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Are Aspies more susceptible to substance addictions?

Are Aspies more likely to get addicted?

  • Aspies are less likely to get addicted than NT's

    Votes: 2 8.0%
  • No more, nor less than NT's

    Votes: 8 32.0%
  • Only more prone to addiction if it's a stim

    Votes: 2 8.0%
  • Aspies are more prone to addictions

    Votes: 13 52.0%

  • Total voters


A vegetable on the spectrum
Just wondering what the community thinks about Aspies and substance addictions. I don't want to get into the legalities. Whether it be alcohol, tobacco, cannabis (legal in some places), illicit drugs, etc. Are Aspies more prone to addiction than the general population?

For me, I find that I don't need to alter my state of mind round the clock. I certainly enjoy beer (an asperagus's favourite drink), yet I only desire to drink within my limits and am able to limit consumption so it never becomes a habit or escape/stim. My little experience with tobacco gave me an immediate chemical addiction, but I had no desire to smoke beyond my curiosity, so I didn't pick up smoking.

Please vote in thread and comment on your own experiences.
I have never smoked cigarettes or drink alcohol and the only drugs I take every day are my prescription psychiatric pills, which I hate, but if I stopped taking them I'd suffer brain zaps among other things. When I was a teenager I'd get bullied because I was so anti-drug and more cringy than any PSA about them.
Hmm not sure, but I know I am. Did a stint with the meth back in the day. I DO NOT recommend it. You think you stim a lot now? For the record. Meth is absolutely horrible. Do Not go there. Currently I drink too much beer and don't smoke enough pot. Cuz I don't have a job so can't afford it. Personally I definitely have an addictive personality(redundant I know). I've been a sugar addict my whole life. In my non-proffessional opinion I would say yes. The anxiety and stress we face daily probably drives some of us to it. I envy people who never got hooked on cigs alcohol etc.. I wish I could say the same. I will say this though, weed does help. All the rest of it is a bunch of rubbish. My 2 scents.
I can't answer the poll, I simply don't know, but I have never been into drugs, never smoked tobacco/weed and never wanted to try, not even curious. IMO, the possible side effects outweigh the potential benefits. I have a glass of wine with my meal (not every day), drink coffee, once tried magic mushrooms and was on Xanax and antidepressants for a while, but that's about it.
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I answered “yes”. I’ve been addicted to several substances because being under the influence mostly made my social and sensory issues go away. For the longest time I felt like I needed to be under the influence to function “normally”. I think this is a common trap for Aspies with mental health comorbidities, which, let’s face it, means the vast majority of Aspies.
A quick search with your search engine of choice will yield countless articles, papers and discussions on the observation that people on the spectrum (and with autistic traits) are more likely to experiment with drugs, self medicate and cosequently be at risk of addiction, than allistics.



I agree with Austistamatic its a WELL known Medically validated fact in fact includes ALL cinds stimula actually & for ALL Neoro Psychological diagnosis
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Thank you for the responses so far. Makes sense that Aspies are more likely to experiment, but wasn't sure whether that'd correlate to addiction as in sticking around with the substance.

For me I just wouldn't accept giving up free will to a substance, so if I get chemically addicted, I'm out.
The best way to avoid addiction to something, is never to start, without doubt. Those who are fortunate enough not to need to experiment, or have the strength of will to abstain are the lucky ones. Those of us who do self medicate run the risk of addiction.
The same is true of psychological addictions (gambling, bargain-hunting, sports, gaming, fighting, exercise, sex, fame, competition etc...) and autistics can be more prone to those too.
I am lucky in that despite experimentation and a couple of former habits, I have never been addicted to anything (i.e. had any difficulty stopping) other than tobacco. That was an absolute sod to beak away from, but I've been nearly 6 years tobacco free now, so thankfully that's in the past :)
It is true that autistics in a very general way are more prone to chemical addictions than the general population. [I do not know if this is also true for process addictions like gambling or not].

We are also able to stop and to recover in whatever ways we do. [There are other ways to recover besides 12 step meetings is what I mean].

Also, for those who do not want to stop using, harm reduction also saves lives.

The problem with "Don't ever start" is this: if we take even one occasionally and we are [determined by genetics to become addicted] addicts, that casual use of alcohol or other chemical will increase over time. Being totally abstinent over a lifetime without ever ever having one drink or any other drug because we are autistic is a bit harsh. So what to do? Should all of us abstain from peanuts or fish because a few of us may be allergic?

In a perfect world, there would be testing done at birth for genetic mutations that can lead to addiction, much like PKU testing is done now. Yet, some addictions do not show up until later in life. And some autistics are not addicts at all.

In a general way, the earlier that a condition shows up, the more likely there is to exist a genetic component. The later, the more likely environmental factors are more determinant. This is not true for everything all the time, but it is true for many medical conditions much of the time. [Some dementias and one form of colorectal cancer are things that are exceptions that come to my mind readily]. Those of us who get addicted younger [in a general way] are more likely to have genetic involvement. Those who do not get addicted until they are older [often with true histories of responsible using/drinking] are more likely to be responding to environmental stuff.

Sustaining a TBI at any age is much more likely to result in an addiction problem for up to three years after the head injury. Those already in recovery have a higher risk of relapse for up to three years after the tbi.

Some soldiers who went to Vietnam-- including one of my relatives-- did heroin over there, yet when they returned to the USA, they did not continue to use. Their use was situational. They also did not go on to develop addictions to other drugs such as alcohol upon their return.

Other soldiers arrived in Nam as addicts and continued to use heavily while there and upon return to the usa.

Addiction is a condition [sorry, but there is no medical evidence for it being a disease] with multiple etiologies. That means there are different causes. Sometimes it is genetic and sometimes it is not.

The best we can do is to be aware of whether or not we are losing control. Do we get high or do we drink even at those times when we do not want to?

TLDR: Autistics in a general way have a higher chance of becoming chemically addicted than non-autistics. Yet some of us are not addicts.
I'm the one who voted no, and before I read the thread. I was surprised. There was a recent thread saying something like aspies generally have a higher self awareness than NTs, which I agreed with. I would have thought that more voted no. I've never smoked or did drugs even when offered, and other than having a few wine coolers when I was 21, never drank alcohol. Yes it's been a hard life but I think a lot about everything, including about what those things would do to me, so I choose to not do them. Also I don't have a problem with people who choose to do any of those things, as long as they don't expect me to partake in it.
I guess so, can't say for certain. I don't drink alcohol (tasted few times on accident, didn't like), nor smoke (smell is just DISGUSTING), and I simply see no point in marijuana, cocaine, meth or other stuff like that.

I do admit to drinking more cola than I should, but I'm not sure if I could call it an addiction.
I have never been attracted to substance abuse. I am very logical and practical a person and so, for me, what helped in the terrible times of my life, was actually sleep, but of course, I would wake up!

I must have an inbuilt survival hormone lol, because no matter how bad things get, I can always rise up and smile.
Am I addicted to anything? Used to smoke cigarettes, and everyone in my biological family still does. Several of them are long time alcoholics, and my grandparents were on one branch of the family tree.

Have often wondered if there is a predilection for alcohol use in my genes. And as China Autie mentioned would that be a reason to not drink alcohol? I don't drink because I dislike the taste, and it's effects are not something I enjoy. Also don't use drugs for the same reason.

But if I did, would I become addicted? Perhaps why I didn't explore that all that much when I was a teen. Although I did experiment in those years. Fear of becoming an alcoholic may have been a factor. As well as seeing the toll taken on people I care about by alcohol.
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