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ICD 10 Code For Polysubstance Abuse

Below is current information about the icd 10 codes for polysubstance abuse. This condition occurs when someone consumes two or more drugs, including alcohol, over an extended period of time.

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Addiction is a complex, biopsychosocial disease emerging from the interplay of genetics, history of childhood issues, environmental factors, and personality traits. This condition also emerges from these variables’ interaction but is reinforced by other related aspects as a disease.

For example, some people’s brain-body chemistry makes it more challenging to feel high. Consequently, they may find that drinking while smoking marijuana gives the sensations they crave. Once the brain becomes dependent to the combination of ethanol and pot, the person continues using these two together.

DSM 5 Codes – ICD 10 polysubstance abuse

Another scenario may involve an individual dependent to heroin who suffers a severe and painful injury. Far too often, the physician prescribing pain medication is unaware of the patient’s heroin problem. As a result, the person mixes heroin with pain pills and the intense high of abusing both heroin and painkillers.

Use can be either simultaneously or separately. Previously, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 4) listed it as a mental health problem.

  • However, the DSM-5 has removed it.

According to the DSM-V, someone must present at least three of the following symptoms to meet professional criteria;

  • Tolerance where they need increasingly larger doses to feel high
  • Suffer withdrawal symptoms when they abstain
  • Repeated attempts to stop using without succeeding
  • Spending most of their time searching for and using multiple chemicals
  • Experiencing life issues due to using, i.e., losing jobs, getting arrested, failing relationships with family and friends
  • Continuing to engage in this practice when they know it is harming them physically and mentally.


Among opioids, this is “considered the norm instead of the exception.” These three are often cross-addicted with liquor and cocaine.

  • Heroin
  • morphine
  • pain pills

Alternately, amphetamine addicts take ethanol and opioids to help them “come down” off a speed high. However, it isn’t unusual for a someone to be dependent various types of chemicals, especially if they have a family history of dependence or mental or physical illnesses.


Treatment involves psychotherapies, group counseling, experiential activities, and ongoing support to treat people with just one. The primary difference in treating this vs. a single chemical concerns supplemental medications that help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Depending on their severity, patients in a recovery program may need to take several medications simultaneously, such as Naltrexone and Disulfiram used for liquor and opioids.

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