brygga

ABUSE AND ADDICTION

A distinction is often made between abuse and addiction, but they basically concern the same thing. Risk use and outright chemical dependence are manifestations of the same underlying condition. It is simply about alcohol (or other drugs or gambling) having occupied a greater part in one’s life and that it has led to major suffering – the person has lost control of their consumption.

drh

HOW IS A DIAGNOSIS MADE?

Various instruments exist to establish a diagnosis of substance abuse and addiction. In these, the patient is required to answer questions concerning a variety of criteria which then establishes a diagnosis.

How is a diagnosis made?

DSM

One method is to use the so-called DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) to get a clearer picture of the extent of a person’s problem. There are eleven diagnostic criteria, of which at least two must be met for a period of one year. The number of corresponding criteria also provides a measure of the gravity of the problem.

How is a dianosis made?

CRITERIA (1–6)

1. Repeated cravings for alcohol or drugs.
2. Repeated use of alcohol or drugs that lead to failure to perform one’s obligations at work, school or home.
3. Repeated use of alcohol or drugs in risky situations, such as while driving or at work.
4. Continued use despite recurrent problems.
5. Need for increasing dose to achieve the same effect.
6. Withdrawal symptoms when use stops.

How is a diagnosis made?

CRITERIA (7–11)

7. Consuming larger amounts or for longer than intended.
8. Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down the intake.
9. Considerable time devoted to acquiring, consuming and recovering from the use of alcohol or drugs.
10. Important social, occupational or recreational activities are neglected.
11. Continued use despite physical or psychological damage.

141030_norsholm_003

DO YOU RECOGNIZE YOURSELF?

Here are some quotes taken from the Big Book, published by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The book was written in 1939 but is just as relevant today. If your problem area is anything other than alcohol, replace the word “alcohol” in the text with your “drug”.

Do you recognize yourself?

“I WAS THROUGH FOREVER.”

“I saw I could not take so much as one drink. I was through forever. Before then, I had written lots of sweet promises, but my wife happily observed that this time I meant business. And so I did. Shortly afterward I came home drunk. There had been no fight.”

Do you recognice yourself?

“A REAL DOCTOR JEKYLL AND MISTER HYDE.”

“He may be one of the finest fellows in the world. He does absurd, incredible, tragic things while drinking. He is a real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

Do you recognize yourself?

“THE REMORSE, HORROR AND HOPELESSNESS OF THE NEXT MORNING.”

“The remorse, horror and hopelessness of the next morning are unforgettable. The courage to do battle was not there. My brain raced uncontrollably and there was a terrible sense of impending calamity.”

Do you recognize yourself?

“FOR WITH IT THERE GOES ANNIHILATION OF ALL THE THINGS WORTH WHILE IN LIFE.”

“But not so with the alcoholic illness, for with it there goes annihilation of all the things worth while in life. It engulfs all whose lives touch the sufferer’s. It brings misunderstanding, fierce resentment, financial insecurity, disgusted friends and employers, warped lives of blameless children, sad wives and parents, anyone can increase the list.”

Do you recognize yourself?

“HE IS OFTEN PERFECTLY SENSIBLE AND WELL BALANCED CONCERNING EVERYTHING EXCEPT LIQUOR.”

“He is often perfectly sensible and well balanced concerning everything except liquor, but in that respect he is incredibly dishonest and selfish. He often possesses special abilities, skills, and aptitudes, and has a promising career ahead of him. He uses his gifts to build up a bright outlook for his family and himself, and then pulls the structure down on his head by a senseless series of sprees.”

Do you recognize yourself?

“THE IDEA THAT SOMEHOW, SOMEDAY HE WILL CONTROL AND ENJOY HIS DRINKING.”

“The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing.”

Do you recognize yourself?

“WE HAVE GONE OUT DELIBERATELY TO GET DRUNK, FEELING OURSELVES JUSTIFIED.”

“In some circumstances we have gone out deliberately to get drunk, feeling ourselves justified by nervousness, anger, worry, depression, jealousy or the like.”

141030_norsholm_002