Proposed changes in DSM-III substance use disorders: description and rationale

Am J Psychiatry. 1986 Apr;143(4):463-8. doi: 10.1176/ajp.143.4.463.


The authors describe changes in DSM-III substance use disorders to be included in the revised version, DSM-III-R. Major revisions include removal of the distinction between "abuse" and "dependence" and broadening the definition of "dependence" to a syndrome of clinically significant behaviors that indicate a serious degree of involvement with psychoactive drugs; creation of a new category of "psychoactive substance neuroadaptation syndrome" for individuals whose physiological adaptations to high doses of psychoactive substances did not arise from their own behavior; use of an identical set of symptoms and behaviors to determine dependence on all different classes of psychoactive substances; and provision of a system for rating severity of dependence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Tolerance
  • Humans
  • Manuals as Topic / standards*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / adverse effects
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / classification
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / classification
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Terminology as Topic


  • Psychotropic Drugs