Originally Posted by Robert D Taylor Jr
There's also a difference between substance abuse, which I bet Mr. Simmons has met criteria for before, and substance dependence, which the example crackheads are likely. I say this with no prejudice.
That's a key point, too.
Lots and lots of people consume alcohol on a regular basis. Some fraction of those abuse it. (Let's say, for the sake of argument, that alcohol abuse has occurred if you get arrested for DUI or if you have a hangover that renders you non-functional.) An even smaller fraction are alcoholics, with a physical dependency on alcohol.
From a legal perspective, there are bright lines: either your blood alcohol is above the legal limit or it's not. But from a medical perspective, it's a continuum, and it's not always clear what level of consumption crosses the line into abuse. Behaviors like willingness to ignore legal consequences are markers, but that's all they are.