Chemical Addiction/Substance Abuse

Chemical addiction  is a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress at any time during the same 12 month period. The obsessive or compulsive use of mind and/or mood altering chemicals in order to feel or function normally. Chemical dependency is characterized by at least three of the following seven American  Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) diagnostic criteria. (1)Tolerance as defined by either A. Markedly increased amounts of the substance in order to achieve the desired effect;  B. Markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance. (2) Withdrawal as manifested by the following: A. The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance B. The same or closely related substance is taken to relieve or to avoid withdrawal symptoms. (3) Substance is often taken in larger amounts and/or over a longer period than the patient intended. (4) Persistent attempts or one or more unsuccessful efforts made to cut down or to control substance use. (5) A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance, use the substance, or recover from the effects of the substance. (6) Important social, occupational , or recreational activities are given up or reduce because of substance abuse. (7) Continued substance use despite knowledge of having persistent or recurrent physical, legal, or psychological problem(s) that are likely to be caused or exacerbated by the use of the substance.

Other indicators or chemical dependency are 1. Binge use 2. Memory problems 3. Loss of Control 4. Arrested for use 5. Use in the morning to avoid withdrawal symptoms 6. Compulsion to use 7. Neglected responsibilities, 8. Family and/or friends are concerned 9. Protecting and/or hoarding your supply 10. Gulping or sneaking use 11.Crawling skin or goose flesh 12. Decreased tolerance 13. Severe withdrawal symptoms 14. Seizures 15. Difficulty performing job 16. Medical Consequences 17. Increased tolerance 18. Failed control 19. Family History 20. Preoccupation with substance use 21. Blackouts or overdose.


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