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The Signs and Symptoms of Adrenaline Addiction

a person with an Adrenaline addiction rock climbs

When people hear the word “addiction,” they usually think of drugs and alcohol, not roller coasters and skydiving. Adrenaline addiction is real, and it may be what drives some thrill-seekers to participate in dangerous activities. Adrenaline is a valuable hormone that has helped many people survive or overcome challenges. However, addiction to adrenaline, as with any other substance, may be detrimental to a person’s overall health and well-being. Many adrenaline addicts may engage in risky behavior without regard for the physical, mental, social, financial, or legal consequences.

If someone you know is compulsively drawn to extreme activities and may put themselves in danger, they may benefit from mental health care. Addiction is a disease and can be cured. At Ashwood Recovery, we understand that every patient is unique and that addiction can come in many different forms. Ashwood Recovery is an addiction and mental health treatment facility that offers a wide range of comprehensive treatment programs for all addictions. If you want to learn more about what we offer, you can contact us at 888.341.3607.

What Is the Purpose of Adrenaline?

To understand adrenaline addiction, it’s best first to understand the purpose of adrenaline and what it does to the human body. Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands into the bloodstream. Through the bloodstream, it sends signals to different organs throughout the body.

When a person is faced with a dangerous or frightening situation, the adrenal glands release adrenaline into the body. The body is prepared for the “fight or flight” response within minutes or even seconds. Adrenaline in the bloodstream causes several physical effects:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Heightened blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Quickened breathing
  • Perspiration

As a result of adrenaline, a person may be faster, stronger, and more resistant to pain than normal. This is commonly known as the “adrenaline rush,” a common effect that is a necessary survival mechanism. This powerful effect only lasts a short time before it wears off.

What Is Adrenaline Addiction?

Because adrenaline provides such an elevated physical state, it may be pleasurable for some people who enjoy the feeling of power and excitement that they experience while under the effects of adrenaline. Some may try to experience it regularly. These people may seek out activities or situations to create that adrenaline rush. Those who frequently try to attain the high provided by adrenaline are sometimes called “adrenaline junkies.”

Many people can do this in moderation or in more minor, low-risk settings such as horror movies or theme parks. However, once a person becomes addicted to adrenaline, they may find that the addiction begins to take over all areas of their life.

How Can I Tell if Someone Is Addicted to Adrenaline?

Adrenaline may be a natural substance, but becoming addicted to it is still unhealthy. Moderation is always better than going to extremes, and balance in all aspects of life is necessary for overall health. A person who is addicted to adrenaline may exhibit some of the following symptoms:

  • Craving to participate in extreme or intense activities
  • Losing interest in other hobbies or activities
  • Suffering from withdrawal symptoms when they cannot participate in exciting activities
  • A constant need to do even more exciting or dangerous activities
  • Becoming more addicted to the effects of adrenaline with more experience
  • Disregarding the potential risks of the activity

As every person is unique, adrenaline addiction can come in many forms. Some participate in extreme sports, and others may have careers in dangerous fields such as firefighting or search and rescue.

Get Mental Health Care at Ashwood Recovery

Adrenaline addiction is a behavioral addiction since there is no external substance. However, it can be treated in much the same way as any other addiction. At Ashwood Recovery, we offer a variety of treatment programs for behavioral addictions. Our individualized solutions specifically allow you to address all elements of your mental health and addiction issues. If you or someone you care about is struggling with a behavioral addiction, contact us at 888.341.3607 so we can help.