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Club Drugs (cont.)

Diagnosis of Club Drug Abuse and Dependence

As is true with virtually any other mental health diagnosis, the fact is there is no one test that definitively indicates someone has a club drug use disorder. Screening tools, including online or other tests may help identify individuals who are at risk for having this problem. Therefore, health care professionals diagnose club drug abuse or dependence by gathering comprehensive medical, family, and mental health information. The practitioner will also either perform a physical examination or request that the individual's primary care doctor perform one. The medical examination will usually include lab tests to evaluate the person's general health and to explore whether or not the individual has a medical condition that might have mental health symptoms.

In asking questions about mental health symptoms, mental health professionals are often exploring if the individual suffers from club drug or other drug abuse or dependence disorders, as well as depression and/or manic symptoms, anxiety, hallucinations or delusions, behavioral disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or other substance abuse disorders. Practitioners may provide the people they evaluate with a quiz or self-test as a screening tool for substance use disorders.

Club drug addiction is a destructive pattern of the use of one or more substances in that group that includes tolerance to or withdrawal from the substance, using more quantities of the drug or for longer than planned, and trouble reducing its use. Other potential symptoms include spending an inordinate amount of time getting, using or recovering from the use of a club drug, compromised functioning and/or continuing to use of the substances despite an awareness of the detrimental effects it is having on one's life. An addiction to a club drug, like any other substance abuse or dependence, is appropriately considered a disease rather than a weakness of character or chosen pattern of bad behavior.

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