Identifying or being diagnosed
NOTE: Quotes are presented word for word apart from minor editing for readability and clarity. Identifying details have been removed. Square brackets show text that has been added, e.g. ‘I want to maintain [my current level of consumption]’. Ellipses within square brackets […] show where text has been removed, e.g. ‘Counselling was good but […] I would have liked more information about other treatment options’.
The people interviewed for this website describe their alcohol and other drug use in a range of different ways. Some use the word ‘addiction’, others prefer the term ‘dependence’ and several opt for ‘habit’. When asked what prompted them to describe their consumption in these terms, some say they were experiencing symptoms they associate with addiction or dependence (see also What is addiction or dependence?). These include ‘tolerance’ (the need for higher doses after repeated consumption), ‘withdrawal’ (physical symptoms experienced when stopping or cutting down), difficulty stopping, and a strong desire or ‘craving’ for the drug. Several say they thought they had an addiction or dependence because they were devoting a lot of time to consumption or it was disrupting other parts of everyday life such as work and relationships.