Physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance or behavior, and unable to stop taking it/doing it without incurring adverse effects. People with an addiction do not have control over what they are doing, taking or using.
Drug Addiction – there is a psychological/physical component; the person is unable to control the aspects of the addiction without help because of the mental or physical conditions involved
Drug Habit – this is done by choice. A person with a habit can choose to stop, and will subsequently stop successfully if they want to. The psychological/physical component is not an issue as it is with an addiction
An addiction must meet at least 3 of the following criteria. This is based on the criteria of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV).
- Drug Tolerance. Using more alcohol or drugs overtime to get the same effect.
- Drug Withdrawal. Experiencing physical or emotional withdrawal when you stop using, such as: anxiety, irritability, shakes, sweats, nausea, or vomiting.
- Limited control. Drinking or using drugs more than you would like to, Such as: planning to only have one drink and not being able to stop after you have the first drink.
- Negative consequences. Continuing to use even though there have been negative consequences to your mood, self-esteem, health, job, or family.
- Neglected or postponed activities. Putting off or reducing social, recreational, work, or household activities because of your use.
- Significant time or energy spent. Spending a significant amount of time obtaining, using, concealing, planning, or recovering from your use. Spending a lot of time thinking about using. Concealing or minimizing your use. Thinking up schemes to avoid getting caught.
- Desire to cut down. Thoughts about cutting down or controlling your use, acting on those thoughts, then being unsuccessful in your plan to quit.
Signs and symptoms of alcoholism
- You have problems getting to work or school on time or at all because of your drinking.
- You drink in risky situations, such as before or while driving a car.
- After drinking, you can’t remember what happened while you were drinking..
- You have legal problems because of your drinking.
- You get hurt or you hurt someone else when you are drinking.
- You keep drinking even though you have health problems that are caused or made worse by alcohol use.
- Your friends or family members are worried about your drinking.
- You cannot quit drinking or control how much you drink.
- You need to drink more to get the same effect.
- You have withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking.
- You spend a lot of time drinking and recovering.
- You have given up other activities so you can drink.
- You keep drinking even though it harms your relationships.
- You drink in the morning or drink alone.
- You change what you drink, such as switching from beer to wine because you think that doing this will help you drink less.
- You feel guilty after drinking.
- You make excuses for your drinking or do things to hide your drinking.
- You worry that you won’t get enough alcohol.
- You have physical signs of alcohol dependence, such as weight loss, a sore or upset stomach. or redness of the nose and cheeks.