How Does An Addicts Thinking Vary from a Non-Addict?

Digging into the Mind of an Addict

When an individual is a drug addict or alcoholic, their train of thought and their way of thinking is much different than someone who doesn’t struggle with substance abuse. Their brains are wired in a different way than the average person and there is a chemical imbalance that is at the foundation of the addiction. 

When an individual is dependent or addicted to a substance of abuse, their life will revolve around obtaining and using the drug. This obsession will control every single aspect of their life to the point of losing relationships with their friends, family, and careers to their addiction. Unfortunately, addicts will not get better or overcome their disease without professional help. Through proper treatment modalities, counseling, and therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, addicts will be able to work toward long-lasting sobriety.

Every human is hardwired to do what we have to do to survive. This means having food, water, affection, and any other necessities that meet our needs to survive. For addicts, this holds true but in a different way; they require their substance of choice in order to ‘survive’, or so they think. 

The Foundation of Thinking

For those who struggle with a drug or alcohol issue, underlying disorders are often at the root cause of the addiction. Additionally, substance abuse acts as a bandage method, temporarily fixing and allowing them to forget their pain. Sadly, this method of ‘managing’ one’s pain will only lead them down the dangerous road of addiction which has the potential to be life-threatening. Through speaking about emotional and physical damage, addicts will be able to work toward recovery. If these feelings go unaddressed and remain suppressed, their mental and physical condition will continue to deteriorate and adding an addiction into the mix is a recipe for disaster.

The brain of an addict is surrounded by a routine. This routine includes:

  • Getting money for drugs/alcohol
  • Purchasing drugs/alcohol
  • Using drugs/alcohol
  • Repeating this cycle day in and day out

If addicts do not follow this strict routine or it becomes interrupted, they run the risk of enduring withdrawal symptoms. Since these symptoms can be hard to manage, addicts will continue to use in order to mitigate their chances of experiencing these symptoms. In turn, they are only worsening their condition and perpetuating a very dangerous lifestyle.

Getting Help

In order to break the compulsive habit of drug and alcohol abuse, treatment is needed. During treatment, individuals will learn how to better manage their addiction and cravings so that they can lead a healthy and content life. If you or someone you know is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, help is available. The longer you continue to abuse drugs and alcohol, the more psychological and biochemical damage you are doing to your self.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.