I my story a soldier has been trained/brainwashed into craving the knowledge that they ended a life, the ultimate high being the literal physical sensations of killing a person. Killing is a drug, and they are an addict. They slowly realize that this is horrific, and strive to control their urges, with the hope that they will ultimately be able to 'quit' their drug. The trick is that in a war, the desire to feel the endorphin driven high brought on by getting a 'fix' turns them into a deranged form of perfect soldier. They ignore danger, laugh at fear, shrug of wounds, and are constantly alert and driven to accomplish their tasks and objectives. Their mere presence on the battlefield discourages enemies, afraid of the sleepless soldiers who wonder how your eyeballs feel. The character copes by simply directing others to fight, working in supportive roles, and trying to distance themselves from the sensations that will cause them to relapse. Its hard, because its a dang war. Even watching allies die gets them off, and providing aid to a comrade with massive hemorrhaging is pleasurable to them. I'm writing the character as trying to quit cold turkey at first and feeling guilty at being useless, getting a little fix performing first aid and saving someone's life but feeling like they failed their personal goal, and eventually giving in to addiction but seeking their own death as they get high. I am eager for thoughs on how to write and convey this sort of abstract take on drug addiction. I feel like I could just mirror the common clean/ relapse cycle of addiction, but I am keeping an open mind.