What Are the 4 Cs of Addiction?

Addiction can take many forms—for example, people can become addicted to smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, using drugs, gambling, and shopping. But regardless of the type of addiction in question, many members of the mental health community use the “four Cs” to determine whether someone is an addict: compulsion, craving, control, and consequences.

1. Compulsion

As someone becomes addicted to something—whether it be a substance or a behavior—they feel increasingly compelled to fulfill that habit. 

2. Craving

The compulsion to use a substance or behave in a certain way eventually becomes so intense that it mimics a physical need (e.g., hunger). This powerful, relentless craving may become all-consuming and cause an addict to feel restless, lose their appetite, or have trouble sleeping.

3. Control

Many addicts try to avoid the substance or behavior in question. While they may be able to limit usage in the early stages, they eventually lose control over their addiction.

4. Consequences

When someone is an addict, they will continue using the substance or performing the behavior in question regardless of the consequences. For example, they will continue fulfilling their addiction despite being aware that doing so could cause them to lose family, friends, their job, or even their freedom.

Are You Struggling With Addiction?

If you think you might be an addict, it’s important that you reach out to a professional for help. The therapists on our team have extensive experience treating addiction and can provide you with the personalized care you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about our practice and schedule an initial consultation.