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The 11 Criteria Used for Addiction Severity Index Scoring (DSM-5)

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Your loved one may be struggling now, but there is hope ahead.

You may know your loved one has a problem, but how severe is it? What exactly are you up against?

There is an objective way to get an answer to that question. There are 11 symptoms of substance use disorder, according to widely accepted standards published in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5).

The 11 DSM-5 Substance Use Disorder Criteria

Read over the following criteria and note how many of them accurately describe your loved one.

  • Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer time periods than intended
  • Wanting to cut down, but not being able to
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using or recovering from the substance
  • Cravings and urges to use the substance
  • Not being able to perform at homes, school or work due to the substance
  • Continuing to use, even when it causes relationship problems
  • Giving up activities that used to be fun or meaningful because of substance use
  • Using again and again, even when it results in dangerous situations
  • Continuing to use even when it’s making a physical or psychological problem worse
  • Needing more and more of the substance to get the same effect
  • Development of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by using again

How Severe is Addiction?

Add up all of the criteria that you think adequately describe your loved one.

  • 2-3 symptoms indicates a mild substance abuse disorder.
  • 4-5 symptoms indicates a moderate substance abuse disorder
  • 6 or more symptoms indicates a severe substance abuse disorder

While it’s helpful to know your loved one’s addiction severity index score, it doesn’t tell the whole story—or predict the ability of your loved one to get better. With proper treatment, it’s possible for anyone to live a full and meaningful life, free from the chains of drugs or alcohol.

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Rehab isn’t just about learning how to stay away from drugs or alcohol. It’s about learning how to live—and be happy, challenged and fulfilled—without drugs or alcohol. At The Raleigh House, based in Denver, we offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment to help our residents accomplish their goals. Not sure what’s right for you or your loved one? Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the treatment programs at The Raleigh House.

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