Understanding Why Addicts Act the Way They Do

Addicts act irrationally when it comes to drugs — they continue to use them obsessively and their use escalates as they develop greater and greater tolerance.

For their families and friends who don’t have drug problems, it’s hard to understand why. It’s even harder to watch their downhill slide. It’s extremely painful and baffling to see someone you love descend into the depth of addiction, a decline if left untreated that sooner or later results in death. It’s like watching a slow-motion suicide. And sometimes it’s not so slow.

Addicts act irrationally because the disease skews their motivations. They over-value immediate emotional needs — and the drugs that meet those needs — and under-value the rational consequences of drug abuse.

To understand why addicts act the way they do it helps to understand how they feel as addiction takes over their lives. For details on how they feel, both during their descent and in and after treatment, click on The Addict Experience.

 

For the next article in the For Addicts’ Loved Ones series click here.

 

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