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Substance Dependence Symptoms and DSM-IV Diagnosis

Substance Dependence Symptoms and Diagnosis Overview:

Substance Dependence symptoms and diagnostic criteria follow below. While some of these Substance 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 Substance Dependence symptoms in making proper diagnosis, including frequently medical and psychological testing considerations. This information on Substance Dependence symptoms and diagnostic criteria are for information purposes only and should never replace the judgment and comprehensive assessment of a trained mental health clinician. 

Criteria for Substance Dependence

A maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period:

(1)   Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:

(a)       A need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect.

(b)    Markedly diminished effect with continued   use of the same amount of the substance.


(2)   Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:

(a)      The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance (refer to Criteria A and B of the criteria sets for Withdrawal from the specific substances) relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.


(3)   The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.


(4)   There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use.


(5)   A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance (e.g., visiting multiple doctors or driving long distances), use the substance (e.g., chain-smoking), or recover from its effects.


(6)   Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use


(7)   the substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance (e.g., current cocaine use despite recognition of cocaine-induced depres­sion, or continued drinking despite recognition that an ulcer was made worse by alcohol consumption)

Specify if:

With Physiological Dependence: evidence of tolerance or withdrawal (i.e., either Item 1 or 2 is present)

Without Physiological Dependence: no evidence of tolerance or withdrawal (i.e., neither Item 1 nor 2 is present)

Course specifiers (see text for definitions):

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  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist  (Health and Geriatric Psychologist)

See additional Diagnosis and Treatment Codes Above Right Hand Corner 

Web www.Psychtreatment.Com
Mental Health Diagnosis - DSM-IV Diagnosis and Codes: Alphabetical

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Copyright © 1999    [].    All rights reserved.   Revised: December 26, 2016     636-896-0216