Addiction is a problem that affects millions of people every day. Most people are still unaware of addiction around them or what to do when they experience it, even though it is highly prevalent. Addiction is considered a chronic relapsing brain disease in various corners of study. This is characterized by compulsive drug searching and consuming behaviors. Many addicts become shells of themselves after extended periods of substance abuse. Addicts entire being is to continue to consume drugs, which means they throw all other responsibilities and characteristics aside. Addiction is characterized by lying, manipulation, criminal behavior, blame, and abuse.
Common Behavior Traits of Addiction
Addicts must spend enormous amounts of time getting and consuming drugs. This is time that they would normally be spending doing their regular activities, hobbies, and responsibilities. They must lie about where they were and what they were doing. The lying starts rather mildly, but quickly accelerates into trouble. They must lie about several hours of time they were missing and about the several hundred, even thousands, of dollars that went missing.
Addiction causes people to act destructively. Family and friends will only push to make the individual happy, but the addict will only push further into their addiction. Drugs and/or alcohol control their lives. Addicts feel that they need drugs to feel normal and to function; therefore everything they do is to get more drugs. Addicts are excellent manipulators. They have the ability to pin loved ones against one and other or even an individual’s good intentions against themselves.
Drug and alcohol abuse is illegal in one way or another. The very nature of addict’s actions is illegal, but they will continue to participate in illegal activities. This is not true for every addict, but it is a common pattern. Drug addicts are likely to begin selling and manufacturing drugs; both as a way to have drugs and make money for drugs. They may begin stealing from friends and family, but ultimately whatever they must do to get more drugs they will. Individuals addicted to prescription drugs will steal from others or participate in ‘doctor shopping’, where they visit various physicians to get an excess of pills.
Addicts are irresponsible. They will do whatever is necessary, whenever necessary to get and consume more drugs. Addicts place blame on everyone else around them; nothing is ever their fault. If they get fired, it is the fault of the boss. If their significant others leave them, it was not because of the addict. The first step to getting treatment for addiction is accepting blame and responsibility because addicts do not take responsibility for what happens to them.
In many cases addiction often leads to abuse. Drugs and alcohol alter the way they see and interpret the world. Drugs change the way their brain and bodies function, which can lead them to be abusive. Delusional thinking is common in addicts; therefore they often believe things around them to be threatening, dangerous or malicious. Shifting blame can lead to verbal and physical abuse. Loved ones of addicts are often the target for these abuses. The compulsion to get and consume more drugs is powerful and addicts will do whatever they have to so they can continue to abuse drugs.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction getting help is important. The best thing for family and friends of addicts to do is to get educated on addiction. It is a complex problem that requires a complex and unique solution. Speaking with a professional is best. The most important action for loved ones to take is keeping the rest of the family safe and happy. If that means removing the addict from their lives temporarily, then so be it.