Do I Have A Problem?

Are you Addicted?

So there are several markers of whether or not you have a problem. I have to say that you probably wouldn’t be here looking at this site if you weren’t concerned already that you have an issue with the substance or behavior in question. That said I suppose you could be here because you are concerned with someone else’s behavior. What are some things to look for?


The DSM V is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, used by clinicians for diagnosis. The DSM V, no longer uses the term substance abuse and substance dependence, instead it uses the term Substance Use Disorder and categorizes the level of severity as mild, moderate, or severe. This is determined by the number of diagnostic criteria met by an individual. The criteria include:

  1. Tolerance, needing to use more of the substance to get the same effect
  2. Withdrawal, physiological or psychological symptoms when substance is stopped
  3. Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than meant
  4. Unsuccessful desire or repeated attempts to cut down or stop using the substance.
  5. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance
  6. Cravings and urges to use the substance
  7. Not following through with other responsibilities such as work, home, or school because of substance use
  8. Continuing to use in spite of problems in relationships
  9. Giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of substance use
  10. Using substances again and again, even when it puts you in danger
  11. Continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance.
If you said yes to two or three criteria that indicates a mild problem, four or five, a moderate problem, and six or more indicates a severe problem.

The bottom line is if you are engaging in behaviors that are impacting your quality of life, that you seem to have lost control over, or that you are experiencing negative consequences from, you likely have a problem.

It might be beneficial to look at the benefits of change and the consequences of giving up your substance or behavior, and basically really reflect on the upside and the downside of change. Again if you are here looking for answers there is a good chance you have been experiencing problems as a result of your behaviors. Self awareness is the beginning of the change process.

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