A few days back, I published a piece right here titled: What's in a Word, and Who is the Addict? I really only dealt with the first part of the question: semantic pros and cons pertaining to word usage. This time, I wish the address the second question - a far more difficult question than the first.
So I use the term 'addict' to describe a certain type of person. Many object to this designation. For one, there is stigma attached to it. Practically everyone you know has been carried away at some point by some poison - exercise, love, sex, gambling, tobacco, coffee, food, booze, dope, work - some object that everyone is (or has been) an addict. Hence, according to some, the label is meaningless.
Many seem to like my recently published book on addiction. Here's what I often get: "Dr. Ferentzy offers an interesting and challenging perspective ..." In such cases I will thank someone for their kind words, but then quickly counter: everything I wrote in that book is true; perspective is irrelevant.