Substance dependency according to DSM-IV

Presence of three (or more) of the following signs at any time over a continuous period of twelve months:
  1. tolerance (quantity or effect)
  2. withdrawal (syndrome)
  3. substance often taken in higher quantities or over a prolonged period
  4. persistent desire
  5. a considerable amount of time is spent on activities needed in order to obtain the substance
  6. important social, professional or leisure activities are relinquished
  7. continued use of a substance although the person realises that he/she has a persistent or recurrent psychological or physical problem

From: Alcohol: Social damages, abuse, and dependence

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