Impulse Control and Addiction: Is There a Connection?
If you’ve ever known someone who struggles with impulse control and addiction, then you may wonder if one perpetuates the other. But which comes first? Is it the addiction or the impulsive behavior? The reality is that impulsivity can lead to drug use which can all too quickly become a full-blown addiction and many addicts do have concerning impulse control behaviors while they are in the midst of their addiction and even as they recover.
Impulse Control and Addiction
A correlation between impulse control and addiction can clearly be seen. When it comes to addiction, many addicts feel “out of control” and may even attempt to stop using drugs or alcohol on their own will, only to return back to using. Impulsive behavior can be a risk factor for substance abuse, which can lead to an addiction. Similarly, addiction involves key characteristics, such as an obsessive-compulsive nature to continue using substances in spite of negative consequences as well as problems with impulse control. For example, an addict may have a difficult time stopping themselves from resorting back to using drugs, especially when they are feeling impulsive.
Watching for Impulsive Behaviors During Recovery
When an addict begins the recovery process, they may be detoxed off all substances but their behavioral patterns and ways of thinking don’t just suddenly disappear. In fact, some addicts in early recovery may even continue to act impulsively, which can put them at risk for a relapse if they do not work a solid program of recovery.
When it comes to impulse control and addiction, the truth is that there is a strong relationship. Whether issues with impulsivity occur before, during, or after an addiction, it’s important to be cautious. Recovering from addiction is a process and it takes hard work. So while managing the issue of impulse control may not be simple or immediate, it is a component that can be worked on over time.
If you, or someone you know, suffers from a substance use disorder, including drug addiction and alcoholism, then please reach out to The Watershed now by calling our free 24-Hour Help Line at 1-800-861-1768.Tags: Addiction, drug addiction, impulsive, Recovery