Understanding Addict Behavior

Understanding addict behavior is difficult because 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 addict behavior, 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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2 Responses to “ Understanding Addict Behavior ”

  1. It’s not that difficult to understand addiction when you look at it from perspective of habits. Here’s a useful link that might help http://www.psychmechanics.com/2015/01/understanding-addiction-and-common.html

  2. Hi Steve, thanks for sharing these great resources! I came across your post while I was looking for more info on the neurological processes that cause addicts to act in irrational ways. I thought you made a great point that this often results from overvaluation of immediate emotional needs, I think that’s such a great way to understand it. It really resonated with another post I came across on the fallacies of addiction (http://www.bestrehabcenter.com/blog/relationship-drug-addiction-lies-bad-behavior/) that was interesting in juxtaposition with your post. Anyway, thanks again!

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