Can blood test be useful in determining addiction?

by krish
(india)

Can blood test be useful in determining addiction?

Comments for Can blood test be useful in determining addiction?

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A blood test can show which drugs have been used recently.
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear krish,

A blood test can be useful to determine if someone is using drugs. For example, a blood test will show that opiates or methamphetamine have been used recently.

A blood test however can't determine if someone is chemically dependent or addicted to a drug. Although, addiction is a disease of the brain, there is no definitative test for addiction.

Through research we have some information about addiction but we still know very little. Generally, in order to be considered addicted to a drug/alcohol you need to meet at least three of the criteria below:

Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
a need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance

Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
the characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance
the same (or a closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms (an example taking a drink to stop from shaking)

The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended

There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use

A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance, use the substance, or recover from its effects

Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use

The substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance

These are the criteria for addiction to be medically diagnosed.

If two or more are present then addiction is likely.

Hope this helps,

Debbie

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