Diagnosing addiction (substance use disorder) requires a thorough evaluation and often includes an assessment by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or a licensed alcohol and drug counselor. Blood, urine or other lab tests are used to assess drug use, but they’re not a diagnostic test for addiction. However, these tests may be used for monitoring treatment and recovery.
For diagnosis of a substance use disorder, most mental health professionals use criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Chemical Dependence Treatment
What You Can DO
Before your appointment, be prepared:
- Be honest about your drug use. When you engage in unhealthy drug use, it can be easy to downplay or underestimate how much you use and your level of addiction. To get an accurate idea of which treatment may help, be honest with your doctor or other mental health professional.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins, herbs or other supplements that you’re taking, and the dosages. Tell the doctor about any legal or illegal drugs you’re using.
- Make a list of questions to ask your doctor or mental health professional.