The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is used by psychologists and physicians to diagnose opiate dependence. This type of addiction is characterized by the following features:
- Tolerance, or an increase in the amount of opioids needed to achieve the same effect
- Withdrawal, or unpleasant physical symptoms when the drug isn’t taken
- Difficulty cutting back the amount of the drug used
- Taking larger amounts of the drug than intended
- Spending considerable time using the drug or recovering from its effects
- Changing lifestyle patterns, such as giving up previously enjoyed activities, because of drug use
If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or someone else, it is important to learn more about opioid addiction and to seek treatment.