Impulse Control and Addiction Recovery

Impulse Control and Addiction Recovery

If you are a recovering addict there are some things that you are going to need to change. During active addiction, you may have said or done some things that the sober you would never do. You may have lied and stolen from the ones you care about. When you recover you need to look at how addiction has an impact on impulse control.

More about Impulse Contol

Impulse control is the ability to control your actions and impulses. This has to do with thinking before you act. If you do or say whatever comes to mind without thinking about it you have poor impulse control. If you have impulse control disorder the tension will build up so high you will need to do this action. Some impulses are sex, gambling, and substance abuse. The need to use comes before anything. Addition and impulse control disorder often together.

Addiction and Impulse Control

People that are addicted often lack self-control. Impulse control begins in the brain. People with specific brain chemistry are more likely to use substances. People with behavior addiction including an addition to sex have abnormal chemistry in the brain, especially the part where the brain processes rewards. People with addiction also have issues with brain chemistry.

Issued with Impulse Control

There are some signs that you may be experiencing a problem with impulse control. They include:

Aggression, stealing, and lying
Emotional issues such as mood shifts and lack of self-esteem
Mental issues like getting angry, irritable, and trouble focusing.

People that have impulse control issues may feel a lot of tension. Once they fulfill what they want they get relief. The impulse does come back. Some things that will put you are an increase in impulse control disorder. They include:

Abuse and trauma
Being around violence

There has also been a genetic link found to this disorder. There are some other mental health conditions such as OCD, depression, and PTSD that can put a person at an increased risk for this disorder.

Stopping is not the Answer

Most addicts are asked how come they do not just stop. The brain has become rewired and needs the substance. No one ever wanted to end up as a drug addict. In part, it is due to a lack of impulse control.

Recovery and Impulse Control

Impulses are added to the addiction behavior. Focusing on self-control will play a big role in addition to recovery. The brain can begin to work differently. During recovery, you will learn how to control your impulses. It may be uncomfortable at first but learning self-control is a skill. Some people need help to learn how to control their impulses. People can learn this skill over time.

How to Change

During recovery, you may learn how to find a distraction to help you curve your impulse. When you have a craving for something find a way to stall. Allow it to pass. You should then find a distraction. You may need to remove yourself from an idea or move on to a new activity.

Build Self-Control


Building up self-control is going to take time.You are learning a new skill. Some things can help you build up self-control. You need to stay positiveSet small and obtainable goals
Monitor the progress you are making towards your goals
Set a reward schedule for when you do meet these goals
Avoid things that are a trigger
Use your willpower
Understand as you reach your goals things will get easier.
You can think of a situation such as if you are around people using and what you would do. You can do something as simple as leave.’
There is the potential for relapse. You will need to look at your triggers and find a way to stall and then distract yourself.
Self-control is different from recovery but it is an important part of the recovery process. It is something that will take practice and patience.
A dual diagnosis treatment center can help you with long term care. They will look at your substance abuse issues and any mental health disorders that are causing you to use that cannot go untreated.