There are different ways addiction can manifest itself, and there are differences between physical dependence on a drug and addiction.
An addiction disorder is defined as a condition where a person takes substances that are pleasurable at first, but ultimately the use of these substances is a compulsion. With an addiction disorder, there is typically an impact on nearly every aspect of their life, including their career or school life, their relationships and their health. For many people with an addiction, they don’t understand that they have a problem or the extent of their problem and its effects.
Addiction experts often point out that the behaviors of an addict aren’t because they lack morality or a strong character, but instead, they emphasize that the behavior of an addict is about a disease that’s a mental illness. When someone is exhibiting behaviors of an addict, they continue to use despite the consequences, and without intervention and appropriate treatment, it’s unlikely addict behavior will end.
Regardless of the fact that addiction is defined as a mental illness, that doesn’t mean that dealing with an addict’s behavior isn’t incredibly difficult for loved ones.
Regardless of the particular substance someone is addicted to, they often display certain addict behavior traits. These behaviors of an addict tend to be red flags to loved ones of that person that there is a problem. Addict behavior can be scary, frustrating and it can make loved ones feel sad and helpless.
Below is an overview of some of the typical behaviors of an addict:
- One of the number one things that tend to define the behavior of an addict is lying. There are many different reasons addict behavior includes lying. The first is because addicts need to cover their own They will often have to lie to cover where money went and when they were using. For a lot of people who are dealing with an addict’s behavior, lying is the first sign there is a problem.
- Manipulation is another common behavior of an addict. Addicts will say and do anything to keep fueling their addiction, and this includes manipulating the people closest to them. They may try tactics like guilt, or denial as part of their manipulation. The person who loves an addict will often fall for the delusions and manipulation of an addict because they want to believe what they’re saying so badly. Drug addicts will continue manipulating the people closest to them time and time again, and it can go on for years, without any real change in the actual addict behavior.
- Another red flag of the behaviors of an addict is criminality. Not all addicts will become criminals, but many do. They will do things like stealing in order to continue getting drugs, or they may commit crimes like forging prescriptions, depending on their drug of choice. There are also indirect criminal behaviors such as driving under the influence, or violence.
- An addict behavior that’s often seen is shifting the blame. Addicts don’t want to be responsible for their own They want things to be the fault of other people, no matter what.
Finally, unfortunately dealing with an addict’s behavior also frequently means they’re abusive. It can be physical or verbal. This isn’t because the addict is inherently a bad person, but instead, it’s often because they don’t live in reality and they may perceive threats that don’t exist.
As scary and unpredictable as the behaviors of an addict can be, how do you deal with it?
First, it’s important to realize that you are not the cause of the behavior of an addict, no matter what types of manipulation ploys they may use on you. It’s also important when learning about the behaviors of an addict that you understand the reality of the situation. Don’t let yourself get drawn into the fantasy world of the addict.
Once you have accepted the reality of the situation, you can begin dealing with an addict’s behavior by setting boundaries. Boundaries are extremely important for the addict, but also for your own well-being. You should be clear, concise and consistent.
You should also realize that you can’t learn how to change addictive behavior in another person. All you can do is organize an intervention, try to motivate the addict to seek treatment, and to stay firm when it comes to adhering to your boundaries. You can’t change an addict or addict behavior, no matter how hard you try.
You should learn that dealing with an addict’s behavior relies on a commitment not to enable the addict, and you can never give in to manipulation. Addicts hate to hear no, but when you’re willing to say that, it’s one of the most effective ways of dealing with addicts’ behavior.
Finally, you should put your focus on taking care of yourself instead of how to change addictive behavior. Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you’re selfish, but it does mean that you are ensuring your own needs are met, even in the wake of the often highly destructive behaviors of an addict.
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The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.