Substance Abuse

Substance Dependence





The 12 Steps






Stage One

Stage Two

Stage Three

For educational purposes I have included the DSM IV diagnostic guidelines that distinguishes between abuse and dependence. This was created to assist professionals diagnosing severity of psychoactive substance use. We consider abuse being psychological addiction and dependence being physiological addiction. DO NOT USE THE FOLLOWING FOR DIAGNOSING, AS SPECIALIZED TRAINING IS REQUIRED.

Substance Dependence (DSMIV)

A maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period.

(1) Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:

(a) A need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect.

(b) Markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.

(2) Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:

(a) The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance (refer to Criteria A and B of the criteria sets for withdrawal from the specific substances)

(b) The same (or a closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

(3) The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended

(4) There is persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use.

(5) A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance (e.g., visiting multiple doctors or driving long distances) use the substance (e.g., chain smoking), or recover from its effects.

(6) Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use

(7) The substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance (e.g., current cocaine use despite recognition of cocaine induced depression or continued drinking despite recognition that an ulcer was made worse by alcohol consumption)

Email: ralph@recoverme.ca                Phone: 403.919.2750