Your addiction is not the same as the person’s next to you. Addiction vary from person to person. No addiction is created equal. According to HelpGuide.org: “Addiction exerts a long and powerful influence on the brain that manifests in three distinct ways: craving for the object of addiction, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences.”
These three ways are different for everyone, depending on the substance of choice and the experiences in the person’s life. Behaviors and life experiences play a huge role in whether or not someone may develop and addiction.
There is often the saying “Addiction does not discriminate.” The meaning behind this is usually that addiction does not care if you are rich or poor, male or female, young or old — any one of these people can develop an addiction. While this is true, however, there are people whose life experiences make them more prone to developing an addiction. The New York Times takes it a step further, saying: “Addiction does indeed discriminate. It ‘selects’ for people who are bad at delaying gratification and gauging consequences, who are impulsive, who think they have little to lose, have few competing interests, or are willing to lie to a spouse.”
Lifestyle and coping mechanisms have a lot to do with whether one individual will develop an addiction while the person next to them may not. Someone who has been a victim of sexual assault, someone who has a parent who has an addiction, someone who has a co-occurring disorder. These people are more likely to develop an addiction than someone who has not experienced these major life-altering events. Brain chemistry also has something to do with the development of addictions.
Instead of saying “Addiction does not discriminate,” perhaps we should start acknowledging that addiction does discriminate, that some people will be more prone to this disease, that there are people who are more at risk. Perhaps this would then make us more aware of our likelihood of developing an addiction. Perhaps we can assess our symptoms better and be more attuned to our behaviors.
At Pinnacle Recovery, we are aware that different life experiences may have a different impact on different people. We are here to help all people through their addiction. If you think you may be struggling with an addiction, we are here to help you. Our experienced staff is trained for your situation. Call us today for more information: 1-866-301-0573.