Diagnosist > Addictions


Acute intoxication

A transient condition following the administration of alcohol or other psychoactive substance, resulting in disturbances in level of consciousness, cognition, perception, affect or behaviour, or other psychophysiological functions and responses.



Harmful use

A pattern of psychoactive substance use that is causing damage to health. The damage may be physical (as in cases of hepatitis from the self-administration of injected drugs) or mental (e.g. episodes of depressive disorder secondary to heavy consumption of alcohol).




May include:

  1. A strong desire to take the substance

  2. Difficulties controlling the onset, termination or levels of use

  3. Withdrawal when substance use has reduced

  4. Tolerance, so that increased doses are required to achieve the same effect

  5. Neglect of alternative interests

  6. Persisting with substance use despite clear evidence of overtly harmful consequences

  7. Narrowing of the personal repertoire of patterns of psychoactive substance use



A group of physical and psychological symptoms that occur on absolute or relative withdrawal of a substance after repeated / prolonged / high-dose use of that substance. Onset and course of the withdrawal state are time-limited and are related to the type of substance and the dose being used immediately before abstinence.