Sei sulla pagina 1di 3

Mnemonics for DSM-IV Substance-Related

Disorders
Harold B. Pinkofsky, M.D., Ph.D., and Roy R. Reeves, D.O., Ph.D

Abstract: A series of acronyms was developed to assist in M -MEMORY IMPAIRMENT


recalling the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for substance-related S -STUPOR OR COMA
disorders. In order to facilitate recall, most of the mnemonics
are related in some way to the disorder itself. In general, each G -GAIT UNSTEADY
letter of the acronym relates to an element of the diagnostic I -INCOORDINATION
criteria. These mnemonics are intended to be helpful in a
N -NYSTAGMUS
variety of academic and medical settings. © 1998 Elsevier
Science Inc. Criterion C for “Sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic
intoxication” can also be recalled by the mnemonic
Introduction “SAM’S GIN.”
Substance abuse is a frequently encountered prob-
lem in the inpatient population. In order to help
Alcohol Withdrawal
identify features associated with the various forms
of substance intoxication and withdrawal we have The eight features of criterion B can be recalled
developed a list of mnemonics based on criteria in using the mnemonic “PAST NITE” (as in an indi-
the DSM-IV. These mnemonics are intended to help vidual who is experiencing symptoms of with-
organize criteria in a variety of clinical settings and drawal from decreased intake over the past several
to assist in preventing faulty recall. They have been nights).
found to be helpful in teaching the DSM-IV criteria
to residents within our teaching program. Mne- P -PSYCHOMOTOR AGITATION
monics for selected DSM-III-R and DSM-IV disor- A -ANXIETY
ders were previously published in an attempt to S -SEIZURES (GRAND-MAL)
assist with criterion recollection [1–3]. T -TRANSIENT HALLUCINATIONS
OR ILLUSIONS

Alcohol Intoxication N -NAUSEA OR VOMITING


The six features from criterion C can be remem- I -INSOMNIA
bered by “SAM’S GIN.” T -TREMOR (hand) INCREASED
E -EXCITABILITY-AUTONOMIC
S -SPEECH SLURRED
A -ATTENTION IMPAIRMENT OR Criterion B of “sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic
withdrawal” can also be recalled by the mnemonic
Departments of Psychiatry at Louisiana State University Med- “PAST NITE.”
ical Center, Box # 33932, Shreveport, Louisiana 71130 (H.B.P.)
and Overton Brooks VA Medical Center, Shreveport, Louisiana
(R.R.R.).
Address reprint requests to: Harold B. Pinkofsky, M.D., Ph.D., Amphetamine Intoxication
Louisiana State University Medical Center, School of Medicine
in Shreveport, Department of Psychiatry, P.O. Box 33932, 1501 The nine features from criterion C can be recalled
Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA 71130-3932, USA. using the mnemonic “A CODE BLUE.”

368 General Hospital Psychiatry 20, 368 –370, 1998


ISSN 0163-8343/98/$19.00 © 1998 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.
PII S0163-8343(98)00052-8 655 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10010
Mnemonics DSM-IV Disorders

A -AGITATION OR RETARDATION Hallucinogen Intoxication


(psychomotor)
Criterion D can be recalled using the mnemonic
C -CARDIAC (tachycardia or “DISTORT.”
bradycardia)
O -OCULAR (pupillary dilation) D -DISTORTED (blurred) VISION
D -DIAPHORESIS (or chills) I -INCOORDINATION
E -ENCEPHALOPATHIC-LIKE S -SWEATING
CHANGES (seizures, confusion, T -TACHYCARDIA
dyskinesias, dystonias, or coma) O -OPENING (dilation) OF THE
PUPIL
B -BLOOD PRESSURE (elevated or R -RACING HEART (palpitations)
lowered) T -TREMOR
L -LOSS OF STOMACH CONTENT
U -UNSTABLE MUSCLE-
ASSOCIATED CHANGES Inhalant Intoxication
(diaphramatic, cardiac, and The 13 criterion C features can be recalled using the
skeletal) i.e., muscle weakness, mnenomic “DISRUPTS GLOBE.”
respiratory depression, chest pain,
or cardiac arrhythmias D -DIZZINESS
E -EVIDENCE OF WEIGHT LOSS I -INCOORDINATION
S -SLURRED SPEECH
Criterion C for “cocaine intoxication” can also be R -REFLEXES DEPRESSED
recalled by “A CODE BLUE.” U -UNSTEADY GAIT
P -PSYCHOMOTOR
RETARDATION
Amphetamine Withdrawal T -TREMORS
The five features from criterion B can be recalled by S -STUPOR (or coma)
the mnemonic “PANTS” (as in an individual who
pants when out of breath). G -GENERALIZED MOTOR
WEAKNESS
P -PSYCHOMOTOR AGITATION L -LETHARGY
OR RETARDATION O -OCULAR (nystagmus)
A -APETITE INCREASES B -BLURRED VISION (or diploplia)
N -NIGHTMARES (vivid, unpleasant E -EUPHORIA
dreams)
T -TIREDNESS (fatigue)
S -SLEEP (hypersomnia or insomnia) Opioid Intoxication
Criterion B for “cocaine withdrawal” can also be Pupillary constriction (or dilation following an
recalled by “PANTS.” overdose) is present along with one of three fea-
tures from criterion C. These three features of cri-
terion C can be recalled by the mnemonic “SAD.”
Cannabis Intoxication
S -SLURRED SPEECH
The four features in criterion C can be recalled by A -ATTENTION (or memory)
the mnemonic “MEAT.” (The mnemonic is in ref- IMPAIRMENT
erence to a possible increase in apetite.) D -DROWSINESS (or coma).
M -MOUTH DRY
E -ERYTHEMATOUS
Opioid Withdrawal
CONJUNCTIVA
A -APETITE INCREASED These nine features from criterion B can be recalled
T -TACHYCARDIA by the mnemonic “ARMY FINDS” (as in a possible

369
H.B. Pinkofsky and R.R. Reeves.

headline: Army finds Opioid Withdrawal In M -MUSCLE RIGIDITY


Troops). A -ACUTE SENSE OF HEARING
(hyperacusis)
A -ACHES (muscular) P -PAIN (numbness to pain)
R -RHINORRHEA (or lacrimation)
M -MOOD-DYSPHORIC S -SEIZURES (or coma)
Y -YAWNING T -TACHYCARDIA (or
hypertension)
F -FEVER A -ATAXIA
I -INSOMNIA N -NYSTAGMUS (vertical or
N -NAUSEA (or vomiting) horizontal)
D -DIARRHEA D -DYSARTHRIA
S -SWEATING (piloerection, or
pupillary dilation)
References
1. Short DD, Workman EA, Morse JH, Turner RL: Mne-
Phencyclidine Intoxication monics for eight DSM-III-R disorders. Hosp Commu-
At least two of eight features from criterion C de- nity Psychiatry 43:642–644, 1992
2. Reeves RR, Bullen JA: Mnemonics for ten DSM-IV
velop within an hour of phencyclidine use. These disorders. J Nerv Ment Dis 138:550–551, 1995
eight features can be recalled by the mnemonic 3. Pinkofsky HB: Mnemonics for DSM-IV personality
“MAP STAND.” disorders. Psychiatr Serv 48:1197–1198, 1997

370