Yes. Alcohol or drug addiction includes specific symptoms. These symptoms are used in the diagnosis, which is based on three or more of the following conditions:
- The alcohol or drugs are consumed in larger quantities or for a longer period than the person expected.
- The individual needs noticeably more amounts of the substance to achieve the desired intoxication effect.
- The person experiences withdrawal effects if he or she attempts to cut down or discontinue using alcohol or drugs. Withdrawal effects vary widely between different substances and for each individual.
- The individual has a desire to cut down or control the alcohol or drug use but is unsuccessful.
- The person spends a lot of time in obtaining drugs or alcohol, using them, or recovering from the effects of using drugs or drinking.
- Individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol often have decreased engagement with family, friends, work, or recreational activities.
- The addicted individual continues to drink or use drugs in spite of their knowledge of having a major health or psychological problems caused by the substance (for example, continued drinking despite an ulcer which gets worse or increasing arguments with a partner).
Those who are addicted have strong, compelling cravings to use drugs or drink no matter how dreadful and unmanageable their lives have become.