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Diagnosing a drug addiction often starts at the family doctor level, often after one family member has raised concerns about another family member's behavior. Your doctor may ask questions about the frequency of drug use, whether any family member has criticized your drug use or whether you've ever felt you might have a problem.
A definitive diagnosis of drug addiction usually occurs after an evaluation by a psychiatrist, a psychologist or a specialized addiction counselor. Blood tests aren't used to diagnose a drug addiction but may be used to see whether you've taken certain drugs in the recent past.
To be diagnosed with an addiction (substance dependence), you must meet criteria spelled out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental conditions and by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.
Certain criteria must be met for you to be diagnosed with substance dependence. These include a pattern of drug use that causes significant problems or distress that includes three or more of the following, occurring at any time over a 12-month period:
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