What makes an addict?

Have you ever looked at someone and instantly labeled them as an addict?  I think most of us have cast those judgements a time or two right? But is it right? A lot of people find recovery and have a lot of success and are able to live a productive life after addiction… A lot of them have already suffered some of the consequences though with their health and appearance. To look at them and judge them on their appearance is then wrong…right? I am just trying to figure out exactly what point someone actually becomes “an addict”.
I myself like many others were able to use a lot of drugs and never have much if any dependency on them so I am not sure at what point I or anyone else actually becomes an addict?  Is there a standard?  Is there a specific action or time that signifies someone’s addiction or did they become addicted once they were discovered to be using?  I would love some feedback. I would love to know when you became an Addict and when you knew it.  When did everyone else know it? 
So much about addiction and these drugs are a mystery to so many. Being able to understand what brought us to our knees is extremely important but I don’t see how we can understand without knowing when we became an addict. Is it something different for everyone or do you believe their is a standard of behavior that is present?

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