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Adrenaline Addiction: Can It Lead to Drugs?

adrenaline addiction

Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, is the hormone that takes part in regulating many of our visceral functions. The phrase visceral refers to the viscera or internal organs of the body. In other words, internal body parts within the chest and abdomen are what help to circulate. This hormone is what prepares the body for a “fight or flight” response and explains why, in times of crisis, we can begin to feel our heart race and stomach sink.  

Some would be interested to learn, however, that one can become dependent on these overwhelming sensations just to get through their day. Banyan’s Massachusetts addiction treatment center explains what an adrenaline addiction is and how not addressing it can result in more problems rather than solutions. 

What Is an Adrenaline Rush?

This phrase is used to describe the common signs and symptoms that come with a release of adrenaline. It is a natural response in the body that acts as a survival mechanism in times of crisis.  

These bodily responses can include:  

  • Rapid breathing 
  • Enlarged pupils 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Enlargement of airways in the lungs 
  • Heightened senses and awareness of one's surroundings 
  • Reduced perception of pain 
  • An involuntary muscular preparation for exertion 

What causes this release will vary from person to person and situation to situation. For instance, a woman could make the impromptu decision that she wants to try skydiving. As she goes through the motions, the symptoms described above may begin to present themselves. This can include going through any training, boarding the plane, and reaching the correct altitude before the moment of truth. As the instructor she is attached to counts down from three, she can even feel the need to instinctually grab the sides of the plane door. 

This is why the instructor jumps while attached to her - to avoid any involuntary responses and make the trip down as safe and enjoyable as possible. People can also experience an adrenaline rush in various situations, such as if they are being robbed, walking down the aisle at their wedding, waiting for the cast list of the show they auditioned for to be posted, and many others. All of these scenarios range in levels of danger but produce similar effects on the body.  

Even in cases where an individual has gone into some kind of cardiac or respiratory arrest, whether from an allergy or some other kind of health emergency, a dose of epinephrine may be administered in order to kickstart those bodily functions. But what happens if a person grows a bit too fond of such exhilarating feelings?  

Why Is Adrenaline Addictive? 

Again, the answer to this will depend on the person in question. Similar to a dependence on drugs or alcohol, our bodies go through a number of processes in order to get us through whatever dangerous or exhilarating situations we are faced with. If these scenarios become more frequent, the body will have no choice but to adapt. Even after things return to normal, it is possible that it will still crave that rush of endorphins, the mental and physical build-up of tension, and the satisfying release that follows.  

If a person is constantly putting themselves in dangerous or stressful situations, even unconsciously, it could be a sign that they are addicted to adrenaline. 

Can an Addiction to Adrenaline Result in Substance Abuse?  

It is absolutely possible that someone who is considered an adrenaline junkie ends up struggling with a substance addiction. For a person with responsibilities and obligations to attend to, scheduling a weekly skydiving session may not be a possible solution. In lieu of that, people may begin to seek those satisfying sensations in the form of substances. It can even grant them a sense of control, albeit a temporary one. They hold the ability to feel these things in the palm of their hands.  

At Banyan, we seek to tackle such dependencies with care and consideration. Our drug rehab in Massachusetts is equipped with a variety of effective care levels, substance-specific treatments, and effective therapy methods, all designed to aid you in your recovery journey. 

Don’t let adrenaline addiction or any other kind of physical dependency control you. Call 888-280-4763 to learn about our Massachusetts addiction treatment options today! 


Related Readings:

Sober Activities You Can Do This Weekend 

Habits to Improve Your Mental Health 

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Adrenaline Addiction: Can It Lead to Drugs?
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