Substance Use Disorder: Diagnosis

Substance use disorder takes many forms, depending on the substance and the intensity or frequency of use. Substance use merits intervention when use of the substance (or substances) results in poor academic performance or school attendance, dangerous behaviors, or social problems.  Other signs of substance abuse include physical or psychological tolerance to the drug so that increased consumption is necessary to attain the desired effect; withdrawal symptoms; taking a substance in larger amounts or for longer than intended; unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control substance use; abandoning or ignoring formerly significant activities and/or friends; and a strong craving for a specific substance.