Addiction is More Than a Clinical Diagnosis

Addiction is a word.  More specifically, addiction is a noun.  It defines a habit of activity.  A person can become addicted to so many things such as food, alcohol, other people, love, exercise, drugs, or shopping.  And, addiction is more than a clinical diagnosis.

An addiction to something or someone is characterized by repeated engagement in the behavior despite negative consequences.  When a person enters treatment for an addiction, there is usually some questions that will need to be answered.  How long have you been using or engaging in the behavior?  What do you take and how much?  Have you ever tried to stop using or stopping the behavior before?  These are all questions a clinician might ask you about your addiction.

What the clinician is trying to understand is the behavior associated with your addiction.  Most people with an addiction behave a certain way in order to engage in the addiction.  A person with an alcohol addiction might need to find ways to hide their drinking.  They may have to lie to others about their drinking and they may have a desire to be around only those that drink.  These are all behaviors related to an addiction and are referred to as drug-seeking behaviors.

Once the clinician has an understanding  of your behavior related to addiction, then they will make a clinical diagnosis such as Alcohol Use Disorder or Opioid Use Disorder.  The primary purpose of making a clinical diagnosis is to define what specifically the person is addicted to and second, is related to health care reimbursement.

All this aside, addiction is more than a clinical diagnosis.  It is a way of life for millions of people who have not yet found recovery.  Addiction is pervasive and it is destructive.  It destroys lives and families and keeps the addict stuck in a cycle of negative behavior.

Once you enter recovery, you may define yourself as an addict, like one does in 12-step meetings; however, you are more than your addiction.  You are a human being who got lost in an addiction without fully understanding why.  You are a human being who can recover and learn new ways to behave.  You can find new ways to define yourself without the addiction.  You can find spirituality, which was probably lost during your addiction.  You can change the way you think and feel about addiction and find new ways to cope post-addiction.


Our family of dynamic recovery professionals works to serve you and your family through every step of the journey to recovery. Help is one phone call away. From intervention to Safe Passage Transportation, all of the service and coordination by Hired Power is designed to help you and your family focus on bringing recovery home. Call 714-559-3919 today for more information.

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