It is often thought that the positive system of “reward” that drug or alcohol use provides to people is the main reason people use them to the point of becoming addicted. Addiction is the symptom of a social illness. Follow science and you will arrive at a policy that is human and that really works. People with addiction lose control of their actions.
They crave and seek drugs, alcohol, or other substances regardless of the cost, even at the risk of harming friends, harming family, or losing jobs. What is it about addiction that causes people to behave in such destructive ways? And why is it so difficult to quit smoking? The symptoms of this disease (or the real causes of addiction) involve an inability to feel reward, pleasure, purpose, or meaning the way “ordinary” people do. This is due to a genetic mutation in dopamine receptor sites in the brain. Brain chemical dopamine provides us with not only feelings of pleasure and reward, but also meaning and purpose.
This is why addiction is sometimes referred to as a “spiritual” illness. Without finding something more pleasant to correct the deficit and increase dopamine levels, addicts will not find the meaning in life that ordinary people take for granted. A reward-deficient 'addict' will use any dopamine 'booster' they can get their hands on; heroin, crack, methamphetamine, alcohol, prescription drugs, power, status, sex, love, romance. The Huffington Post recently published an article on “the probable cause of addiction,” stating that addiction is caused simply by a “lack of love” or “lack of belonging,” which is simply NOT TRUE.
I may not sell a lot of books with this, but I think it's incredibly important that all addicts, and those affected by addiction, know the true cause of addiction.