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Drug Dependence & Abuse (cont.)

Drug Dependence & Abuse Diagnosis

In order to determine if the diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence is appropriate, the doctor will determine what substances have been abused and will ask what symptoms prompted the person to seek care. The health care professional will assess whether the individual being evaluated meets diagnostic criteria for a specific substance abuse disorder. The doctor will then perform a physical examination to evaluate for possible organ damage.

  • Laboratory studies are directed to evaluate for specific organ damage.
  • Drug screening tests are readily available for some agents. Other substances can be detected with specialized tests at only a few laboratories in the country. Some agents cannot be detected by laboratory evaluation. Depending upon the circumstances, there may be little benefit from drug testing.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/23/2014

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