However, contemporary society has taken the term ‘addiction’ and applied the label as both a negative and a positive attribute. An example of a negative attribute is implying that an individual who is addicted is compulsive, obsessive, and unable to control their actions and/or their behaviours. A positive attribute is applied to someone who is addicted to a product or activity, creating excitement for that individual and prolonging their interest. Other nomenclatures utilised under the umbrella of addiction include dipsomania, substance-related and addictive disorders, substance dependence, substance use disorders, process addictions, substance misuse and abuse addictions, and harm minimisation. The list goes on.
When it comes to a person’s inability to control their liquor intake, views in the 19th century varied. The state of habitual drinking (drunkenness) was seen as a sin, a self-inflicted factitious disorder, a moral weakness. The person was blamed for not being able to control their intake, or the consequences of their thoughts and actions after drinking. More often than not a drunk after a serious hangover was sequestered from family, friends, and work colleagues while being known as a town drunk or one who could not handle their liquor consumption.