Social Question

deni's avatar

What is your experience with addiction of any sort?

Asked by deni (22607points) December 10th, 2012

AKA what have you ever been addicted to?

I have never been addicted to anything aside from caffeine in coffee form, and this is just as of the past few years. I drink it daily but hate the feeling/headache I get when I don’t. I can’t imagine how someone could subject themselves to an even worse withdrawal. I have only ever done drugs that were non-addictive, though some people say you can get addicted to marijuana, they’re full of shit. The most I believe a person can be addicted to weed is mentally, and while I’ve certainly felt that, it has never been a big enough issue that I even thought twice about it.

I am really interested to hear stories of more serious addictions though, if you care to share them. What does it feel like to need a drug? Any other details of the experience is welcome and encouraged also but I know it’s a touchy subject.

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19 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How about pizza and sex?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Cigarettes—24 years 3 packs a day – - quit Cold Turkey 25 years ago.

hearkat's avatar

I was married to an alcoholic with two alcoholic parents. He was an addictive personality type, too… and had problems with gambling and drug abuse. He died at the age of 39, when his liver could take no more. There have been numerous discussions on the topic, so go through the archives via the topic tags, the related questions list to the right (on the full browser version, not on mobile), and use the search feature.

livelaughlove21's avatar

My mom has chronic pain and was once on a very high dose of OxyContin. It just made her sleep all day long and she had absolutely no life, so her doctors wanted to switch her to Fentanyl patches. She had to go through withdrawals from the Oxy before the switch. I was pretty young, but I remember she was seeing water running down the walls. She couldn’t go a day without pain meds these days. Her house is like a pharmacy.

My sister has been battling a narcotics addiction for 2–3 years. She’s stolen from my mom, lied to everyone, and she overdosed on Oxy at my bachelorette party. She is supposedly clean now, but it’s been a long road so far. She’s been through detox twice.

I’ve never been addicted to anything – I’ve never even smoked weed, mostly because my entire family does and I have pretty negative feelings about it in general. I don’t need to depend on some substance just to get through the day. Hell, I’ve never even smoked a cigarette.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

In my life, I’ve been addicted to feelings, encounters and food. I am in recovery from an eating disorder. It’s kind of hard for me to talk about this now but I remember when I asked this q, people gave really amazing answers. Check it out, if you want.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I’m addicted to cigarettes. I become agitated and irritable if I can’t have one, and I get a headache and sleepy yet restless, I just generally feel like crap. And I become a real nasty person to be around.
I also often joke that I’m addicted to dopamine. I am always chasing things that give me a dopamine rush.
I PMed you with a more interesting story.

augustlan's avatar

I’m addicted to nicotine in a bad way. I’ve tried to quit smoking a few times, and have never been successful for more than a few days, even with the patch. While in withdrawal, I first get incredibly anxious, then nearly suicidal, and then I get murderous. << That’s when I light a cigarette. It’s…not good.

wundayatta's avatar

Supposedly you can be addicted to love and sex. Personally, I think that’s nonsense. If you’re addicted to love, then how can you tell the difference between healthy love and addictive love? It has to be a difference between brains, and we call one brain wrong and another right. I find that very disturbing.

wildpotato's avatar

I am physically and mentally addicted to weed. It is a real thing to be physically addicted to marijuana, at least for some people. My guess is that physical dependancy is particularly evident in we who use it to control physical pain and other symptoms of certain chronic illnesses. When I cannot obtain it, after a day or so I experience my body in a completely different way than when I have herb, and it is not good. I should mention that I smoke weed with more dedication than most folks – I smoke all day, from the moment I awaken to the moment I go to bed, and I have smoked like this with no breaks other than a few days at a time every couple of years, for the past 11 years.

Edit: something interesting to note is that when I had a chance to smoke medical weed from LA that was bred to have little THC, CBC, and CBD (the “head high” cannabinoids) and a lot of CBG (the “body high” cannabinoids), it was the best thing ever – it helped my symptoms without giving me the head fuzzies. Hopefully they will keep developing this strain!

