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How is Heroin Addiction Diagnosed?
Heroin addiction can be formally diagnosed as a clinical disorder called opioid use disorder. To be diagnosed, the heroin use must cause significant impairment or distress, and at least two of the following symptoms must be present over a 12-month period:
- Heroin use is greater than the user intends, either in dosage or frequency.
- The user has a desire to quit or has unsuccessfully tried to quit.
- The user spends significant time acquiring, using, or recovering from the drug.
- The user has a strong craving for the drug.
- Drug use is interfering with the user’s obligations or responsibilities.
- Drug use continues despite the harm it does to the user, physically or otherwise.
- Drug use interferes with the user’s normal activities and routines.
- The drug is used in dangerous situations.
- Tolerance for the drug develops, creating the need for higher doses or more frequent use to achieve the same effect.
- Abstinence from the drug causes withdrawal symptoms.
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