Continuum of Addictive Behaviors and Optimal Health


Optimal Health

  • Knows limits
  • Has clear priorities
  • Congruent with Values
  • Rooted in Diversity
  • Supportive
  • Has established a personal system
  • Balanced
  • Orderly
  • Resolves Crises quickly
  • Capacity to sustain spontaneity
  • Shows creative discipline


Stable Solidity

  • Recognizes human limits
  • Does not pretend to be more than he or she is
  • Maintains most boundaries
  • Well ordered
  • Typically feels competent
  • Feels supported
  • Able to weather crisis


Medium Risk

  • Slipping
  • Often rushed
  • Canít get it all in
  • No emotional margin for crisis
  • Vulnerable to slip into old patterns
  • Typically lives as if has inordinate influence over others and/or feels inadequate


High Risk

  • Living in extremes (overactive or inactive)
  • Relationships abbreviated
  • Feels irresponsible and is
  • Constantly has reasons for not following through
  • Talks one way; lives another
  • Works hard to catch up


Very High Risk

  • Usually pursuing self-destructive behavior
  • Often totally into mission or cause or project
  • Blames others for failures
  • Seldom produces on time
  • Controversial in community
  • Success vs. Achievement-oriented

























Taken from A Gentle Path Through the 12 steps by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.

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