Navigating the Logic of an Addict
The behavior of an individual with addiction often appears irrational to their loved ones. While it is clear for all to see that that drugs or alcohol addiction is destroying the individual’s life, the individual refuses to accept they have a problem and continue to use harmful substances. For other people, who have never had to struggle with an addiction, this is illogical. However, the individual with an addiction has the ability to rationalize their behavior and explain their use. Usually, their argument is that they are not hurting anyone else. This is one of the main reasons why directly challenging the individual’s substance abuse is ineffective, because the individual has answers and reasons ready.
Inside the Irrational Mind
Those individuals who have an addiction are generally able to justify their behavior to themselves. When they face negative consequences due to substance abuse, they usually blame something or someone else. They have excuses ready for what is happening to them, but they don’t see their addictive behavior as the cause. If anything, the individual is likely to feel that their substance use is the only thing that is helping them to cope. Denial and cognitive dissonance is what makes the individual explain away their behavior and it is what can keep them trapped in addiction for years.
The Addict’s Logic
So what are some of the justifications that an individual with addiction might use to rationalize their behavior? These can include:
- They need alcohol or drugs to be able to cope with the stress in their life. It is the only dependable thing they have.
- They have bad luck. Other people cause problems for them. They don’t see their substance abuse as the real problem.
- Their friends and family are uptight and don’t know how to have fun, and that’s why they are constantly complaining about the individual’s substance use.
- People who don’t take drugs or alcohol are boring.
- Using substances means that the individual is creative.
- People who complain about their substance use should mind their own business instead of interfering in the individual’s life.
- If the individual gives up substance abuse, they will not be happy.
- Substance abuse affects other people. The individual is the exception.
Beyond the Addict’s Logic
The individual needs to see beyond their flawed logic if they want to escape the downward spiral of addiction. For most individual with an addiction, this only takes place when they have hit rock bottom and can no longer avoid the reality of their situation. This doesn’t mean that the individual needs to have lost everything to hit rock bottom. For some, losing a few, key things, like their job or their relationship will make them ready to stop.
In a lot of cases, when the individual goes to therapy or meets others who used to have an addiction and are now in recovery, they will start seeing the truth about their situation. They will start believing that there is a way out.
Do you know someone who is struggling with an addiction. Blueprints provides support for young adults facing addiction recovery. Call us today on 877-594-4901.