Phenomenal post. Thank you very much for it.
I fully agree that since the disease centers in the limbic system, it is an unconscious function to seek out the dopamine/seretonin enhancing outcomes. This part of our brain rewards us with d/s (the feel-good chemicals) when we do something that will enhance our survivial, i.e. eat and have sex. That is why it is instict to do both things. Because an addict is wired differently in this area, our ability to determine when we have enough dopamine/seretonin is messed up - In this respect, you can say that it is INSTICT for an addict to use.
People wonder why such a smart, reasonable person has trouble saying no to drugs, but think about instict: Are you able to convince yourself that you are not hungry? Can your reasoning override istinctual arousal? Yes, mostly we can control our urges to act out, but sometimes it is very hard to ignore this desire.
So, then why do the 12 steps work? Here's my theory: everything instinctual is build for survival. At some point we've evolved so that we know what to do to survive, we don't need that inherent "jsut go do it" response. I feel that instincts are a function of a lower self, and spirituality is an expression of a higher self. If we tap into the Divine, whether it be an entity or jsut a Good Orderly Direction (something Higher than MY SELF), you get to leave that lower self (instinct) behind.
Regardless of theories and reasons and explanations, I am grateful to be an addict/alcoholic in recovery. Hugs to all