I am now reading, for the fourth time, Gerald May's Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions. This is the most helpful book I have ever read on dealing with addiction. In addition, it is beautifully written, by an excellent scholar.
Here's some of what I read this morning, on the nature of addiction.
"Psychologically, addiction uses up desire. It is like a psychic malignancy, sucking our life energy into specific obsessions and compulsions, leaving less and less energy available for other people and other pursuits. Spiritually, addiction is a deep-seated form of idolatry. The objects of our addictions become our false gods. These are what we worship, what we attend to, where we give our time and energy, instead of love. Addiction, then, displaces and supplants God’s love as the source and object of our deepest true desire. It is, as one modern spiritual writer has called it, a “counterfeit of religious presence.”" (Pp. 13-14)