As mentioned, they have what Blum identified as the Reward Deficiency Syndrome. This syndrome causes their mind to develop an operating system that is more self-centered than the average person, because they simply can’t experience satisfaction, appreciation and gratitude. Mood altering substances temporarily and artificially correct this abnormality. 12-step and faith-based programs also correct the Reward Deficiency Syndrome. Unfortunately, addicts will despise the notion of any constructive group involvement on an on-going basis. In contrast, they are comfortable in social setting that support the use of substances as a way of life.
Many times addicts have one or more other disorders in addition to their addiction. These are called co-morbidities and frequently include: depression, anxiety, ADHD, insomnia, obsessionality, and panic attacks. These comorbid issues create obstacles to an addict’s recovery. For example, it is challenging to be present in treatment or recovery groups while suffering with these issues.
Understanding addiction means acknowledging the reason for an addict’s intense resistance to effective addiction treatment, especially if it is on-going such as participating in a 12-step or faith-based program. Intervention always triggers an intense fight or flight response. Since an addict views substances with the same importance as air, water and food, an effective treatment will evoke a intense survival reaction.