Do tattoos make some people addicted?

Tattoo addiction is not officially recognized, and it is even a behavioral addiction. However, some people describe the increasing process of tattooing as an addiction. This article explores some of the addictive qualities of tattoos.

Financial and emotional commitment

Similar to becoming a drug addict, becoming a tattoo collector involves a lot of financial burden, physical discomfort and social stigma. Therefore, like drug addiction, you need to devote yourself to this process. This level of commitment is an important part of all addictions and is discussed in detail in the theory of excessive appetite in addiction. Not only are large amounts of money invested in addictive behaviors, but individuals often encounter financial difficulties and cannot meet the level of financial commitment required to maintain addictive behaviors.

If someone is willing to suffer financial hardship because of saving money for tattoos, it shows that tattoos have undertaken a strong emotional commitment that ignores reason, which is characteristic of addictive behavior. Unless the behavior is understood through the eyes of the person performing the behavior, the behavior has no meaning. In this case, choosing to get another tattoo is so precious to the individual that they are willing to endure hardship and give up what is more important to their basic needs.

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Mental process

For many people, tattooing is considered a spiritual process, a form of personal expression. Again, there is overlap with the drug subculture in this respect, especially users of marijuana, ecstasy, and psychedelics. Users of each drug describe this experience as a spiritual experience, and even use their spiritual connection with others and the universe as their motivation for taking these drugs.

Needle use

The use of needles in tattoos is part of the ritual and it is also an important part of the addiction process. There is a clear similarity between voluntary needle use in tattoos and intravenous medication. Tattooing, or injecting drugs with a needle, is a way to declare and demonstrate to oneself the ability to withstand the related pain and show the perseverance and courage needed to persevere to the end. Whether the individual is male or female, this high level of physical strength, bluffing, and machismo seem to be important to this process, and therefore a way to refute any past allegations of weakness or vulnerability.

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Overlaps with alcohol use

Studies using alcohol testers to measure alcohol consumption have shown that, in fact, people with tattoos and piercings drink more alcohol than people without tattoos.

Risk and regret

Addiction can lead to behaviors that people regret later, but sometimes, it is too late to eliminate the harm. From drunk driving to domestic violence, drug addiction is widely known for causing serious mistakes that can cause harm to oneself or others. Tattooing can also be a pity, although the injury is usually caused to one’s body or social status.

Unfortunately, neither those who have tattoos nor those without tattoos are unaware of the many risks of tattoos. Tattoos have two levels of medical risks, mild and more serious. Mild risks include side effects that can be treated at home, such as bruising, swelling, and mild skin infections. More serious risks associated with tattoos include severe discomfort and pain with tattoo ink, inflammation, sensitivity, and allergic reactions.

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