What is an Addict

Social Users, Abusers and Addicts – What’s the Difference?
Social Users
  • do not experience problems of any kind associated with use
  • no surprises or unpredictability
  • no loss of control
  • no thoughts of or need for limit setting
  • no one ever complains or worries about how much they drink/use
Abusers
  • use alcohol or drugs to change the way they feel about themselves or some aspect of their life
  • have had some problems associated with their use but not repeated
  • limit setting that is adhered to
  • promises that are made and kept
  • complaints and worries are heard and dealt with
Addicts
  • negative consequences are recycled
  • limit setting and promises to self and others are broken
  • complaints and worries are ignored, denied
  • reliable symptoms become more evident including:
    • continued use despite negative consequences
    • loss of control, as in more use than planned
    • unpredictability, as in use despite plan not to
    • compulsivity/preoccupation in thinking
    • denial
    • increased tolerance
    • remorse and guilt
    • memory loss, mental confusion, irrational thinking
    • withdrawal discomfort