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What Is an Adrenaline Junkie?

An adrenaline junkie is a person addicted to the thrill of the adrenaline rush: the exciting, pleasurable effect produced when the adrenal glands dump a large dose of adrenaline into the bloodstream. The adrenaline rush usually occurs when the body senses danger, the "Fight or Flight" moment. Your heart rate increases, pleasure-giving endorphins are released by the pituitary gland and your breathing rate ramps up. The result of all this extra oxygen, energy and hormones is the adrenaline high, a euphoric feeling that can last for hours.

Where to Find Adrenaline Junkies

Sports are a natural place to locate adrenaline junkies. Every day, thousands of adrenaline junkies strap on a parachute, climb into a kayak or drive very fast around a race track. Other typical adrenaline junkie activities are bungee jumping, caving, rock climbing and mountain biking - any activity that involves a larger than normal amount of danger or risk of injury.

Non-sports activities or jobs can also be a natural fit for the adrenaline junkie. Plenty of careers come with a risk of serious injury. Firefighting, police work or the military would be logical choices for adrenaline junkies.

Downsides of Adrenaline Addiction

The adrenaline rush wears off after a time and is as addictive as any drug. The signs of an adrenaline addiction are not as obvious as you might think. A true adrenaline junkie may easily fill their life with drama and conflict instead of extreme sports. They may argue or pick fights just for the rush associated with the experience. Adrenaline junkies can also become more reckless in their everyday lives, putting themselves and others at risk for no reason, save the need for another jolt of adrenaline. To a real adrenaline junkie, the rush from manufactured stress is just as good as one from sports, so why bother going outside? The people you meet on the slopes, or in an airplane prior to jumping out of it, may refer to themselves as an adrenalin junkie, but since they are getting their rush in a relatively healthy manner, they are unlikely to be an actual adrenaline junkie.

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