Drug Use Disorders: Diagnosis

In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), the diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders (SUDs) were significantly revised to more accurately reflect the pathological behavior associated with these conditions versus the very real physiological reliance that can occur with prescribed drugs used appropriately, or as prescribed, that has historically been viewed as the behavior of a drug “addict.” The DSM-5 describes these changes as having been made for consistency and clarity in diagnosis of SUDs. In doing so, the previous substance abuse and dependence categories were replaced with disorder definitions that are subsumed under each specific substance. In the previous diagnostic conceptualizations, the term dependence was often mistakenly used interchangeably with addiction, when in reality, the tolerance and withdrawal that ...

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