What Does It Mean to be a Fiend?
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In a more formal context, the term fiend is a noun that is often used to refer to an evil spirit or demon. This may also be used to describe something that is monstrous in nature, such as an ogre, or an otherwise wicked person or being. ‘Feening for drugs’ is a bit of a different matter, however.
Informally, however, this term is associated with someone who is excessively attached or addicted to something; whether this is a substance, behavior, person, or otherwise. For example, someone who is obsessively interested in sports may be referred to as a “bridge fiend” (or a “buff”).
Recently, particularly when used in the context of substance abuse, there has been quite a significant increase in slang words and terminologies relating to the word “fiend.”
The Slang Behind the Term
Within the addiction community, the term fiend had been adapted into a more corrupted version of the word, represented through the term “feen.”
In its participle- a verb ending in -ing that modifies a noun or adjective- form, this slang word, used as “feening for drugs” (or “feenin”), refers to an intense yearning or craving for a particular substance.
What is a Drug Fiend?
The term “Drug Fiend” (or “Drug Feen”) is often used to refer to someone who may be considered a junkie or addict, particularly if they are experiencing an intense craving for a drug.
Regardless of what substance is being abused, individuals desperately trying to search for their next hit are typically those who find themselves having this term applied to them.
The Signs of an Addiction: Feening for Drugs
Drug use is a pernicious habit, and it does not take long for an addiction to develop. In particular, substances such as opiates, nicotine, and other street drugs can create a dependency in an individual within just a few times of using them.
In the case of an addiction to one of these substances, the type of “fiend” an individual may be referred to will reflect this usage. For example, someone with an addiction to opioids may be referred to as an “opium fiend.”
When it comes to determining if an individual has become an addict, there are a few signs that can be looked out for – whether in oneself or others. These may include:
- Obsessive Thoughts and Behaviors. Often exhibiting fiend-like behavior, individuals who are addicted to a substance will prioritize acquiring and using it over almost anything else, including work, school, familial, or other responsibilities.
- Loss of Control. An addicted individual may recognize their substance use is causing harm but is unable to stop using on their own, even if they genuinely desire to do so.
- Disregard Towards Others. An addict may recognize the harm their addiction is causing, both to themselves and others, but continues using anyways.
- Denial or Sneaky Behavior. If an individual finds themselves repeatedly denied having a problem, either to themselves or someone else or going to great lengths to hide their habits, this is a strong indicator of addiction.
- Physical and Mental Side Effects. Long-term substance abuse can have several negative effects on an individual, including cognitive defects, weight loss, increased anxiety and depression, loss of interest in self-care and/or basic hygiene, and several others.
While these are all significant indicators that an individual may be struggling with addiction, another key sign of this is the presence of drug cravings.
What is a Drug Craving?
Someone who is “feening” for a substance is often doing so in response to an intense drug craving. This means they are being fueled by a strong desire to use a specific substance. This happens because their body has become dependent on this drug, and thus cannot regulate itself without access to it.
This means that a “drug fiend” or “drug feen,” while engaging in harmful activities, is often doing so because avoiding this behavior will cause them physical pain and emotional anguish.
The Dangers of Drug Feening
One of the major risks associated with addiction is that this problematic abuse of substances can permanently alter or damage an individual’s body; in particular, the structure and chemistry of their brain.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), drug cravings progressively increase after an individual ceases to use these substances. This is because many drugs trigger the brain’s reward system when they are used, creating a “positive” association between an individual’s uplifted state of being and their substance use.
However, this association is false, and these substances are only causing more and more damage as they continue to be used.
De-Stigmatizing the Addict
Unfortunately, quite a lot of stigma surrounds addiction; a trend not made better by the popularization of villainizing terms such as “fiend,” “feen,” and “feening.”
As discussed, individuals who are struggling with substance abuse often cannot stop this behavior on their own without causing themselves extreme distress and discomfort. However, because their disorder is societally viewed in such a negative light, asking for help may not feel like an option.
This, of course, poses a very strong need to de-stigmatize societal views around substance abuse, so that these individuals are able to (and feel confident in) getting the professional support they need.
Substance Abuse Treatment Methods
There are several addiction treatment options available today, including those that are holistic and/or spiritual in nature, as well as those that utilize a more clinical approach to recovery. For individuals struggling with particularly severe addictions, such as those to alcohol or opioids, undergoing a medical detox process is strongly encouraged.
The type of treatment an individual may require will depend on the particular substance they are addicted to, the severity of their dependency, and several other factors. Speaking with a healthcare provider may help individuals narrow down their treatment options.
To find out more about the seven levels of care in addiction treatment, visit the link as well as our many other resources on all aspects of addiction and recovery.
Finding the Right Treatment Options for You
If you or a loved one has found yourselves subjected to being called a “drug fiend,” here at Find Addiction Rehabs, we understand how isolating and hurtful this can be. That’s why our hotline is available 24/7, so that you and other individuals struggling with substance abuse are able to access addiction resources and support, anytime you need it.
Whether connecting you with treatment facilities and drug or alcohol rehabs that are dedicated to serving your personal care needs, we are here to help. Putting down a substance can be hard, but picking up the phone doesn’t have to be.
So, make the best choice for you or your loved one and call us today, so that one of our representatives can get you started on the road to sobriety!
Eric R. hails from Maine and does extensive work in the field of behavioral health as both a professional writer and passionate advocate for those suffering. From his own personal encounters with mental illness, he speaks to those seeking healthy relief from depression and anxiety and embraces wellness both personally and professionally. After losing friends and family to the darkness of suicide, Eric aims to educate and inform about the nature of treatment and render it accessible for all those seeking a way out of darkness and despair.