Addiction is a chronic disorder with biological, psychological, social and environmental factors that influence its development and maintenance. We use our addictions to make us feel better about ourselves and our lives, to feel less alone. People may think that drugs provide them with feelings of comfort and companionship, and can even boost their self-esteem. However, despite the various existing pharmacological and psychological interventions, the need to address the five popular psychological factors suggests that treatment cannot ultimately rely solely on psychiatric services. Addicts must have alternative goods and opportunities to give them a lasting incentive to decide to abstain and find their own path to recovery.
This requires adequate provision of social services and employment opportunities, as well as an ongoing political battle against the stigma and stereotypes surrounding not only addiction, but also psychiatric patients in general. Substance use disorder and alcohol use disorder are the leading causes of preventable illness and premature death. Research has shown that approximately 1 in 9 Americans use illicit drugs (about 11% of the population). The most common misused drugs are marijuana and prescription drugs. It is also important to note that the absence of a meaningful sense of purpose in life opens the door to addiction, while the presence of a meaningful sense of purpose in life supports recovery.
Therefore, either addictive desires are resistible and the power to do the opposite remains or, despite appearances, the behavior they provoke is not action (cf.