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Do I have a substance-use Disorder?

by | Oct 1, 2019 | 0 comments

The Diagnostic Manual of Mental disorders – Fifth edition (DSM-V) is utilised world wide to diagnose substance use disorder.  The diagnostic criteria (or symptoms) of addiction is based on decades of research and clinical knowledge.

There are 10 different classes of drugs acknowledged by the DSM-V:

Alcohol, caffeine, hallucinogens (eg LSD), inhalants (eg glue), opioids (eg codeine or heroin), sedatives (eg diazepam and sleeping tablets), hypnotics (eg valium or rohypohl), stimulants (eg cocaine or ‘Tik’), tobacco or unknowns.

Everybody reacts differently to substances and some people will be more vulnerable to developing a substance abuse disorder than others.  Each of these substances activate the brains reward system and produces feelings of pleasure.  When this reward of ‘high’ is sought after at the expense of other activities that are considered normal to everyday life, then symptoms of substance-use disorder may emerge.  Simply speaking, substance-use disorders are patterns of symptoms that result from using a substance that is taken – despite experiencing problems as a result of the using.

There are 11 different criteria that ones can ask oneself to determine if substance use is a problem.  How many do you or a loved one identify with?

  1. Taking the substance in larger amounts for longer that you meant to
  2. Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to
  3. Spending a lot of time getting, using or recovering from use of the substance
  4. Cravings or urges to use the substance
  5. Not managing to do what you should do at work, home or school because of the substance use
  6. Continuing to use the substance even when it causes problems in relationships
  7. Giving up important social, occupational or recreational activities because of substance use
  8. Using substances again and again, even when it puts you in danger
  9. Continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance (eg poor health, depression or anxiety)
  10. Needing more of the substance to get the effect that you want (tolerance)
  11. Development of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance

If you can identify with 2 or 3 of the symptoms then it indicates a mild substance use disorder.

If you can identify 4 or 5 symptoms then it indicates a moderate substance use disorder.

If you can identify 6 or more symptoms then it indicates a severed substance abuse disorder

Cape Town rehab. Contact us if you or a loved one are struggling with a substance- use disorder.  We can arrange a free assessment.    Tel. 021-7617348 or email us on info@ixande.co.za


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