What are the Substance Abuse Disorders in the DSM

Posted on :  June 7th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In the world of psychology, the DSM or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the book that the experts in the field use on a daily basis. This book is loaded with all of the information that psychologists and psychiatrists need to diagnose issues ranging from depression and schizophrenia to disorders about substance abuse.

The DSM has several disorders related to substance abuse. They are all about the abuse of opioids, marijuana, stimulants, hallucinogens, as well as tobacco and alcohol. The disorders are ranked by severity from mild, moderate, and severe. This manual explains the criteria for each degree using different factors like impairments, recurrence, and risky behaviors. Pharmacology is also taken into consideration.

Opioid Use Disorder

Opioids are an addicting substance because they block the receptors that tell the brain to experience pain. But, the substance can cause problems like nausea and constipation, confusion and euphoria, and drowsiness, too. If too much of the drug is taken, it can slow down respiration to dangerously low levels. Opioids can be found in prescription medications like oxycodone and it is also in heroin. Because opioid users need more of the drug to experience the same euphoria every time, they often inject the drug to speed up the reaction. This is why so many people experience overdoses and why so many people choose heroin instead of prescription options because the high is more intense.

According to research, more than 2 million people in 2014 were diagnosed with an opioid use disorder related to prescription drugs and/or heroin in the US alone. The symptoms that therapists look for include a craving for opioids and the reduction of a regular social and work like because of drug use. People with a disorder build up a tolerance and they work hard to get the drugs they crave. When they try to stop, they develop physical symptoms like pain from muscle aches, fevers, diarrhea, and negative mood issues.

Hallucinogen Use Disorder

A Hallucinogen Use Disorder is diagnosed when a therapist sees symptoms that are similar to those of a Opioid Use Disorder. The drug-of-choice for a Hallucinogen Use Disorder includes drugs like LSD, peyote, or mushrooms that cause hallucinations, personal detachment, and distortions in time and space. The symptoms include cravings for hallucinogens, inability to control the use of them, not taking care of responsibilities in lieu of drugs, and practicing risky behaviors, and developing tolerance to the drugs. There are significantly fewer people who are diagnosed with this disorder. The numbers are under 250,000 in the US.

Alcohol and Tobacco Use Disorders

Out of all of the substance abuse disorders, Alcohol Use Disorder and Tobacco Use Disorder are the most common. They cause a significant number of deaths, despite all of the warnings about lung cancer and driving drunk. When it comes to alcohol use, over half of everyone 12 and older claim to be alcohol drinkers, but about percent of those who drink alcohol are considered abusers. The DSM has three levels of ranking drinkers: Moderate, Binge, and Heavy. Moderate drinkers have one to two drinks per day. Binge drinkers have five or more drinks per event at least once per month. Heavy drinkers consume more than five drinks in a sitting at least once per week.

Tobacco Use Disorder can affect people as young as 12 and approximately 25% of American that age and older use tobacco products. This is the one disorder that does not involve changing the mental state of the users, like opioids, alcohol, and hallucinogens do. So, the biggest problem with this drug is the damage it does to the physical body. The disorder is diagnosed when people smoke so much that they are diagnosed with physical issues like heart disease, respiratory disorders, and cancer caused by smoking and they continue to smoke.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.