My serious addiction is to cocaine, and I haven’t had any in five years now. I adore coke: for the exhilaration of it, because it lowers my extreme inhibition against speaking my mind and connecting with other people, and because it is numbing and makes me feel like I have no body – it doesn’t so much alleviate pain as it eradicates the possibility of experiencing it, for me. But the most obvious, and yet hardest to actually realize, thing coke does is to make you feel like you need a lot more coke. So I stopped seeking it out. But I never made any sort of resolution about quitting – if someone lined me out some quality yayo right now, I’d probably snort it.

zenvelo's avatar

I am a recovering alcoholic, which is an addiction to alcohol. I was also a nicotine addict with a two pack a day habit. although I used a lot of cocaine at times, and smoked copious amounts of dope, my drug of choice was alcohol.

I reached a point with alcohol where I was close to losing my job, couldn’t manage how i was living, and was about to be separated from society for six months because of my alcoholic behavior. I hit bottom. And with the help of therapy and AA, I have been sober over 26 years.

I smoked until I could not do certain things I liked to do because I wanted to vomit from my lungs. I quit cold turkey, and haven;t had tobacco or nicotine for 24 years.

Mariah's avatar

I’ve been very mildly addicted to narcotics twice.

The first was a freak accident. I had gotten a large chunk of my intestines removed and my body was going through an adjustment period in which it was learning how to handle having less guts. During this period, absorption is pretty bad. Your average person can take up to 4 Imodium (antidiarrheal) in a day; colorectal surgeons tell their patients they can double that. Imodium is an over-the-counter drug and I had no idea there was any need for concern whatsoever. Well things weren’t going so hot for me for awhile and I was taking 8 a day very regularly, for probably two months or so. I don’t even know the timeline anymore, honestly. It went on for awhile. When I got my final surgery I almost instantly did not need Imodium anymore. I stopped cold turkey, having no idea I should do otherwise. No doctor mentioned anything about it.

I started to feel really bad. Feverish, oscillating between chills and sweats. Achy in my limbs and like I had restless leg syndrome. I was just starting to worry when it occurred to me, you know I did just stop all that Imodium. Eight to zero. I’m going to double check that that was okay.

I did my research and the internet dropped this bomb on me: Imodium is a weak narcotic! It can’t pass the blood-brain barrier so you don’t get a high (which is the only reason it’s available over-the-counter) but you can still get physically dependent on it. It was a total complete shock. But I couldn’t help but laugh – yep, I just accidentally got addicted to narcotics, and not even the fun kind. It was super easy to get off them once I knew what was up. Just tapered off instead of cold turkey.

The other time was legitimate narcotics, percocet. I had a minor but very painful surgery right at the beginning of last year’s winter semester. I’m not one to abuse any medication I’m given, but I did not have time to properly rest up after surgery. Life wasn’t waiting for me; I had to get myself to class and to the dining hall and walking was painful as hell. I was told I could take my percocet up to 4 times a day, I believe it was. I took it regularly for quite awhile, moreso than I ever had for a surgery, which seemed strange because it was by far my most minor surgery, but I think it was because I wasn’t able to give myself the healing period I needed. I didn’t even take the maximum of 4 per day but I took at least 1 and usually 2 every day for quite awhile. I guess I’m a small enough person for that to be addictive. During spring break I went home for some much needed – although sorely belated – rest, and since I was able to rest, I did not need the pain meds so much. Not for pain anyway. But it turned out I did need them, because it wasn’t long before I started feeling similar to the Imodium withdrawal again, and I immediately knew what was up. Even though it was a more “scary” narcotic this time, I fortunately was not severely addicted. Getting off of it was easy again.

I used to be far more judgmental before it happened to me. I assumed addiction began with irresponsibility. But I was following doctor’s orders to the T both times, and taking them for completely legitimate reasons. Now I understand that much addiction probably begins with sick people just trying to feel better.

