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Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Essay

Salience refers to a situation where drug use is given a higher priority than other activities in spite of its negative effects (Babor, 1992). This is reflected in circumstances where the individual does not respond as expected or normally to the normal processes of social control. Also in instances where substance uses is given priority in the person’s life through persistent use in spite of the negative consequences. This salience behavior can be explained by the relatively immediate short term reinforcement that the drug has on the individual.

Ashley shows signs of salience, she is not able to sleep without taking the diet pill, she does not get hungry hence probably she does not eat. The case study shows Ashley is not responding normally to normal processes of social control. Though Ashley is very beautiful she does not appreciate that as would be expected in normal circumstances, she has issues with her weight. v) IMPAIRED CONTROL Impaired control is characterized by frequent failure in limiting the amount or frequency of substance abuse.

One way to judge impaired control is repeated attempt to limit substance abuse. From the case study it is not elaborate how many attempts Ashley has made to stop taking

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the diet pills; however an attempt has been made and failed which is a probability of the presence of impaired control (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). vi) TOLERANCE Tolerance is a decrease in response to a psychoactive substance that occurs with continued use, (Babor, 1992).

For instance, if Ashley was given only one pill by the mother, with continuous use, the stimulating effect of only one tablet will not be enough and she might require two or three tablets a day The increase in dosage to sustain the desired effect from the drug is what is referred to as tolerance. For Ashley it is not very clear in the case study. vii) WITHDRAWAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS This refers to the signs or symptoms that occur after cessation of substance use. Ashley efforts to stop taking the diet pills result to lack of seep and depression, these confirms the presence of withdrawal symptoms.

CONCLUSION From the discussion above referring to Ashley’s case study, it is clear that Ashley has already developed substance abuse problem. According to Diagnostic and statistical manual-IV-TR, recurrent substance use resulting in failure to fulfill normal obligations and continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems exacerbated by effects of the substances as presented in Ashley’s case study is a clear indication of a problem in substances abuse.

Therefore, Ashley can be diagnosed as having substance abuse problem.


Babor, T. F. (1992). Nosological considerations in the diagnosis of substance use disorders. In M. Glantz &R. Pickens (Eds. ), Vulnerability to drug abuse. Washington DC: American Psychological Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (2000), 4th ed. American Psychiatric Association.

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