DSM-V To Include "Addiction" Category

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Changes have been proposed for the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association's manual for psychiatric diagnosis, including revision of the substance abuse and addiction sections.

The Story

The American Psychiatric Association has released a draft of proposed changes to their manual for psychiatric diagnosis, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The updated edition, which will be the fifth version of the DSM, will be finalized and published in 2013.

A number of changes relating to addiction have been proposed, including:

  • Replacing the category Substance-Related Disorders with a new category entitled "Addiction and Related Disorders." This change is meant to eliminate confusion between the compulsive and out of control drug use of addiction and the normal tolerance/withdrawal experienced by some patients.
  • Reclassifying Pathological Gambling from Impulse-Control Disorders Not Elsewhere Classified to the new category Addiction and Related Disorders.
  • Considering the addition of Internet addiction and other "addiction-like behavioral disorders" as more research data becomes available. At present, gambling is the only behavioral addiction recommended for inclusion.
  • The addition of Binge Eating Disorder under the Eating Disorders category.

The Response

The APA's draft of proposed changes is expected to generate a great deal of debate. Their decision not to include disorders such as Internet and sex addiction are bound to be controversial, although those making the recommendations make it clear that they are not being included because of a lack of research evidence, not because they are not truly addictions.

The proposed changes are explained online and are for public comment at www.DSM5.org until April 20.

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