In DSM-III, this disorder is called Amphetamine or Similarly Acting Sympathomimetic Abuse

Diagnostic Criteria

A. Pattern of pathological use: inability to reduce or stop use; intoxication throughout the day; use of substance nearly every day for at least one month; episodes of either Amphetamine or Similarly Acting Sympathomimetic Delusional Disorder or Amphetamine or Similarly Acting Sympathomimetic Delirium.

BImpairment in social or occupational functioning due to amphetamine or similarly acting sympathomimetic use: e.g., fights, loss of friends, absence from work, loss of job, or legal difficulties (other than due to a single arrest for possession, purchase, or sale of the substance).

C. Duration of disturbance of at least one month.


For more information, see Substance Abuse

Legal difficulties typically arise as a result of behavior while intoxicated with amphetamines (especially aggressive behavior), as a consequence of obtaining the drug on the illegal market, or as a result of drug possession or use. Occasionally, individuals with Amphetamine Abuse will engage in illegal acts (e.g., manufacturing amphetamines, theft) to obtain the drug; however, this behavior is more common among those with Dependence. Individuals may continue to use the substance despite the knowledge that continued use results in arguments with family members while the individual is intoxicated or presents a negative example to children or other close family members. When these problems are accompanied by evidence of tolerance, withdrawal, or compulsive behavior, a diagnosis of Amphetamine Dependence rather than Abuse should be considered.


See Stimulant Use Disorder

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