Various Levels of Addiction & Alcoholism


There are endless varying opinions as to whether addiction, alcoholism and eating disorders are mental diseases in which will power has no effect over.  It is common to hear individuals with many years of education speaking in terms of brain function, neurons, synapses, dopamine receptors and so on, but at the end of the day the lingering question always remains; “does the individual have will power over, and therefor control of his or her condition?”  Can the individual say (and do) “NO” even in the face of wanting nothing more than so say (and do) “YES?”

Consider this, from the time an adolescent begins using drugs or alcohol recreationally until the time they reach the point of full blown drug addiction or alcoholism, they surpass many benchmarks that bring them closer and closer to the ultimate point of losing all out control.  Quite often they begin experimenting with cigarettes or chewing tobacco and then slowly move into alcohol, marijuana and so on.  Over time they transitional into trying other drugs or alcohol and as they gain more & more freedom in life their opportunities to use and party become more prevalent.  As time goes on, through high school and into work or college their days & nights become more ritualistic around the patterns of abuse.  Finally, it gets to the point that their brain chemistry has changed and the mere thought of existence without the substance/es they’ve come to rely on is incomprehensible.

Some common terms highlighting the general stages of drug/alcohol use would be; experimentation, social user, daily user, heavy user, addict, etc.  At some point the mind is so conditioned to persistent use that the daily obsession to drink or use simply outweighs will power and sound reasoning.  Drug addicts and alcoholics are known to be quite intelligent, more so than the average person and while at some point in their addictive lifestyle they know full well what potential consequences await, logic, reasoning and will power will fall by the wayside.  For instance, he might know quite well that until now he’s lost 2 jobs, a girlfriend, a car and nearly his family due persistent drinking/using and lying as a result, but he continues on anyway and inevitably things get worse.  He knows better, experience has proven time & time again that bad things will surely happen yet the obsession to medicate the mind & body overrides everything else to a point that all his intelligence is thrown toward the process of justifying why it’s going to be different this time.

Anyone who says that people with addiction or alcoholism simply have no will power or no values or apathy towards life is making a judgement based on faulty information.  Yes, someone who is a social or heavy user does in fact have varying levels of control, but a true addict does not.

This information is provided based on the experience of members on the A.T.R.I. staff

* * * * *

The information above is intended as a general guide based on the experience of many. The creators of this web page are not licensed physicians; we are caring individuals whom have experienced the horrors of addictive-type illnesses on many levels. We speak from many years of personal and professional experience. Please feel free to contact us for any reason at: