In his addiction talk, Johann Hari explains why the war on drugs isn't working and why almost everything we think we know about addiction is wrong. The speaker shares several psychological studies that indicate addiction isn't about chemical hooks in the brain, but about adaptation to environment.
Humans are hardwired to bond. When they are happy and healthy, they bond with other people, but if they aren't they will bond with something else that will give them some feeling of relief. He states a core element is the inability to bare being present in life. The addiction talk describes the example of Portugal, which decriminalized all drugs and spent the money instead on reconnecting addicts with society through job creation, micro loans and essentially giving them something to get up in the morning for.
Therefore, disconnection is a huge problem not just for addicts, but for society at large. In addition to individual recovery, we need to focus on social recovery and stop trading stuff for human connection.