The University of Arizona
 

Levels of Illicit Drug Use and Factors Contributing to Use
Levels of Dependency:
Introduction

Clinicians often use the terms use, misuse, abuse, and dependence when assessing an individual’s drug status. Of these, only the latter two terms are diagnostic categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), a comprehensive classification of officially recognized psychiatric disorders. [1]

“Use” is often applied to drug consumption that is not clinically significant.
“Misuse” is often applied to drug consumption that is clinically significant but does not meet diagnostic criteria for abuse or dependence. Again, the term misuse is not a formal diagnostic category.[2]

 

References

  • (1) Task Force on DSM-IV. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2000.
  • (2) American Psychiatric Association. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Substance Use Disorders. Arlington, VA: APA; 2007 Apr. Report No.: 164.