Alcoholic vs Addict — Is there a difference? Alcoholism vs Addiction | Sobriety vs. Recovery | AA NA

Alcoholic vs Addict — Is there a difference? Alcoholism vs Addiction | Sobriety vs. Recovery | AA NA

My name is Nick and I’m an alcoholic. Or
am I an addict? Am I an alcoholic or am I an addict!? In this video let’s discuss
the difference between an alcoholic and an addict and we’ll see if there’s even
a difference. I am very guilty of doing this and I do
it all the time and that is this. I like to call myself
an alcoholic and I refer to people in recovery as “alcoholics” and “addicts” but
there’s something to discuss her. One of which is alcohol is a drug. Alcohol is
the oldest known and most widely used psychoactive drug in the world. But many
people like to put it in its own class. I surely like to believe that there was
a difference between alcohol and drugs. There’s even Alcoholics Anonymous and
Narcotics Anonymous and it’s easy to think “oh, I can’t stop drinking” therefore
“I’m an alcoholic” or “I can’t stop smoking weed” therefore “I’m an addict” or I could
say “I can’t stop doing the booze and the druggies” therefore “I’m an alcoholic and
an addict”, which is kind of like this guy’s saying he’s a carrot and a
vegetable. So if you think about it what is addiction? Addiction is defined as a
chronic relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking
and use despite harmful consequences. So how is that any different than what
alcoholism is? Alcohol has a long history of use and misuse throughout recorded
history. Biblical, Egyptian, Babylonian, all of these sources record the abuse of
alcohol and the dependence upon it. So perhaps because of its wide availability
and the destruction that it causes it got its own word. But regardless of the
history, alcohol is a drug and if somebody can’t stop drinking or they
can’t quit entirely, well, that’s a really good definition of addiction. So why do
people call themselves an addict or an alcoholic or both? I’m not sure why other
people do but I have a better understanding of why I have. I can’t
speak for other people in recovery, of course, when I first got sober — and there
we go — that’s another word that’s used sometimes to divide people. Sober means
not drinking, right? If you look it up in the dictionary, then yes. But the word
“sober” is from the Latin “sobrius” — think that’s how you say it. From “sē”
that means “without” and “ebrius” that means “intoxicated”. So really sober should
just mean “without intoxication” — from alcohol or drugs or whatever. But
regardless, labels are used to divide people.
You’re either this or you’re that. You’re either on Team Edward or you’re on Team
Jacob. And when I quit drugs and alcohol, I used the label “alcoholic” because
alcohol was that primary addiction I had and sadly I also used that label to feel
better than people. I’m not saying everybody does this but when I said “I’m
an alcoholic” it was, you know, “I’m not a drug addict”. I
didn’t want to be associated with people that did worse stuff. I wanted to be
viewed as an alcoholic because I thought it was classier — which makes no sense
because instead of using heroin to destroy my life I used alcohol to
destroy my life — what difference doesn’t matter what I used? But some of those
12-step programs ask that you have a problem with a specific drug which makes
sense because I found it easier sometimes to connect with people when
you’re recovering from the same substance or behavior. But to me, the
error of judgment I had was thinking there is alcoholics and then there’s
addicts. You know — pick a side. Which is crazy to say that. Maybe other people see
a difference but to me today I’m all about people coming together. A voice, a
movement, is stronger when you see similarities not differences. That the
common bonds won’t break the group’s resolve.
I view alcoholism as addiction and sure I’m not saying disband all groups on
specific substances — not at all. They’re often helpful because there’s certain
withdrawal symptoms or considerations to have when coming off a specific drug and
it can be easier to seek out guidance from somebody that has recovered from
that same drug or behavior. But I can only speak for myself and for me I view
anybody and everybody that’s looking to quit some destructive behavior as an
ally. Addiction affects way more people than it does just alcoholics or drug
addicts because drug use is really just a destructive behavior — or maladaptive
behavior and doctor talk. Sugar, social media, video games, shopping, your phone, all of
those things addictive. So it’s important for me to
remember that there are no alcoholics there aren’t any addicts it’s just a
group of people looking to stop behaviors that are destroying their
lives and most of the harm comes from the stories that we tell ourselves. That
we’re not good enough, we’re not wealthy enough, we’re not “something” enough. We are
all enough. We have always been enough. Let’s remain together because we’re
stronger together. Thanks for watching today’s video on how there’s really no
difference between alcoholics and addicts — it’s all the same to me. But if
you disagree please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you
have to say. Please subscribe for your daily dose of soberness and I will see
all of you tomorrow in the next video!


  1. to make things more complicated there are overeaters anonymous and the definition of Sobriety 😀 and going even further there are people attending OA and are addicted to "not eating" .. and better, in SLAA there's a definition of Emotional and even Sexual Anorexia. Now let's talk about defining Addict and Sobriety. ..oh I forgot about Depressed Anonymous 😀

  2. Love your wisdom! I've definitely seen and felt the division in 12 step groups. It feels like a them vs us regarding drugs v alcohol. I've been sober from alcohol for 31 years and primarily attend AA meetings, but also stop by Alanon and Naranon when I need a boost to pull myself out of fear and worry over my loved ones. The goal is sobriety from the things that harm us, we're in this together.

  3. In a purely rhetorical sense, alcohol can certainly be referred to as a “drug,” the same way chocolate, sugar, sex, or even “love” and 'approval' can be so labeled for its known narcotic effect over the consciousness of those "addicted."

    Unfortunately, in the world of recovery, the allusion it isn’t made rhetorically. It is made literally. And therein is a huge and dangerous hoax — an erroneous recovery narrative, killing millions of addicts and alcoholics every year.

    Alcohol is not a drug. Fundamental High School chemistry handily illustrates how this is so. The body metabolizes it and derives energy value. It’s a FOOD! A carbohydrate. Like sugar. There are "calories" associated with EtOH. Drugs are non-caloric.

    Treating alcoholism as if it were a drug addiction is a fatal mistake for which reason the rehab industry has such poor success. Getting to the real, singular cause of both drug addiction and alcoholism is all that works. It means getting free from anger and gaining mastery over resentment. There is no other way, because there is no other cause. Too simple for complicated minds, but simple never-the-less.

    And it works very well. I hope that's helpful. It's information that has helped many others recover, and get off the "still recovering" and "never recover" merry-go-round.

  4. Psychobabble! Alcoholics try to get into life – Drug dependency tries to get out of life

    Night and Day – An drug addict who is a want-a-be Alcoholic is like a man wanting to be a woman (trans) and by God you better agree – OMG

  5. Alcohol is a Spirit – Medicine is a substance Alcoholics call drugs quite a difference in spelling and Spirits – Lot of Psychobabble though !

  6. The difference between a Drug Addict and Alcoholic is night and day – Lets knock off the psychobabble a second
    1. Their spelled different
    2. Their Spirits are different Alcohol has energy / Drugs chemicals
    3. You put Alcohol in a car it will run down the road – Pills just don't
    4. You put a match to Alcohol and it will glow – Pills don't
    5. You take 10 people not all are going to be Alcoholic – 10 Heroin users will be
    6. A drug addict want-a-be Alcoholic is like a Man wanting to be a woman or vice versa ! Why?
    7. And if you don't acknowledge it the psychobabble get angry and think of why they are what they aren't
    8. Bottom line an Apple and Orange are both fruits, yet quite opposite and their taste is day and night!

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