Since early times, our brain developed habits to aid our SURVIVAL by saving time and energy. These helpful habits, are mostly in our unconscious mind (tying our shoes, driving to work) and are strengthened through consistent use by REWARD-BASED LEARNING. The HABIT LOOP consists of a TRIGGER, a BEHAVIOR, and then a REWARD, and occurs on a spectrum from simply eating chocolate to a hard core ADDICTION.
ADDICTION starts with a TRIGGER (trauma in early life causing pain) which leads to a BEHAVIOR (drug or alcohol use), producing a REWARD (lessening of the pain). This LOOP REWARD leads to an unconscious craving which reinforces the loop and habit. The ADDICTION LOOP, despite its negative consequences, is based on SURVIVAL (the lessening of the pain).
Mindlessly continuing an ADDICTION based on the feeling of SURVIVAL, can seem impossible to overcome, but through the use of MINDFULLNESS, MEDITATION AND COUNSELING, one can clearly see and face the dangers they are producing, by bringing their actions to their conscious mind for correction.