Why Does Addiction Cause People to Often Neglect Their Responsibilities?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

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As stated on “Tell Your Story,” an Australian website that allows people to express themselves, a man described his experience with an addiction. Here is an excerpt from his story:

“Throughout my twenties and like many others I know, I worked hard during the week at my job, paid my rent and bills, went shopping, dined at restaurants and then on weekends partied with my friends using coke, speed, and amphetamines. I never felt out of control or felt it was an issue…3 years ago I met my partner…on one of these occasions, my partner came home and said his mate didn’t have any [speed] so he gave him some ice instead. He produced a glass pipe and taught me how to smoke it…Needless to say, it wasn’t long before we were both hooked…Our priorities shifted from creating a loving and happy home for the kids, to shoplifting their school lunch snacks to save money for our own needs.”

As the above story illustrates, addiction can cause people to neglect the very goals, dreams, and wishes they once had. A 2013 study conducted by researchers from Seattle Pacific University titled “The Experience of Addiction as Told by the Addicted: Incorporating Biological Understandings into Self-Story” found that participants expressed several personal views on addiction, with one perspective being called “Pedal to the Metal”. Participants with this view expressed addiction as a sabotage of the mind – one participant stated,

“We forget…we forget even a month ago how bad alcohol had affected us, how we get sick, how we become homeless, how we lose all the money…”

This perspective holds some truth, as addiction changes the chemicals in the brain which causes a person to think, perceive, and act in ways that are different from before. When a person abuses substances, the brain receives an influx of dopamine, the “feel good” chemical”, and eventually comes to rely on this large amount of dopamine to feel happy and relaxed on a typical day. A person who experiences this will go to great lengths, even if it sometimes means losing much of what they love, to fulfill what their body “needs”.

If you have an addiction, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.

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