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Symptoms of Substance Use Disorders

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines eleven symptoms of substance use disorders:

  1. Having a persistent wish to stop using the substance and/or continuously trying to reduce or control substance use
  2. Continuing to use the substance despite knowing that a physical or psychological health issue was likely caused or worsened by the substance
  3. Using the substance in larger amounts or over a long time period than originally intended
  4. Exhibiting withdrawal symptoms when not using the substance
  5. Spending a significant amount of time trying to obtain the substance, use it, or recover from using it
  6. Stopping or decreasing social, work-related, or recreational activities due to substance use
  7. Building up a tolerance, where a larger amount of the substance is needed to experience an effect
  8. Having a strong urge to use the substance
  9. Continuing to use even when it causes an inability to fulfill work, school, or home-related responsibilities
  10. Continuing to use the substance even when it causes interpersonal problems or makes them worse
  11. Continuing to use the substance even in situations that are risky or physically dangerous

Resources to Learn More

Substance Use Disorders
Provides a definition of substance use disorder, and describes several types of substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder and stimulant use disorder.
Organization(s): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration