine Dependence symptoms and diagnostic criteria are for information purposes only and should never replace the judgement and comprehensive assessment of a trained mental health clinician. 


304.40 Amphetamine Dependence 

Also refer to the text and criteria for Substance Dependence.  The patterns of use and course of Amphetamine Dependence are similar to those of Cocaine Dependence because both substances are potent central nervous system stimulants with similar psychoactive and sympathomimetic effects.  However, amphetamines are longer acting than cocaine and thus are usually self-administered less frequently. As with Cocaine Dependence, usage may be chronic or episodic, with binges punctuated by brief drug-free periods.  Aggressive or violent behavior is associated with Amphetamine Dependence, especially when high doses are smoked or administered intravenously.  As with cocaine, intense but temporary anxiety, as well as paranoid ideation and psychotic episodes that resemble Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type, are often seen, especially in association with high-dose use.  Tolerance to amphetamines develops and often leads to substantial escalation of the dose.  Conversely, some individuals with Amphetamine Dependence develop reverse tolerance (sensitization).  In these cases, small doses may produce marked stimulant and other adverse mental and neurological effects. 


The following specifiers may be applied to a diagnosis of Amphetamine Dependence: 

With Physiological Dependence

Without Physiological Dependence

Early Full Remission

Early Partial Remission

Sustained Full Remission

Sustained Partial Remission

On Agonist Therapy

In a Controlled Environment

Information from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic  MA Licensed Psychologist   Ph.D. Candidate  (Health and Geriatric Psychologist)

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