The article reviews portrayals of "the addict" in press items from Italy, Finland, Poland, and The Netherlands. The dataset consists of 1,327 items from four national newspapers published in 1991, 1998, 2011. The portrayals varied according to country, period, and type of addiction problem. Results can be read as four cases where different conceptualizations ("the sinner," "the sick," "the social problem," "the criminal," and "the famous") assume diverse importance. These conceptual frames-of-reference are clearly neither unambiguous nor fixed. They are constantly modified and part of different trends.