Evolutionary Model of Addiction and Recovery Implications
Unfortunately, in today's modern world we now have pleasurable substances that will kill us. Even worse, these substances or activities can be so compelling they can override the natural, healthy desire for food, sex, and attachment to people. This is because these instinctive desires have become less rewarding. We are vulnerable to addiction because there has been insufficient time for our bodies to adapt to the availability of addictive substances or activities.
Recovery consists of increasing and expanding the rewards associated with relationships and productive activity. Healthier, short-term satisfactions ("having fun") strengthen the ability to eliminate rewards through addictive substances and activities.
Questions for personal reflection from evolutionary model: If I could develop more meaningful sources of satisfaction and joy in my life, could I let go of my addictive pleasures? I may miss the short-term, momentary enjoyment of intoxication or pleasurable activities. But, can't I can gain pleasure from satisfying experiences that are both healthy and enduring?