An addict is a person who suffers from the disease of addiction. This disease is an obsessive and compulsive condition where the person engages in destructive patterns of using a substance or behaviour to avoid feelings and escape. A drug addict is someone who compulsively craves drugs, seeks drugs and continues to use drugs in spite of the serious negative consequences. They may be physically, emotionally or psychologically addicted to the drug. Alcohol is an immensely powerful drug and when referring to drugs and addiction I see the terms – addict & alcoholic as interchangeable. The disease of addiction renders the sufferer powerless over their addiction.
An addict is not someone with a lack of willpower who should simply cease their addictive behaviours, as this is not possible for an addict. An addict will get their fix at any cost, and it is usually of great cost to them, and their families. The disease of addiction has no cure and can be fatal if not arrested. A 12-Step programme worked in conjunction with in-patient treatment at an addiction treatment clinic is a successful method of arresting and managing the disease, allowing the addict to continue with their life and become a functioning member of society.