A survey by the Israel Center on Addiction has found that “One out of every seven Israelis suffers from some form of addiction.” Over the past five years since the last survey, some half a million people have joined the ranks of the addicted. In a country of only nine million people, half a million in five years is a lot. Worse yet, “over 90 percent of [the addicts] do not ask for treatment.”
Not only adults become addicted. Children, too, become addicted. Addiction means we have become accustomed to an activity that causes our body to secrete substances that make us feel good. Because we want more and more of that good feeling, we compulsively repeat the activity.
People can become addicted to anything. They can become addicted to physical activities, to chemicals, and some can even get high on certain types of music.
Besides feeling good, there is another reason that people become addicted: disconnection from life’s problems. The feeling of freedom from obligations and troubles can be intoxicating.
As a rule, young people become addicted more easily than older people because teenagers and young adults are in constant pursuit of pleasures. For them, feeling good is all that matters.
As we mature, other calculations besides immediate pleasure come into play. This makes older people more “resistant” to addiction, though they, too, are not impervious to it.
There are two reasons for the increase in addictions. First, it is easier to find things to become addicted to. Second, and more important, despair has spread throughout the world. People are losing the sense of purpose in life, so they try to escape. The feeling of being high, or the adrenaline in other forms of addiction, gives people calm, or alternatively, a sense of vitality.
The prevailing treatment is to compensate for one addiction with another, less harmful one. The easier addictions to treat are those that require a smaller compensation. However, essentially, it does not cure the addiction but simply swaps it for another.
The reason that over 90 percent of the addicts do not seek treatment is that they know that medicine cannot deal with it. If all that medicine can offer is forced abstention from the addiction or the swapping of one drug for another, then these are not cures and they have no appeal for addicts.
Only one remedy can truly cure people of the deadly addictions that plague humanity: the power of life. The power of life is revealed through positive connections between people. When people establish mutually positive connections, it emulates the positive reciprocity that pervades all of reality. This is the force that keeps all things growing.
When people develop such connections, and their reciprocal nature requires that they develop it in a society of like-minded people—they are filled with a sense of purpose and satisfaction. They feel connected to reality, to each other, and to themselves. It is a completely different kind of satisfaction than any substance can give, and it is far more profound and satisfying. Once people begin to experience the power of life, they never again need anything else because they will never want to disconnect from the vital force they have discovered.