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What is the diagnosis for Opioid-Related Disorder?

Opioids include heroine, fentanyl, and prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine, and others. 

A diagnosis of “opioid-related disorder” is based on a problematic pattern of opioid use leading to significant impairment or distress, as demonstrated by at least two of the following factors, occurring within a 12-month period:

  • Opioids are often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
  • There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to reduce or control opioid use.
  • A great deal of time is spent trying to obtain the opioid, use it, or recover from its effects.
  • A person has a craving or strong desire to use opioids.
  • Recurrent opioid use results in a failure to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home.
  • A person continues opioid use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused of exacerbated by the effects of its use.
  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of opioid use.
  • There is recurrent use of the opioid in situations that are physically hazardous.
  • Opioid use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely caused or exacerbated by the opioid.
  • Tolerance is developed, as defined by either of the following:
    • A need for increased amounts of opioids to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
    • A reduced effect with continued use of the same amount of an opioid.
  • Withdrawal, as demonstrated by either of the following:
    • Characteristic opioid withdrawal syndrome.
    • Opioids (or a closely related substance) are taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Opioid use disorder is rated as mild with the presence of 2-3 symptoms, moderate with 4-5 symptoms, and severe with 6 or more symptoms.

A diagnosis of “unspecified opioid-related disorder” may apply in situations in which a person shows symptoms characteristic of an opioid-related disorder, but the symptoms do not meet the full criteria for any specific opioid-related disorder or any of the disorders in the substance-related and addictive disorders diagnostic class.

Mental Health Library Sources:

Information included in all topics of the Mental Health Library comes from the Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-5 and Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Complete diagnostic and treatment information may be found within these publications.


Information within the Mental Health Library is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis purposes. Rather, it is provided as a public educational service to make people aware of mental health conditions. Please consult a qualified mental health professional for a diagnosis of any suspected mental health illness.

© Copyright 2023 HUPCFL All Rights Reserved.


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