I have far more empathy now. Can hardly imagine what a severe narcotics withdrawal would be like; my baby versions of withdrawal felt bad enough.

gravity's avatar

I was addicted to methamphetamine for 3 years. I asked for help to my family and went to rehab for 90 days in-house treatment and I have been clean for 7 years in May. It was the worst feeling I had ever experienced withdrawing from it. The psychological affects of the withdrawals made me feel like I was losing my mind and was so suicidal when I tried to stop on my own to start with, I had to stay at my sister’s weeks at a time. Being in an addiction like that feels like being in a rat race constantly trying to get your drug. I called it the, “hurry up and wait” game… always being yanked around by dealers. So so so happy to be clean!!! I never want to touch that stuff again.

bookish1's avatar

I am badly addicted to nicotine. I started smoking when I was 14 but didn’t really become addicted until age 16 or so, when I had a job in food service and it was the only way to take a break. It got worse and worse because of family and academic stress through high school and college. For me, it’s as much a social habit as it is a chemical addiction. On my own, I don’t smoke much except to keep ahead of cravings, but if I’m in public, especially in a new situation, waiting on something nervewracking like an interview, or in a foreign country, I smoke like a chimney. I would have had a lot of trouble in France this summer if I hadn’t smoked. I’m not sure I would have made any friends at all.

I smoke about a pack a day, sometimes more if I’m working on a big project, and they just go out the window if I’m drinking. Cravings are hell. It’s not a mental thought of “man, I’d really like a cigarette.” I literally feel as if there are tiny demons poking me in the brain. I lose all my focus and concentration, feel like I can’t breathe, and get anxious. Sometimes my field of vision starts spinning. I can’t read or write. It blows. But considering everything I have been through, it’s a wonder I’m not addicted to something far more immediately harmful.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I have been addicted to cigarettes, beer and meth at one time or another in my life.

The worst was meth and it was a short-lived addiction because it started interfering in my marriage and my life. I had plenty of money and was just partying with the wrong people too much. Once you’ve seen people ‘tweaking’ it loses it’s glamour pretty quickly, but the mental addiction scared me a lot, so I put it down and never ever even thought about it again.

It was good because it made you have lots of energy, good sex, it was cheap and you can go to the bars and not get drunk. You lose weight and your house is uber-clean all the time.

It was bad because it affects all aspects of your life because it alters your personality- family, work, interpersonal relationships, your appearance, etc…. Someone almost killed someone else in my driveway over a little baggie once, and I knew that had to be the end of that.

wundayatta's avatar

Happily, hypersexual disorder will not appear in the DSM5. Although they are now updating the manual on an as-needed basis, so I suppose if things change, it could be in there.

Additionally, for substance abusers:

Substance use disorder will combine the DSM-IV categories of substance abuse and substance dependence. In this one overarching disorder, the criteria have not only been combined, but strengthened. Previous substance abuse criteria required only one symptom while the DSM-5’s mild substance use disorder requires two to three symptoms.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Heroin. I have written about it on here from time to time. I lost everything, my profession that I invested years of my life to obtain, my home, my children. I have been to medical detox 6 times. Then methadone. I walked off 75 mg a day. I was sick for a couple years. I have been clean for 7 years.

ucme's avatar

I might as well face it, i’m addicted to love.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@trailsillustrated Congrats, that’s awesome!

Shippy's avatar

So many things, I was addicted to “Horse” which was a prescribed drug but also sold on the street. It has similar effects to Heroin. I was addicted to alcohol, which included black outs and delirium tremors plus Valium and an assortment of other drugs. Booze I really battled to get off. I used to say “OK, I am done” and then start again in a week or so. I was more a binge drinker. Plus it changed my personality radically. I was told I would only live two years. Due to the amount I drank and how I handled myself during benders.

Addiction is like the glass stain on a bar, its a circle it goes round and round with no end. No middle no beginning. It is hell.

When I was 25 I was being taken to hospital to get over a bender, since I suffered so badly. And I had a my last drink in the car. I remember in this haze, drinking it, and passing it to my then girl friend saying, this is my last drink. It was crazy I had had a ‘spiritual’ experience. I felt quite peaceful and I knew it was over.

When I looked out of the car window, I could see a statue, but was unaware at the time. That was 25 years ago. I never wanted to pick up an addictive substance again. The feeling had left me. Like the click of a finger. Years later I visited that hospital for various reasons and often passed that area and the statue. And it was a statue of Jesus, saying “Come to me all the weary” and I was sure weary.

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