Addictive Disorders

How do I recognise an addiction?

Addiction is an illness that can involve a number of mental and physical conditions.
These develop from the repeated use of addictive substances. One of the current psychiatric classification systems (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – DSM-5, American Psychiatric Association, 2015) lists 11 criteria for a “Substance-Use Disorder”.

The presence of at least two of these symptoms indicates problematic use.
  1. Repeated use leading to failure to fulfil important obligations at school, at work or at home.
  2. Repeated use of a substance in dangerous situations (e.g. using alcohol while driving a car or operating machinery).
  3. Continued substance use despite continuous or repeated social or interpersonal problems because of the substance use.
  4. Development of tolerance, i.e. a person needs to increase the amount of a substance to achieve the same desired effect or experiences less of an effect using the same amount. 
  5. Withdrawal symptoms (especially sweating, nervousness, shaking) or the attempt to reduce or prevent these by using the substance.
  6. Using larger amounts than intended or for longer periods of time than intended.
  7. Ongoing desire or unsuccessful attempts to reduce or control use of a substance.
  8. Spending a lot of time getting, using or recovering from use of the substance.
  9. Neglecting or giving up important activities such as family, professional or social activities because of substance use.
  10. Continuing use despite physical and/or psychological problems.
  11. Cravings for the substance.

Dependencies that are treated at the Anton Proksch Institute