How Can You Tell If a Loved One Has an Addiction?
Warning Signs of Addiction
Drug and Alcohol Use
Unstable Mental Processes
Changes at Home
Changes in Possessions
How Do I Know If My Loved One Has a Problem with Substance Abuse?
Does the person take the drug in greater amounts for an extended period beyond the prescribed time?
Does the person have consistent urges and cravings to use the drug?
Does the person spend a great deal of time searching for, using, and recovering from the drug?
Does the person continue to use the drug despite the fact that he or she realizes there is a physical or psychological issue that has been caused or is being made worse by the drug?
Has the person gradually become unable to manage school, work, or home responsibilities due to the drug use?
Has the person given up important recreational, social, or work related activities because of substance abuse?
Does he or she continue to use drugs or alcohol, even when it has begun to cause trouble in his or her relationship?
Has he or she continued to use a drug despite the fact that it has put him or her in danger?
Has he or she displayed symptoms of withdrawal that can only be relieved by taking more of the drug?
Does he or she take a greater amount of the drug to achieve the desired effects?
If you answered yes to all or even some of these problems, your friend or loved one may be dealing with a substance abuse issue. Drug and alcohol abuse is a problem for people from all socioeconomic statuses, ages, and backgrounds.
DSM-5 Substance Abuse Disorder
In order to be diagnosed with a Substance Abuse Disorder, the patient must meet at least 2 out of 11 criteria for diagnosis. Patients that meet 2-3 criteria can be diagnosed with a mild substance abuse disorder. A patient that meets 4-5 criteria can be diagnosed with a moderate substance abuse disorder, and 6-7 of the criteria indicate a severe substance abuse disorder. The diagnostic criteria are as follows:
*Displaying cravings and strong desires to use drugs
*Consistently using drugs even after acknowledging that recurrent or persistent physical or psychological difficulties are occurring due to drug use
*Avoiding important recreational, social, or occupational activities in favor of using drugs or recovering from drug use
*Spending a great deal of time obtaining, using, and recovering from drug use
*Unsuccessful efforts to control drug use
*Using a greater amount of drugs over a greater period of time than originally intended
*Undergoing withdrawal on a regular basis or substance is used to avoid withdrawal
*Developing a tolerance for the drug and then having to take more in order to achieve the same effects that used to occur through taking a lesser amount
*Continued drug use in spite of persistent interpersonal or social problems that are caused or made worse by the drug use
*Using drugs in hazardous situations such as driving or while at work
*Continuously unable to meet obligations at work, school, or home because of drug use
*Continued drug use despite negative personal consequences