According to Dr. Gabor Mate, any behaviour that provides short-term pleasure but has long-term, severe consequences can be called addiction.
Addiction is a strong urge that is destructive but difficult to resist because it numbs underlying pain.
Dr. Mate is a physician and an addiction expert who, after working with thousands of addicts, has claimed that all of his addicted patients have been deeply emotionally traumatized, with many of them having been sexually traumatized. He challenges the scientific community by arguing that all types of addictions - including addictions to drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, power, and others - are caused by emotional trauma, especially childhood trauma. He contends that addiction is not, in fact, a brain disease. There are many compelling scientific studies to support his theory. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one such scientific proof.
The real question is why the pain and focusing on drug as the root cause of addiction will not solve the deeper problem. Addiction is a symptom and never a root cause. It is also true that some substances such as cocaine massively stimulates the dopamine center in the brain and addictive brain is low in dopamine neurotransmitter but why the brain of an addict is low in dopamine. There are many causes but the major cause is childhood trauma.
We do everything in our power not to feel our painful emotions and we numb ourselves and become obsessed with power, politics, food, sex, drugs, the Internet and countless other ways to feel temporary relief. We are unconscious and not knowing that the real key to healing is to gently move towards our pain and slowly work through the layers of emotional traumas.
The cure for the pain is in the pain.
Sufi mystic poet Rumi
What is Addiction?
Wounds That Won't Heal - The ACE Study:
Neuroscientist Marc Lewis: Addiction is Not a Disease:
"Drugs Aren't the Problem": Neuroscientist Carl Hart: