What does the Torah teach about drug addiction and breaking free from it? For instance: Why does man beg G‑d for help and still remain in addiction. It is as if religions are powerless to defeat the monster of addiction. Can you give me some insight?
In truth, all of us are addicts—to our habits, to our emotions, to our limited perception of reality. The first step of progress out of our little boxes is to acknowledge, recognize, and surrender to a truth higher than our own. So you are right: No religion, no outside force, can defeat a man's addiction—as long as that man refuses to allow in a glimmer of light from outside his dark, cramped prison; as long as he cannot acknowledge that his own addicted mind cannot untie knots in which it has tied him; as long as he cannot hang on tight to a rope thrown to him from beyond.
This is why a Jew says the "Modeh Ani" as soon as he opens his eyes each morning, to say, "Although I feel myself to be the center of this world, I acknowledge Your presence as the Author of this world. You are bigger than me." With those words, we punch a hole in an otherwise sealed existential prison. We open ourselves to freedom.
The very concept of Torah implies that we all have free choice to direct our lives. We are never helpless. G‑d never gives us more than we can handle. But it's always with the condition that we recognize how small we are—and so we don't try to go it alone.
An addict, too, has free choice. He has the choice to continue going it alone—something akin to trying to dig himself out of a pit or pulling himself up by his own hairs—or to call out to someone above the pit who can throw him a rope.
The mind that has sunk itself in a mess is lost to that mess. Only someone who is not bound and tied can untie the bonds of another and offer him a hand to pull him out. Paradoxically, it is that first move of surrender that allows the addict to win over his addiction.
Perhaps if you can tell me more about your experience with addiction, I may be able to target in on your concerns.
In the meantime, let me know if this helps.
Rabbi Tzvi Freeman for Chabad.org