Simply put, if you can't stop once you start and/or if you can't stay stopped when you stop, you are alcoholic or addicted.
The phenomenon of craving is responsible for not being able to stop when you start, whereas the mental obsession is responsible for not being able to stay stopped once you stop. Losing power does not refer to the physiology of addiction, but rather the loss of willpower, the loss of choice, the loss of our sanity. The 'mental obsession' is defined as recurring thoughts or ideas that do not respond to ration or reason.
Our physical problem is quite different, in that the body of an addict reacts differently to drugs and alcohol than does the body of a normal person. The only way to stay sober for good is to regain our sanity, and then we can simply choose not to drink or use. But that does not mean our bodies ever change back into reacting like a non-addict, because they don't. Once the body of an addict is broken, it is broken for life, so sorry, using safely down the road or just smoking pot all day is not an option. There is no going from a hardcore, chronic addict to one who can safely and moderately use from time to time.
And that is not to excuse us from drinking and using like a pig, which is a very fixable mental/spiritual problem, it's that the way we physically crave drugs and alcohol once they enter our system supersedes any desire to stop. For example, I loved drugs with every fiber in my being, whereas my wife hates being and feeling out of control. Let's face it, addicts and alcoholics are not victims of some evil force. We just love drugs and alcohol. They are the loves of our lives. I know it's hard, but it's true. Addicts love drugs.
To note, now that I am recovered, I also hate being or feeling
of control. Anything sedative, anything that makes me feel weak sickens me now and makes me feel like a useless, lazy coward. So when I say
recovered, I mean that we have come to repel drugs and alcohol like the
plague. It means that I don't want to use anymore. I have no desire. It
just left me. And if you want it to leave you, work hard. There is no easy or comfortable way out, and that is as it should be. There is no miracle drug for addiction. It is the 'addict mind' that must be crushed, so hanging out jammed on methadone and sucking down butts all day is not gonna cut it ;)
Smart Recovery and certain doctors pump the message that addicts and alcoholics can use or drink moderately at some point, which is just insane, and trust me, if you take that advice, you will most likely wind up dead, and you don't want to do that to poor mom, do you?
Also, what sort of attitude is that? Isn't it better for some entitled, rip-roaring alcoholic or addict to firmly believe he or she can never safely drink or use, whether it be the case or not? What are you missing out on, chugging vodka and speedballing into your aortic valve? Gee, bummer. What, there's nothing else to do in life? Trust me, having a more humble and less arrogant attitude about our limitations when it comes to drugs and alcohol is a good thing, but hey, if you think you can handle it, be my guest. Stay sober for a year and then go out there and see what happens.
Doctors and scientists don't get addiction because they only see it one way. In fact, they see everything only through the lens of science, which is ridiculous, especially if the science is crock science, and there is plenty of crock science out there. You would think that such a collection of highly educated people might be able to broaden their horizons, but for some reason, the more intellectual and prestigious we become, the more narrow, rigid and fundamental we also tend to become.
The smartest people in the world are not walking encyclopedias. They have inner knowledge, they see things as they are and the world as it is. They listen to everyone and everything. They know themselves and therefore understand everything. They are smart enough to be open to things that have not or cannot be proven. They are smart enough to realize that we humans and our human minds are limited, that we have intellectual limits. They are smart enough to realize that there are forces we cannot see, hear or touch. Those who need proof of everything are incapable of opening their eyes. Sure they may be book smart, but they are simultaneously ineducable.
The one thing science has donated is to confirm that the body of an addict clearly reacts abnormally. If you have this thing, at least if you are anything like me, you cannot get sober or even recover for years and years and then use moderately again. Addicts do experience craving differently than the average person.
But the central problem with doctors and scientists is that they also see the solution to everything through the scientific lens. In other words, if there exists a scientific problem than the solution is also definitely scientific. It has to be. There is no other way. But when it comes to addiction, while you may be able to explain some physical changes scientifically, you must look outside of science for the solution.
For one, because our problem to begin with is NOT scientific. Unfortunately for everyone out there being misled by addiction specialists and family doctors who prescribe suboxone and methadone but don't know anything at all about addiction, there is no solution to be found in science, and in fact, there never will be, as our fundamental problem is not scientific.
So to repeat, sure you can explain certain things about addiction scientifically, but those are just changes that occur from using or drinking repeatedly. If all you do is look at the side effects or symptoms, you are missing the point ENTIRELY. You are focused on some detail when the real problem is looking down on you going,
Man, that guy's a dumbass! I'm up here!