Americans suffer from a plethora of different addictions every year. In fact, millions of Americans and their families at any one moment are coping with the hazards of addiction. When we consider the issue of addiction most imagine drugs or alcohol, but addiction comes in all different varieties. Individuals can suffer from drug, alcohol, food, gambling, and even shopping addictions. ‘Adrenaline Junkie’ is a term that refers to individuals who thoroughly enjoy the rush and excitement of adrenaline. The rush they feel is the effect of the “fight or flight” reaction that automatically kicks in during an activity or event. At this moment powerful neurochemicals are produced in the brain. When an individual becomes addicted to this feeling, or those neurochemicals, they continue to try to relive that feeling. These individuals will continue to participate in ‘death-defying’ activities so they can experience that rush or ‘get there fix’.

Effects of Adrenaline

We experience the ‘electricity’ of adrenaline when we are pushed past our comfort zones. When you are on a roller coaster, in a car accident, or witness a robbery the feeling of heightened anxiety, fear, and stress is adrenaline. As adrenaline goes through the body it brings on a surge of immense power. It increases the body’s senses and the feeling of pain reduces. When someone becomes dangerous injured there is often a delayed reaction or feeling of pain that is adrenaline. Adrenaline addicts feel those sensations and feed off of it. Once they feel it they want more and more.

Fear is a Part of the Adrenaline Addiction

Those who are addicted to adrenaline often push their bodies to the limits. When they experience fear it increases that feeling of intense emotions. Addiction to those neurochemicals will cause a thrill-seeker to continuously push the envelope. Adrenaline junkies are often healthy and in good shape as a result of those death defying acts, but satisfying those cravings can be as dangerous as drugs addicts thirst for drugs. Fear is an incredibly powerful feeling. When the body experiences fear it release endorphins, dopamine and norepinephrine. The more scared a person becomes the greater the release of these chemicals. The more of these chemicals that are release can turn someone into an adrenaline addict. Many adrenaline junkies will substitute activities that will produce adrenaline with drugs. Cocaine causes and increase of dopamine in the brain and weed produces a neither substance similar to nor epinephrine, so they will use these drugs as surrogate for dangerous activities. Although, these drugs are not enough. Scientists have discovered that the endorphin produced by the human body is 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Signs and Symptoms of Adrenaline Addiction

Those who live this type of lifestyle do not realize they have an addiction. Much like a functioning addict, they do not see what they are doing is dangerous to their health. In some cases the actions are very dangerous in nature, but are often justified as part of living. “If you don’t get busy living, then you are just busy dying”. Those who live an adrenaline addiction lifestyle have a chaotic and stressful life. They might even believe that they strive on stress. Signs and Symptoms of an adrenaline addict include:

-Consuming three or more caffeinated drinks daily
-Frequent offensive driving behavior, such as speeding tailgating or road rage
-Constant scheduling of appointments, meetings and events will little down time in-between, and always on-the-go
-Frequent causing drama between him or herself and others, or knowingly putting him or herself into stressful situations
-Takes on the image of high roller/risk-taker

Coping with Adrenaline Addiction

Adrenaline addiction is not an addiction in that it can completely isolate the individual and send them on a long dark path that leads to an early death. Drugs and alcohol can completely ruin lives and end in fatal overdoses. Addiction to sex and gambling can end with severe social and mental disorders that can force someone into irreversible consequences. Financial and legal issues compound on top of each other and bring the world crashing down around addicts. Adrenaline addicts do not necessarily have the same fate, while it is possible that a freak accident happens. Referring back to the signs and symptoms of Adrenaline addiction it is obvious that the best way to deal with adrenaline addiction is to reduce stress. There are a plethora of stress-relieving techniques that can be utilized to reduce that feeling. There is even an Adrenaline Anonymous program to help those suffering from adrenaline addiction. It is a twelve step program that helps adrenaline addicts with their addiction. Overcoming addiction is built on the discovery of why the addiction started and continued. Adrenaline addicts are encouraged to look back on their lives and actions to find the source of their need for adrenaline. The best way to treat an addiction is to find the underlying cause of it, treat that issue, and therefore treat the addiction.


When a loved one has a problem it is important to speak up. All it takes is one conversation, one phone call to get the addict on the path to sobriety. It is important to seek help from others for the sake of the addict’s health and well-being, but for the families as well. Addiction can have devastating negative effects of the family, so it is important to take care of yourself and family; do not neglect your own needs. Staging an intervention is a very productive way to begin the recovery process. From here it is up to the addict to seek the professional help he or she needs. Next is selecting the proper program and facility that is right for the individual and their addiction. Continued support from the family is important for the success of rehabilitation. Family counseling is available to help the family better understand the addiction and rehabilitation process. Adrenaline addiction is not like any other type of addiction. The adrenaline junkie is constantly putting themselves into dangerous situations, but they are often healthy and enjoyable company. When adrenaline addiction becomes a problem is when they begin to endanger or hurt those around them. If a loved one is reckless with the lives of those around them they need help. If their desire to feel that rush also complicates their personal relationships, then they need help. Do not be afraid to speak with them about the possible issue.