Saturday, February 16, 2013

[Searcher?] DSM V: a new way to consider addiction.

Over twelve years have passed since the last revision of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The world have obviously changed over the decade, and it obviously makes sense to update the DSM catalog. In this blog post, I'd like to pay special attention to a very interesting and important disorder - addiction.

As my classmates have mentioned in this week's posts, addiction is a very complex subject, often carrying a negative stigma to it. That's why the revamp of  "substance abuse and dependence" chapter of DSM has undergone quite a few revamps.

The first and most important change is evident from the new name of the chapter, which is now called "addiction and related disorders".  The whole exclusion of "substance" acknowledges that certain behaviors may be habit-forming. I personally see such expansion fitting. What we usually call "Gambling addiction" and are always told about by friends before a trip to Vegas - had used to be awkwardly hidden in Impulse-Control Disorders Not Elsewhere Classified". Or how about addiction to soda consumption? Now they will be in the place they belong.

Second, the Manual now differs between ‘Addiction’ and ‘Dependence’. While these terms may seem synonymous, "addiction" is now associated with illicit drug use, while "dependence" is supposed to mean legitimate need of prescriptions.

Finally, bits and pieces of minor tweaks here and there can be seen - fro example, as article from above mentions, criminal actions no longer signify addiction. Also, Cannabis Withdrawal has been recognized as an existing phenomenon.

Now, DSM-V can still be considered to be in "beta". For example, after hot debate, internet dependance did not make it (as any constrains fit wa too many people); neither did the term "addiction".

To conclude, DSM-V, while still in development, provides a fresh and insightful view on addiction from a medical perspective.

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