The disease model basically says that addiction is a bio-psycho-social and spiritual disease. It is a primary, chronic, and progressive illness, if untreated it is fatal. The text revision of the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) USA defines the illness as: A maladaptive pattern of substance/alcohol use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12 month period:

  1. Tolerance –a need for markedly increased amounts of the substance/alcohol to achieve the desired effect.
  2. Withdrawal –the characteristic withdrawal syndrome on stopping the substance/Alcohol.
  3. The substance /alcohol are often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
  4. There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance/alcohol use.
  5. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain, use the substance/ alcohol or recover from its effects.
  6. Important social, occupational or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance /alcohol use.
  7. The substance/alcohol use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological damage.