From wild “lost weekends” of your college years to even minuscule daily habits such as shopping, sex, video games, or internet use – now, even momentary lifestyle decisions can now get you labeled an alcoholic or an addict.
Recently, psychiatrists and specialists declared revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) that would exponentially widen the definition of a mental addiction and could potentially cost insurers and taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
The expanded definition was originally proposed with the intent of diagnosing more untreated illnesses, and psychiatrists claim it will have intense social benefits in the long run. However, under the new wording, some 20 million substance abusers could be newly (and perhaps unnecessarily) diagnosed as addicts.
Bob Forrest, drug counselor on “Celebrity Rehab” and “Sober House,” joins us on the show to share his opinion on the change. Forrest is a former Chemical Dependency Program Director at Las Encinas Hospital and a co-founder of Hollywood Recovery Services, launched in 2010.
“One argument is it’s going to label a lot of people alcoholic,” he says. “On the other hand, an argument is, more people will become more educated at an earlier age about their drinking and what it can lead to.”