How do I know if I’ve got an addiction?

“Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. The dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations… Addiction is a complex condition”… (

“This is the FIRST step in recovery. The delusion (DENIAL) that we are like other people… has to be smashed” p. 30 Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

AA has produced a list of effective questions – see below

NOTE: You could apply these questions to almost any substance or activity – simply substitute words related to drinking with words pertinent to the substance or activity in question. )

Also you may try googling Questionnaires such as CAGE and AUDIT (the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) in addition to what you find here…

AA World Services Questionnaire…

  1. Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
  2. Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking– stop telling you what to do?
  3. Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk?
  4. Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year?
  5. Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
  6. Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
  7. Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
  8. Do you ever try to get “extra” drinks at a party because you do not get enough?
  9. Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don’t mean to?
  10. Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking?
  11. Do you have “blackouts”?
  12. Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?

If you answered YES to one of the questions, this is a warning that you may be addicted.

If you answered YES to any two, there’s a good chance that you are addicted.

If you answered YES to three or more, you are definitely addicted.

This material was reproduced with the permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (A.A.W.S.)