Even more on the DSM-V

The Fix follows up on the previous piece about the coming changes in the DSM-V.

The writer captures my concerns:

I don’t foresee any negative results from dropping those two misguided terms. (abuse and dependence) But what does concern me is the fact that rather than still having two separate and distinct conditions—one, a short-term, self-limiting disorder and the other a condition likely to be chronic and relapsing—there will now be only one way to have a drug problem. The gradations of the condition will likely be delineated as “mild,” “moderate” or “severe” substance use disorder. While the word “addictive” will appear in the heading that labels the overall category, it will not figure in the diagnoses themselves. For example, you could have mild, moderate or severe opioid dependence disorder or gambling disorder. (So far, gambling is the only behavioral addiction to make the DSM cut.)

But this elision of the problems formerly known as abuse and dependence will, I fear, cause major problems for many people, especially teenagers and young adults. What it means, in a worst-case scenario, is that every college binge drinker will be at risk for being labeled an alcoholic and every high school stoner, an addict.

It’s unfortunate that the author trots out gross stereotypes and caricatures in paragraphs 9 through 12. She falls into the cognitive errors that Kathryn Shultz describes so well at 9:59 through 11:17 of this great talk:

Good thing we don’t use Jayson Blair, Stephen Glass, Jack Kelley and partisan medial outlets to slander writers in general 😉

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