When the patrons at T-Doggs start talking about addiction, it’s not the old favorites that you hear mentioned. Instead, they’re speaking of tattoos, the growing fad that just won’t stop.

T-Doggs is a piercing and tattoo parlor north of St. Louis. Tony, the owner and tattoo artist, tells SciJourner that some of their patrons have over 50 tattoos; and they are not stopping there.

“I feel a release during the tattooing process,” claims Tandalya. “While I’m getting tattooed, I’m already looking to see what tattoo I’m going to get next.”

Natalie, a University of Missouri-St. Louis college student, claims she felt a rush after each tattoo experience.

What is this rush or release that they are referring to? According to MedicineNet.com, an online healthcare media publishing company, when the body is experiencing tremendous pain, it naturally releases endorphins, pain-relieving proteins, into the bloodstream. Once endorphins are released, they bind to opiate receptors in the brain. 

This arrangement causes the person to feel less pain. In addition to suppressing the pain, endorphins can make you feel euphoric. The amount of endorphins released by the body varies from person to person. 

Although people with multiple tattoos agree that it is addictive, their reasons for the addiction vary. 

Tandalya has 14 tattoos and says that she uses the tattooing experience as a stress reliever. Natalie, an UMSL student with 2 leg tattoos, states that she uses the tattooing process as a way “to step out of depression”. Tony, who has full body tattoos, says he got multiple tattoos to balance out the art on his body. Rosemary attributes her multiple tattooing, currently 7, as a form of expression that allows her to rebel in an acceptable manner.

The tattoo industry is growing with over 15,000 tattoo parlors within the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report. Tattoo artist are receiving positive publicity by sporting their talent on popular television shows, like Miami Ink and LA Ink. 

A 2003 Harris Poll report indicated that about 40 million Americans have at least one tattoo compared to only 10 million Americans in 1936. More recently, a 2006 study by the Pew Research Center found that around 36% of Generation Next (born between the years 1981-1988) and 40% of Generation X (years 1966-1980) have at least one tattoo.

Generation X and Generation Next are bombarding the tattoo parlors. Wherever there is a gathering, tattooing is sure to be a conversational piece. Regardless of the tremendous pain that they claim to feel, a lot of people from this age group end up with multiple tattoos. With this growing fad some are wondering if tattooing is a true addiction, due to an endorphin rush, or because they just like it. 

The patrons at T-Dogg all admit that they did feel a rush either during or after the tattooing process, but the rush isn’t intense enough to make tattooing an addiction, they say.


  1. I believe that tattoos are not addicting. They are a way to express yourself. Its their bodies and they should be allowed to do whatever they want. If it makes them happy then they should be able to do it. I don’t have any tattoos but I plan on getting one. Anyway I love the article and I plan reading more about it.

  2. Hey Tonya I like this its very interesting because I just got my first tattos this year and I want more tattos (designs) because I think that its nice.:smile

  3. Overall this was a very interesting article but I personally wouldn’t get a tattoo because it seems like there could be an addiction forming. But while I was reading I noticed that a few things were not clearly explained and that some of the references were not able to be recognized of who those people were and how they were important to the story.

  4. I think this article is very interesting. I had no idea that getting a tattoo releases endorphins. This article leaves me wanting to know more!

  5. To me it was good. It shows me facts and what people thing abot tattos. Mrs.BArnes this was a very good job yuh did i give you an A .:gamba:ak

  6. Overall this was a very interesting article but I personally wouldn’t get a tattoo because i dont really need one nice work you did im proud of you Ms.Barnes

  7. Very Interesting Article, iet makes you want to read more about the subject. well written. i belive that tattoos could have have alot of danger involved. Be careful the place you choose to go to.

  8. In my opinion I feel that it is a hobby for some people. Tattooing is just a way to express yourself. Endorphin is probably like nicotine its probably addictive. Most people I know is pain tolerant and it makes them feel better. We are in the U.S. and its your body. I dont agree with it really but to tell you the truth its not my problem. With that being said just ask yourself, why would you put a bumper sticker on a Bentley.

  9. Getting tattoos can be addicting in a way but i believe a person has the right to do what they please with their body. This is a way for someone to express themselves using their body. I dont believe in people who judge someone by all the tattoos they may have, but i think people could make better choices about what they get. I respect those who have a meaning but those who just get things without any reasoning its kind of dumb. The main people who do those thngs get it on their neck of on their wrist when you do that its almost impossible to cover up. Ms.Barnes I expected a long drawn out article but this was actually interresting we should do this more often in class.:gamba:smile

  10. I have one tattoo and I love it. Everytime I look at it I feel like I need another one to balance it out. It hurts so bad but it feels so good.:arhh

  11. i love tattos but my mom doesnt like them she says that there destroyeing our bodys but i have only 1 were nobody can see it ..some people have too many tattos and get out of control with them..thats unnesssary to me.

  12. _’ I have one tattoo and I am looking forward to get many more. I think that tattoos do not hurt but people say it depends on where you get it at and whether or not your scared of needles. If you do not have a tattoo I think that you at least just get one to try it.!

  13. Tought the article was awesome.But my opinion on getting tattoes is that we really dont suppose to be harming our body because that is a sin.But people doi it anyway and plus i think its plain pointless and ugly to me.

