Taken from addictionsandrecovery.org

A substance addiction meets two criteria:

You have difficulty controlling how much you use or how long you use. For example, one drink leads to more drinks, or one line of cocaine leads to more.

You continue to use even though it has negative consequences to your life. For example, you continue to drink even though it has hurt your relationships.

Those two criteria define all addictions. They are true for alcohol and drug addiction, but they’re also true for gambling addiction, eating disorders, and sexual addiction.

There are different levels of addictions. At one end of the spectrum is the non-functioning addict. They’ve lost their job and have to use everyday. It’s what people think addiction is like, but that stereotype is rare.

At the other end of the spectrum is the functioning addict. They still have a job and their relationships are relatively intact, but their life is suffering because of their addiction. That is the most common scenario. You don’t have to suffer major losses to have an addiction.

The consequences of addiction get worse over time. Addiction is a progressive disease. It’s never easy to quit. But if you’ve already suffered negative consequences and don’t want them to get worse, there’s never a better time to quit than now.