Diminished ability of an individual to control his or her use of a psychoactive substance in terms of onset, level, or termination. "Impaired capacity to control'. is a criterion for the dependence syndrome in ICD-10. Impaired control is distinguished from loss of control in that the latter implies that the phenomenon prevails at all times and in all circumstances.
Control, loss of:
An inability to modulate the amount and frequency of psycho-active substance use: the inability to cease ingesting substances such as alcohol and cocaine once their initial effect has been experienced. In recent discussions of the dependence syndrome, the term "loss of control" has been replaced by impaired control.