Psyciatry's diagnostic manual, the DSM, is about to label almost 100% of college students 'mild alcoholics.'
LOLz, okay, it's not that bad. 40%. What we mean is that they're about to categorize binge drinkers, and other levels of alcohol misuse, with a new definition of alcoholism that blurs the lines between problem drinking and alcoholism itself.
To test this new definition, they had to take a look at how it changed the diagnosis.
The researchers studied more than 7,000 fraternal and identical twins. The twins responded to questions that assessed whether they met criteria such as loss of control over drinking, trying and failing to cut down or quit, and hazardous use (such as drunk driving) that doctors commonly use to define alcohol problems.
The results? Nobody can really tell:
"What the analyses suggest is that it isn't clear whether the new criteria represent an improvement. That isn't to say that our results suggest that the DSM-5 criteria are worse than the DSM-4 either, though."
What the DSM-5 changes is that it gets rid of the distinction between college bing drinkers and dependancy. Which doesn't really make sense to us. We're willing to bet that those binge drinkers are more likely to merge into dependent drinkers, but we still feel like they're two different things born from two different reasons to imbibe.
The idea is to have a single condition with varying levels of severity instead. In other words, DSM-5 could categorize 40% of college students as alcoholics! That shizz is CRAY!
The main concern is labeling young people as alcoholics, as that'll stick with them forever, echoed by this researcher:
"Diagnoses made casually and based on insufficient evidence can stick with someone for life, causing needless stigma and affecting job and insurance opportunities long after the substance problem has resolved. Many young people who get into early trouble because of substance abuse never become dependent and shouldn't be lumped together with long term addicts."
Maybe they didn't think this one through enough!
[Image via AP Images.]
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