Is antisocial behavior associated with addictive behavior?

A sociopath is a person who has little regard for the feelings of others. Such a person not only disregards the feelings of others, but also tends to take perverse pleasure in causing hurt to others. People with sociopathic tendencies are known to break laws and bend rules in order to get their way. Unfortunately, while the arrogance and cruelty of sociopaths are highlighted, it is generally overlooked that even people with this kind of personality disorder need love and affection. Owing to their repelling nature, most people generally avoid having friendly terms with a sociopath. Thus, lack of nurturing relationships and bonds drive most sociopaths toward depression. They are also most likely to suffer from guilt and often feel they are inferior to others because of their inability to get along.

Studies have shown that children with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) receiving therapy are able to forge loving ties with peers and family in future. However, most of the times, the disorder is not diagnosed until it is too late. This is because adolescence is a developing phase, when the cognitive and emotional faculties are still being formed. ASPD is generally diagnosed late when the damage is already done.

People with ASPD prone to develop substance abuse

As the tendency to take risks is significantly higher in sociopaths, there is also an increased inclination toward indulging in substance abuse. Both risk-taking behavior and substance abuse result from changes in the same pathways of the brain. It is also quite possible that a family history of substance abuse is a trigger for addiction in such patients. At times, alcohol and other illegal substances are used as a means to cope with the emotional void and pain associated with ASPD. One of the biggest challenges that a person could face while confronting a sociopath is making him or her understand that both addiction and antisocial behavior can lead to drastic consequences.

Confronting such individuals on their substance abuse problem is an uphill task since they often resort to unruly behavior to counteract the allegations. Some of the key tactics used by sociopaths are:

Screaming and hitting out: Most sociopaths excel at hiding their true personalities. They are glib talkers and are quite skilled at camouflaging their true personalities and intentions. Most sociopaths will reveal their true colors when threatened. As questioning their alcohol or substance abuse is tantamount to an act of aggression, they are likely to refute it by screaming or hurling abuses, as well as hitting out at the other person.

Lying and making excuses: Getting a person with ASPD to open up about his or her addiction is difficult. As most sociopaths are quite adept at the art of making excuses, one has to be careful while dealing with them.

Although it is necessary to be non-confrontational while approaching a sociopath with a substance abuse problem, one should also avoid being cowed down. Thus, it is important to encourage a person with ASPD to get enrolled for a therapy and achieve long-term recovery.

Seeking professional intervention

Some of the traits, such as alcohol and substance abuse, impulsivity, aggression and emotional pain, exhibited by sociopaths can be eradicated with the help of psychotherapy, psychopharmacotherapy and neurofeedback. In many instances, correctional therapies and positive reinforcement have provided significant benefits, helping patients to control their lives better. Timely intervention and therapies can treat addictions to various substances.

If you or your loved one is addicted to any kind of drugs and is suffering from an underlying mental health problem, contact the Dual Diagnosis Helpline to know more about dual diagnosis rehab centers in your vicinity. Our certified representatives available at our 24/7 helpline number 855-981-6047 can guide you to the most reliable dual diagnosis facilities. You may also chat online with our experts to seek immediate assistance.

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