    • great atricle……i want to do more research on tattooing and bodyart and when i got my first tattoo i felt alot of pain but when it was over i wanted more!!

  14. i completly agree that tattos are adicting b/c when i got my first tattos at t-doggs ive been dieing to go back once u start u will be ADDICTED:smile:ak:smile#YOUNG MONEY

  15. good artilcle ms.barnes it made4 me want to do more research about tattos and bodyart when i first got my tattoos i felt mostly pain then i also felt that rush and wanted more

  16. Overall this was a very interesting article but I personally wouldn’t get a tattoo because i dont really need one nice work you did im proud of you Ms.Barnes Very Interesting Article, iet makes you want to read more about the subject. well written. i belive that tattoos could have have alot of danger involved. Be careful the place you choose to go to.

  17. I believe that tattoos help express individuality in ways speaking an dressing wont. As a person with tattoos my tattoos have meaning an I believe that it isn’t a fad. More or less a movement after my first tattoo i was in pain but in my mind i said this is only the beginning. I will have my message left in this world wether it be in history or my body but i felt as if i had made my mark on our world. To show my tattoos is a daily ritual so that i can show my mark an express the movement in which tattoos are booming an prospering. As it being addictive it is no one has just one you want to express all over.

  18. i do think that tattoos are addicted because i have eight tattoos and i plan on gettin more! But every sents i got my first tattoo i wanted to get more! Alot of people say that tattoos hart but i dont think they hart at all and some say they hart and it depends on were you get them at but i don’t think so at all. I think that everyone should get aleast one tattoo!

  19. I have 1 tattoo i regret getting it done just wanting to have 1 but sometimes I feel the urge to get more but i know that tattoos will destroy my future because some jobs dont allow tattoos sooo im staying away from the tattoo partlors this was an intersting article…people should research more about tattoos before getting them done.

  20. I feel like this article was very good. It told me alot about tattoos that I didnt know me personally i think that tattoos are kind of addictive. I dont have any tattoos at the moment but i will be sure to get some in the future. Overall this was a great article Gpod Job Mrs.Barnes keep up the good work

  21. this was a great article, but i personnaly plan on getting my whole body inked up! well when im out of school and have a descent job.

  22. This is a way for someone to express themselves using their body. I think that tattoos are an art and a way to stand out from everyone else. Allthough the body is already a beautiful thing tattos add another perspective to look at :smile

  23. i have a tattoo nd every tyme ii look at it ii want another one but ii jusx dnt wat ii want …but ii dnt think they are addictive…can uue hlp me

  24. Great article but I truly believe that most people get tattoos to express themselves and for the enjoyment of the pain.

  25. I have one tattoo and I love it. When I look at it I feel like I need some more to balance it out. It hurts a little but it feels so good.

  26. I feel that tattoos goes both ways it can be addictive but also be a hooby but I honestly think most people get it for the love of the art.

  27. I Really Like This Article I Think Tattoos Are Very Addicted From My Experience I Have Three And I Am Planning On Getting More. Tattoos Are Addictive Because Of The Feeling And The Pain. This Is A Great Article To Tell People About Tattoos. Good Job Mrs.Barnes

  28. [b]I dont really believe that tattoos are addictive I just believe since your telling yourself that you think that I just think people fall in love with the attention they get from them and that makes them want more.[/b]

  29. I feel that this was a good article.It told some things I didnt know like u get a rush from gettin one n I think it is addictive cause if you keep going back for more then your addicted.

  30. tattoos are addictive for some people because when you get your first tattoo you just gotta go get some more.When people get a tattoo they eitha have a person to have memories for that special some one in there family or it could of been there boyfriend/girlfriend but Ms.Barnes i really love the article.nice work

  31. Mrs. Barnes I enjoyed your article. I did not know there was a science to why people keep coming back. Besides people who are masochistic. I think people like tattoos because they proved they can get through the pain and their tattoo is a lifelong symbol of this. However I do not think they think ahead to the future when they need to go to a job interview or when they are old in age. It is something you carry with you for the rest of your life.

  32. I found getting tattooed really kind of relaxing… the lyric on the forearm didn’t hurt, but as it got close to the wrist for the next tattoo it only stung a bit but it was bearable. I don’t know if I felt so much of a rush…felt more like I was in a relaxed haze and because it didn’t hurt me, I was like, well, I’ll definitely come back soon! A week later I was wanting to book it again, got my next one booked in for the end of this month. Maybe it’s relaxing (to some people at least, it was also relaxing for my friend) because of the stress release factor?

    • I had one done on the side of my hand up to the side of my wrist. The guy told my bf it wud hurt more than his and i was nervous then. he started nd i thought god this is gonna hurt. After about 5 mins i guess my endorphins kicked in nd didnt really feel pain, it sounds strange but i felt calm but really alert at the same time. Gonna book my 2nd tattoo for on the bk of my neck goin down onto my back. its true wot people say,your first tattoo always hurts less than u imagine 🙂

  33. This was told to me, after more than a few drinks:"Tattooing my ex-wife I found it to be a very sensual experience. And she clearly kicked on it and lost controle over her natural desires, while being tattooed !"
    I remember it clearly.
    My own experience agrees with that.