Defined as: A destructive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant (social, occupational, medical) impairment or distress, recognized by 3 or more of the following in the same 12 month period:
Need for increased amounts of the substance (alcohol/drugs) to achieve intoxification/high
The individual suffers withdrawal symptoms within several hours to a few days after a reduction in the amount of the substance taken over a prolonged period of time:
- hand/body tremors
- nausea or vomiting
- hallucinations or illusions
The individual takes the substance to relieve or avoid the withdrawal symptoms.
The individual tries to cut down or quit taking the substance, but can't.
A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance and/or to recover from its effects.
The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period of time than was intended.
The individual continues to take the substance despite knowing that it's having a significant or worsening impact on their psychological/physical condition. (e.g., drinking, knowing that their ulcer condition is being worsened)
Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use.