With withdrawal, the person takes the same or a related substance to either avoid or alleviate withdrawal symptoms; the DSM-IV-TR listed specific withdrawal syndromes for the different classes of drugs.
A person can meet criteria for a substance dependence disorder without symptoms of tolerance or withdrawal. This type of substance dependence is further classified as “without physiological dependence.”
For example, if a person uses amphetamines and meets three or more criteria that do not include tolerance and withdrawal (i.e., taking the amphetamine in larger amounts or over a longer time frame that intended; continuing to use amphetamines despite the drug causing physical or psychological problems; and giving up important recreational, social or occupational activities to use amphetamines), then the diagnosis would be “amphetamine dependence without physiological dependence.”
Other criteria for a substance dependency disorder include unsuccessful efforts or a persistent drug to either cut down on drug use or control it; and spending a large amount of time to get the drug, use it or recover from use.
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (Text Revision). Print. American Psychiatric Publications. 2000.
MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Drug Abuse. Web. 7 December 2011
MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Drug Dependence. Web. 7 December 2011
Reviewed December 8, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith