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Addictions

Other Substance-Related Diagnosis and Unspecified Other Substance-Related Disorder

A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D.

Other Substance-Related Diagnosis

This diagnosis is used when a person meets the same criteria that apply to all substance use disorders but the substance is not listed in the above nine specific types. One example is anabolic steroids. Some athletes abuse these drugs. Some common street names are arnolds, gym candy, pumpers, roids, stackers, weight trainers, and juice. Another example is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas.

Unspecified Other Substance-Related Disorder

This diagnosis is used when substance use causes clinically significant distress or impairment but does not meet the full criteria for a specific substance-related disorder. You will recall two symptoms are needed to meet the criteria of a specific substance use disorder. Some people abuse different drugs, at different times, and may only meet one criterion for a specific drug. For instance, someone may binge on cocaine during the weekend. They may have tried to stop but have been unsuccessful. This is would meet the impaired control criteria. During the workweek, they drink alcohol in the evening. They frequently get into arguments with their spouse about their drinking. This would meet the social impairment criteria. However, if they met two criteria for alcohol use, and two criteria for cocaine, they would receive both diagnoses.

 

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