Meaning trumps joy. Meaning = progress. Progress = Seeing movement towards a goal.
The question is not why do people do drugs or pursue meaningless pleasure? The questions why don’t people only do drugs and pursue meaningless pleasure. The answer is, because we prefer progress over pleasure. Why? Because progress is meaningful. People are willing to do terribly ridiculous things in the pursuit of progress. They are willing to sacrifice their entire lives to their heroic endeavours, and the people willing to sacrifice have always been the most praised across history.
If you pay attention to your decision making around sacrifice and joy, you’ll notice that again and again you will prefer to sacrifice in order to gain progress instead of experience immediate joy. You might think that you are simply delaying joy so you can feel greater joy later on. This is true, but it is also the case that when you feel that greater joy you will still sacrifice for progress. You do not slip into a pleasure-only state after you achieve that greater joy, there is a continuous process of sacrifice and progress that trumps our immediate pleasure that is biologically built into every human being.
We just have to find that meaningful goal to sacrifice for.
Hustle it up!