Topic 1 Introduction

In defining problematic use of tobacco, alcohol and internet, the two most prominent classification systems are American Psychiatric Association’s (APA, 2013) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and World Health Organization’s (WHO, 2018) International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

The ICD is produced by a global health agency with a constitutional public health mission, is multidisciplinary and multilingual, with special attention given to primary care and low- and middle-income countries. On the other hand, the DSM is produced by a single national professional association, covers clinical diagnosis associated with mental disorder, and is focused mainly on secondary psychiatric care in high-income countries.

Although there is a lot of convergence between these two classification systems, and it is possible to convert the diagnoses of one system into another, the DSM is considered to be more accurate and more reliable in a statistical context than ICD (Tyrer, 2014).

In this unit, we will explore and compare definitions and signs symptoms related to problematic use of tobacco, alcohol and internet presented in these two classification systems.