Substance abuse is commonly described as a “chronic, relapsing disorder.” While that description may be accurate, it is also vague whether or not substance use disorder is an actual disease. On the one hand, there is not a simple test anyone can run to tell if a person is suffering from substance abuse disorder, as there is for diseases like cancer.
The question of whether drug addiction is a disease can get different answers from different organizations. However, the National Institute on Drug Abuse does define substance abuse disorder as a disease for four reasons. When comparing substance use to heart disease:
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, commonly referred to as DSM-5, published a guide to diagnosing substance abuse disorders accurately. This guide is built around 11 different criteria. Besides the eleven categories, each one can also be broken down into three different severities depending on how many symptoms a person may be experiencing. Mild is seen as showing two or three signs. Moderate is experiencing four or five symptoms, and severe when a person is suffering from six or more symptoms.
The 11 criteria used in the diagnosis of substance abuse disorder are:
If you or a loved one may be suffering from substance abuse disorder, the first step is to seek a medical professional’s help. Getting help with addiction treatment is a vital step in the recovery process. Symptoms associated with withdrawal are often challenging and can be dangerous to face alone. Treatment facilities can help guide you through the initial stages of the recovery process safely and effectively.
At AM Health Care, we believe in finding the recovery method that will work best for you. Every person has different needs when it comes to addiction treatment, and not one thing will work for all people. We can find the facility and program that best fits your needs to receive the best chance at recovery possible. Please reach out to us at 818-383-1297 to learn more about substance abuse treatment options.