S.N.Goenka gives precious advice on how Vipassana can help us deal with our addictions to Alcohol, Drugs and Cigarettes.
We keep advising people who are addicted to tobacco smoking-even ordinary tobacco smoking-that if an urge arises in the mind, not to take the cigarette and start smoking.
Wait a little. Just accept the fact that an urge to smoke has arisen in the mind. When this urge arises, along with it there is a sensation in the body. Start observing that sensation, whatever the sensation may be. Do not look for a particular sensation. Any sensation at that time in the body is related to the urge to smoke.
And by observing the sensation as impermanent, anicca, it arises, it passes, it arises, it passes and in ten minutes, fifteen minutes, this urge will pass away.
Similarly for those who are addicted to alcohol or addicted to drugs, when an urge arises, we advise them not to succumb immediately, just wait ten or fifteen minutes, and accept the fact that an urge has arisen and observe whatever sensation is present at that time.
And they have found that they are coming out of their addictions. They may not be successful every time, but if they are successful even one time out of ten, a very good beginning is made because the root has started changing.