This is an absolutely brilliant article by Grauniad regular Euan Ferguson. You need to get past the outer shell of the article, which deals with societal attitudes - all perfectly good stuff but then he gets on to addiction, in comprehensible and very accurate terms.
The alcoholic sees things differently. Consciously or not, he or she begins to look forward to that carrot as the high point of the day: often in a good way, to celebrate work well done, or grand ideas had, or victories won. But you start to look forward to it as a right, not a reward. You will be the one, that bank holiday Monday, urging the team half a mile round the corner, where there's an admittedly horrid Wetherspoon's, but at least it'll be open. You begin to resent evenings which are planned wrongly. Theatre, fine; film, lovely: but why on earth are we going to that one, it's miles away and there's nothing nearby, there's no time for a quick one before and by the time we're out it'll be too late. The alcoholic doesn't want, on nights like this, to get trolleyed, far from it; but he or she wants to know there will be a drink at some point.
It's a ten-minute read - and well worth the effort.
At this level: