Addiction can be defined as a behavioral disorder characterized by the repeated abuse or overuse of a substance, neglecting its negative consequences on our health and relationships.
Our society is bombarded with all types of addictions because human beings crave intensity and thrill. Once we’re addicted to feeling a certain kind of ‘high’, we aspire to achieve it with substances. In doing so, we exhaust the hormones that are naturally responsible for happiness and contentment. This explains why addiction to any substance increases craving and reduces pleasure of simpler things in life, making us feel dull, unhappy, and unenthusiastic without the said stimulant.
Although substances differ in their addictive powers, all addictions are fundamentally of the same nature. Inspiring music, works of art, beauty in nature, films, sports, books, food, gambling, exercise, sex, alcohol, drugs, coffee, nicotine are few of the many substances that give us pleasure and help change the regular pace of life. What differs in the case of addiction is when the continued act of consuming the substance becomes uncontrollable or interferes with daily life.
There is no harm in using a substance to change your perspective and harbor a sense of enjoyment. Animals also self administer drugs to themselves on occasion. Baboons have been known to use tobacco; elephants, racoons, bears, goats, pigs, and sheep consume fermented fruits and grains as alcohol; reindeer, cattle and rabbits sometimes take intoxicating mushrooms. The main difference being, animals in the wild know when to stop. Most humans on the other hand, end up adapting their entire lives to the tune of their preferred substance.
Your prakriti or body constitution also contributes to your addiction tendencies. People with dominant vata usually become addicted to substances that reduce their pain and insecurity. People with dominant Pitta adopt addictions that keep them at the high level of activity that they associate with success. People with dominant kapha often fall into poor eating habits that they fail to change.
Take this quiz to know your prakriti: https://bit.ly/2AQy9eM