DSM-IV

In DSM-IV, this is a category called Opioid Use Disorders

Disorders

  1. Opioid Dependence
  2. Opioid Abuse

 DSM-5

Diagnostic Criteria

A. A problematic pattern of opioid use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by at least two of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:

  1. Opioids are often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
  2. There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control opioid use.
  3. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the opioid, use the opioid, or recover from its effects.
  4. Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use opioids.
  5. Recurrent opioid use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
  6. Continued opioid use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of opioid.
  7. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of opioid use.
  8. Recurrent opioid use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
  9. Continued opioid use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance.
  10. Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
    • a. A need for markedly increased amounts of opioids to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
    • b. A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of an opioid.
    • Note: This criterion is not considered to be met for those taking opioids solely under appropriate medical supervision.
  11. Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
    • a. The characteristic opioid withdrawal syndrome.
    • b. Opioids (or a closely related substance) are taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
    • Note: This criterion is not considered to be met for those individuals taking opioids solely under appropriate medical supervision.

Specify if:

  • In early remission: After full criteria for opioid use disorder were previously met, none of the criteria for opioid use disorder have been met for at least 3 months but for less than 12 months (with the exception that Criterion A4, "Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use opioids," may be met).
  • In sustained remission: After full criteria for opioid use disorder were previously met, none of the criteria for opioid use disorder have been met at any time during a period of 12 months or longer (with the exception that Criterion A4, "Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use opioids," may be met).

Specify if:

  • On maintenance therapy: This additional specifier is used if the individual is taking a prescribed agonist medication such as methadone or buprenorphine and none of the criteria for opioid use disorder have been met for that class of medication (except tolerance to, or withdrawal from, the agonist). This category also applies to those individuals being maintained on a partial agonist, an agonist/antagonist, or a full antagonist such as oral naltrexone or depot naltrexone.
  • In a controlled environment: This additional specifier is used if the individual is in an environment where access to opioids is restricted.

Note: If an opioid intoxication, opioid withdrawal, or another opioid-induced mental disorder is also present, the comorbid opioid use disorder is indicated in the opioid-induced disorder. For example, if there is comorbid opioid-induced depressive disorder and opioid use disorder, only the opioid-induced depressive disorder diagnosis is given, with the recording indicating whether the comorbid opioid use disorder is mild, moderate, or severe (e.g., mild opioid use disorder with opioid-induced depressive disorder; moderate or severe opioid use disorder with opioid-induced depressive disorder).

Specify current severity:

  • Mild: Presence of 2-3 symptoms.
  • Moderate: Presence of 4-5 symptoms.
  • Severe: Presence of 6 or more symptoms.

Specifiers

The "on maintenance therapy" specifier applies as a further specifier of remission if the individual is both in remission and receiving maintenance therapy. "In a controlled environment" applies as a further specifier of remission if the individual is both in remission and in a controlled environment (i.e., in early remission in a controlled environment or in sustained remission in a controlled environment). Examples of these environments are closely supervised and substance-free jails, therapeutic communities, and locked hospital units.

Changing severity across time in an individual is also reflected by reductions in the frequency (e.g., days of use per month) and/or dose (e.g., injections or number of pills) of an opioid, as assessed by the individual's self-report, report of knowledgeable others, clinician's observations, and biological testing.

Differential Diagnosis

Opioid-induced mental disorders

Opioid-induced disorders occur frequently in individuals with opioid use disorder. Opioid-induced disorders may be characterized by symptoms (e.g., depressed mood) that resemble primary mental disorders (e.g., persistent depressive disorder [dysthymia] vs. opioid-induced depressive disorder, with depressive features, with onset during intoxication). Opioids are less likely to produce symptoms of mental disturbance than are most other drugs of abuse. Opioid intoxication and opioid withdrawal are distinguished from the other opioid-induced disorders (e.g., opioid-induced depressive disorder, with onset during intoxication) because the symptoms in these latter disorders predominate the clinical presentation and are severe enough to warrant independent clinical attention.

Other substance intoxication

Alcohol intoxication and sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic intoxication can cause a clinical picture that resembles that for opioid intoxication. A diagnosis of alcohol or sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic intoxication can usually be made based on the absence of pupillary constriction or the lack of a response to naloxone challenge. In some cases, intoxication may be due both to opioids and to alcohol or other sedatives. In these cases, the naloxone challenge will not reverse all of the sedative effects.

Other withdrawal disorders

The anxiety and restlessness associated with opioid withdrawal resemble symptoms seen in sedative-hypnotic withdrawal. However, opioid withdrawal is also accompanied by rhinorrhea, lacrimation, and pupillary dilation, which are not seen in sedative-type withdrawal. Dilated pupils are also seen in hallucinogen intoxication and stimulant intoxication. However, other signs or symptoms of opioid withdrawal, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, rhinorrhea, or lacrimation, are not present.

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