In the review of the use of substance disorder detection and the making of treatment plan understanding of tolerance and withdrawal is an important factor. A clear understanding of tolerance is a person’s diminished response that results in repeated drug use. Tolerance and withdrawal are not part of the diagnosis but are more of clinical courses for past withdrawal symptoms. Tolerance and dependence are terms often mistaken by the counselors to be the same. However, having a clear distinction could lead to a better understanding of the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse (Stevens, Smith & Reiner, 2009). Lack of knowledge could lead to a distorted treatment plan, a not well-convinced treatment plan, and under convince the client on what to do or rather expect at withdrawal. For instance, a counsellor may mistake tolerance for drug dependency. As a result, they may recommend an increase of the medication which can increase the level of intoxication rather than achieving the desired effect of the drug.
Based on the DSM differential diagnoses section of substance use disorders, drug dependency can co-occur with a wide range of psychological, neurological, and medical disorders. In other words, it may be difficult to distinguish the symptoms of substance abuse with those of the co-occurring conditions. Schizophrenia is one of the most common mental illness found in people who are drug dependent (First, 2013). Some of its symptoms include hallucination and delusions. It may be hard to determine whether those symptoms are associated with the mental problem is the individual also presents with substance use disorder. The main reason behind the co-occurrence of the differential diagnoses of substance dependency disorder is that the use of drugs can trigger dual diagnosis. For instance, alcohol intoxication may trigger depression which is a key symptom of depressive conditions. On the other hand, the presence of a differential diagnosis may lead to substance abuse for the purposes of feeling better, calm, and pain management, among other reasons. Consequently, one may develop a substance use disorder.
First, M. B. (2013). DSM-5 handbook of differential diagnosis. American Psychiatric Pub.
Stevens, P., Smith, R. L., & Reiner, S. M. (2009). Substance abuse counseling: Theory and practice. 4th Edition Upper Saddle River.