These Are Common Patterns of Substance Abuse to Know

What Are Common Patterns of Substance Abuse?

An addiction disorder is defined as a condition where a person feels compelled to do something like use drugs or drink alcohol and cannot stop. They experience a negative impact on their lives, including career or school, relationships, and health. They do not understand there is a problem or the extent to which it goes, but they are locked in this unhealthy pattern that is not only toxic, it may also be dangerous. Some common patterns of substance abuse may pop up, which are necessary to understand in regards to how a person can cope with them.

Common Patterns Emerge

People often display certain patterns of behavior when they are using drugs. Addiction can be frustrating and make a person feel sad and hopeless. One thing that defines the behavior of a person with an addiction is their actions towards others. Below is an overview of some of the behaviors to notice if a person is struggling with addiction:

  • Deceit or lying: people with addiction cover their tracks. They will say or do anything to hide their use or money being used for this. A lot of people dealing with this behavior recognize lying some of the time, but not realize it is all related to drug or alcohol abuse until they figure things out later
  • Manipulation: master manipulators develop out of a need to keep the addiction going. They will keep it going so they can use drugs, drink, and not face consequences. Their brain and body crave the drugs, so they feel out of control to stop it and do anything they can to use guilt, denial, or other tactics against others. 
  • Criminal behavior: not all people with addiction become criminals. They might steal things or commit crimes. There are other ways they handle this, which is to ask others to steal for them or take things so they can keep the addiction going. Shifting blame is the name of the game for people with addiction

How to Cope

Coping with this behavior feels neglectful and abusive after awhile. The person with addiction needs serious help and may not get what they need. They do not live in reality and may perceive threats that don’t exist. Some key things to keep in mind:

  • Nobody else is the cause of the addiction
  • Codependency is real, so be mindful of this in yourself and other family members
  • Learn and educate yourself as much as possible about addiction. Organize an intervention and motivate the person to seek treatment. Stand your ground when it comes to adhering to boundaries
  • Learn what you cannot do it all and try to find support for them but recognize nothing will happen if they don’t want it to

The best thing to do is to offer support and guidance. You can offer help to them only so much until they are unable to receive it and turn you away. They are simply not ready to get help. Keep trying, stay connected, and focus on what you can do at the moment. When they are ready, they will let you know so you can plan to find support for them and offer to get them the help they need.

Oceanfront knows there is a lot of stress placed on families and friends of loved ones with addiction. We offer family counseling along with individual therapy to help you on the journey of healing with the loved one. Addiction recovery takes bravery and patience. We are here to offer a place to get well and recover from addiction for those who are ready to take the leap. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295