Dear Michael,
Thank you for reading the article and responding. I you read my bio here on Psychology Today or anything else I've written you would know that the answer to the "addict" question is a definitive yes. I have to take issue with many of your points though, including the fact that you won't hire someone without an addiction history. I've written on this specifically and, if given the option, I would take someone who is well educated on tools to help those struggling with drugs or alcohol before taking someone with experience only. Having someone with both is preferred, of course.
And yes, as mentioned here and in other articles, withdrawal is different but it does not explain addiction as a whole. If it did, people who went through detox in a medical setting would no longer have a problem with their drug of choice. Obviously, more than just withdrawal is at play.
I think that there are no simple answers to this problem, but I appreciate people who are open minded and constant learners.