If you’re ‘one of us’ – a recovering alcoholic/addict – then you know this fun little game: Guess the DOC. Often times, there are ‘tells’ – traits, characteristics, or signs that can be a dead give-away as to what someone’s main drug of abuse was while they were in active addiction. Here is a fun little blog about what your drug of choice says about you.
Usually, people who are strictly alcoholic tend to fall into one of two categories: the party animal or the socially awkward. Those who fall into the first category might have started out as the typical college drinker, tailgating on weekends and attending all the Greek parties on campus. Their occasions (read: excuses) to drink then started blurring together where they were drinking more often than not. For those with social anxiety, alcohol is also a favorite: they find it to be the ultimate social lubricant – allowing them to lower their inhibitions and feel comfortable around others and at social gatherings.
Potheads often are hyper people, by nature. It is quite common for people who prefer marijuana to also have certain medical diagnoses such as ADD and ADHD. These folks tend to smoke a lot of pot as a way to self-medicate and chill out because they are either high-strung or find that their thoughts are firing at rapid fire speed. Pot smokers like that it slows down their thoughts and allows them to relax.
DOC: Benzos (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ambien, Ativan)
People who struggle with anxiety, PTSD and/or who have experienced some sort of traumatic event tend to abuse benzos – anxiolytic (anti-anxiety meds) – because they are designed to reduce anxious feelings. The problem with these meds is that they are highly addictive and, in fact, often cause someone’s anxiety disorder to become worse. Therapy and coping mechanisms are a much better way of handling past trauma and anxiety.
DOC: Opiates (heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, Roxys, Fentanyl, methadone)
Being a former heroin addict, I can say that I liked opiates because they energized me and made it easy to escape reality (for a time). So, I’d say, people who are avoiding painful memories and/or dealing with depression tend to go for the opiate class of drugs. In other words, people like opiates as a way to numb themselves.
Another type of person that gets caught up in heroin and other opiate drugs is the person who was prescribed painkillers for a legitimate reason, such as major surgery. The addicts in this category began taking painkillers as prescribed but then found themselves wanting to achieve the initial ‘high’ they felt, rather than merely taking the edge off of their pain. They would have begun to take their prescription more often and at higher doses. Sometimes, they turn to heroin when they can no longer get pills.
DOC:Amphetamines (cocaine, crack, Adderall, Ritalin)and Methamphetamine (crystal meth)
These addicts are either seeking a way to increase their energy and productivity level – such as college students pulling all-nighters – or are ‘the quiet type’ looking for a way to be the life of the party. Of course, as with any other class of drugs, any of these may have a different effect on the user depending on their particular body and brain chemistry. But, people who abuse amphetamines and/or methamphetamine generally like the speedy effect they get from taking this kind of drug.
Don’t see your particular DOC on this list? No worries, stay tuned for another installment of What Your Drug of Choice Says About You.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.