How To Know If Someone Is Experiencing Addiction

addiction Jun 02, 2023

Addiction is a complex concern that can affect anyone, regardless of age, background, or social status. Identifying the signs of addiction is crucial for providing timely support and intervention. Exploring aspects of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) offers valuable insights into recognising the presence of addiction in someone's life, perhaps even your own. By understanding the criteria outlined in the DSM-5, we can better comprehend the signs and symptoms of addiction.


The DSM-5: A Comprehensive Guide:

The DSM-5 is a renowned resource used by mental health professionals worldwide. Its diagnostic criteria provide a framework for identifying addiction and its various manifestations. By leveraging this valuable tool, we can gain a deeper understanding of the signs that may indicate someone is experiencing addiction.

  1. Impaired Control: One of the key indicators of addiction, as outlined by the DSM-5, is impaired control. This refers to an individual's inability to regulate or terminate substance use or addictive behaviors. Signs of impaired control may include multiple attempts to quit, a persistent desire or craving for the substance or activity, and spending excessive time and effort to obtain or engage in the addictive behavior.

  2. Social Impact: Addiction can significantly impact an individual's social life and relationships. The DSM-5 recognises social impairment as a crucial factor in identifying addiction. This may be observed as a decline in personal relationships, withdrawal from social activities, neglect of responsibilities at work, school, or home, and conflicts arising from addictive behaviours. However it may also include a sudden increase in social engagement as a result of the social nature of the behaviour. This shift can equally impact the individual from a social standpoint.

  3. Risky Use: Engaging in risky behaviours is another aspect within addiction. The DSM-5 emphasises the importance of recognising such behavior patterns. This can include using substances in dangerous situations, neglecting personal safety, and engaging in activities that may result in physical harm or legal consequences.

While this is by no means the complete criterion from the DSM-5, it is important to recognise the signs of addiction and substance use to ensure the appropriate support is delivered to those experiencing it. By familiarising ourselves with this criteria, we can help identify the presence of addiction and encourage help-seeking behaviour.