The primary characteristic which sets the addict apart from regular people with problems controlling themselves is that the standard person with a drinking problem retains a basic level of control over his life, despite his periodic struggles with his drinking intake. An addict on the other hand has lost control over his life to the drink or drug. He is not capable of controlling himself. His free-will cannot stop him from drinking or using (the addict will almost always deny it). A common experience among addicts (many times only noticed in retrospect) is that despite the addict’s extreme single-minded desire to stay clean, the desire to drink or use takes control over him.