Drug Addiction and Antisocial Behavior

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Last Updated on May 15, 2021 by Atif

Antisocial behavior does not necessarily indicate the presence of a personality disorder. According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Children’s Health2, antisocial activities are hostile or offensive behaviors that threaten others’ relationships. Antisocial behaviors typically begin in adolescence, and a loved one can exhibit destructive or violent behaviors from a young age.

As success in the modern world always entails prioritizing the interests of others over one’s antisocial behavior. Good people should keep open doors for the elderly, listen to others without interrupting them, give generously to charitable organizations, and otherwise act as if helping others is the primary measure of a life well-lived. People who do not like this extreme will be expected to conform to society’s standards and, if they cannot be compassionate, at least behave courteously in an antisocial behavior. However, certain individuals are unable to behave in a socially acceptable manner. Although various factors may cause their antisocial tendencies, they could be linked to substance use and violence.

Antisocial Behavior Syndrome in Adults

Adult antisocial behavior syndrome refers to antisocial behavior in adults who did not have CD as children. NESARC found 3.6% of adult U.S. citizens have ASPD, 1.1% have CD, and more than 13% have AABS. This was the largest study to date on co-occurring psychological disorders among U.S. adults.

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Dr Nora D. Volkow responded to the NESARC findings, saying, “There is a significant and positive association between alcohol and drug abuse, as well as conditions like antisocial personality disorder, conduct disorder, and antisocial behavior in adulthood, suggesting that such prevention and treatment efforts should apply an integrated perspective. According to the researchers, if the antisocial syndromes are treated, particularly those that develop in adolescence or that persist over time, during the detoxification process, we may be able to significantly reduce the incidence of substance abuse and addiction.”

“Antisocial syndromes, especially those that emerge in adolescence or persist, may be responsible for significant decreases in drug abuse and addiction.”

Director Dr Nora D. Volkow

According to Mariani et al., they compared the rates of rheumatoid arthritis, chromopoietin, and substance abuse in people with cocaine-addiction versus cannabis-addiction who underwent drug treatment. An assessment of antisocial behavior in 241 outpatients was made using a systemic interview. According to the results of this study, AABS is significantly higher among people with SUD than ASPD in the sample. 30% of the participants passed the AABS test, whereas 17.3 percent of the participants passed the ASPD test. Among the participants in this study, it was uncommon for a child to be diagnosed with CD but did not go on to develop ASPD in adulthood.

The researchers. said that the study had found that cocaine and cannabis users exhibited equal levels of antisocial behavior . Also, they found that AABS was ineffective in reducing the length of time people spend in drug rehabilitation facilities. Interestingly, this study demonstrated that while antisocial personality traits can lead people to use illicit drugs, drug use can also promote antisocial behavior leading to antisocial behaviour. The disparities between ASPD and AABS in opioid treatment should be examined in future studies.

Definition of Antisocial Behavior

Almost every act that prioritizes an individual’s needs over a group’s needs is antisocial. It was reported in a TIME article that researchers calculated the number of times people, if they tried to occupy two seats on a bus, this is considered highly antisocial behavior. Since this form of conduct may prevent a tired person from having a seat, the antisocial mark may be appropriate. However, it must be stated that this is virtually a type of behavior that everyone has at least attempted to engage in some form of antisocial behavior. Putting a coat over a seat to gain a smidgeon of privacy may not be pleasant, but it is unlikely to be considered part of a dysfunctional thinking pattern.

When most people speak about antisocial behavior, they’re attempting to describe acts that go beyond what’s considered natural.

People Who Are Like This May:

  • Have an inability to empathize with others
  • They speak their minds without listening to what others have to say.
  • Feel free to disregard the rules.
  • Take advantage of others.
  • Animals that cause harm
  • Lie a lot

In some cases, the characteristics can become subtly different and may even evolve into aggressive antisocial behavior. Still, even with some of these characteristics, many people who possess at least some of these traits may have difficulty making friends and even end up in prison due to their antisocial behavior.

The Slow Onset

Most people with these traits can make lasting changes in behavior, going from extraordinary gentleness to callous cruelty to antisocial behavior within days. Instead, people who act in this manner often follow a series of steps that begin as early as childhood. According to an article published in the journal American Psychologist, the process starts with a genetic predisposition, as individuals with antisocial tendencies appear to have relatives with similar traits. As these individuals mature and display these habits, they are increasingly shunned by their peers and those in their immediate environment. Furthermore, they are prone to committing antisocial behavior in school and failing in school. People may seek out peers who use drugs or act in strange ways due to this, and they may associate with peers who do so.

This is a significant step to comprehend because it may clarify why certain people develop antisocial behavior due to their drug addiction. These children can feel misunderstood and superior to those around them, and they may form bonds with other drugs and alcohol-abusing children. They could even start dabbling in substance use and violence in no time. Spending time with other people who consider themselves outcasts will encourage antisocial behavior to continue.

According to a study published in The Academy of Management Journal, antisocial colleagues’ spending time can cause previously well-behaved employees to act in antisocial ways.

These individuals may seem to be resistant to peer pressure. If the entire group is acting badly, the antisocial behavior may become normalized behind the scenes, and the behavior may become more severe than it was initially. As long as the atmosphere also permits drug use, people can progress quickly from use to abuse because it is an antisocial behavior that is socially acceptable.

Additional Factors

Although peer pressure can play a role, it’s also possible that drug abuse stems from structural and chemical changes that lead to antisocial behavior. Research published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, for example, indicates that antisocial conduct disorder sufferers often suffer from a deficit in the prefrontal cortex that is related to antisocial behavior. This is the part of the brain responsible for synthesizing information and putting together a fast and appropriate response. People cannot decide the best course of action if that part of the brain is malfunctioning. Because their minds are not functioning at full capacity, they cannot control their antisocial behavior.

This personality disorder is known as impulsivity, and it plays a role in drug abuse and addiction. Impulsive individuals may do well to adjust their medication dose in the present to compensate for the risk of future antisocial behavior. Still, they may be unable to weigh the benefits from a current dosage against the consequences of increased antisocial behaviors in the future. When these impulsive people see something they want, they’ll do whatever it takes to get it, regardless of the consequences. Since they lack the willpower to resist their cravings, people like this can take drugs repeatedly, with little time between doses of antisocial behavior.

When paired with addictive substances, this trait can be lethal as they both erode the prefrontal cortex, which results in even more antisocial behavior. People who use these drugs can become much more impulsive than before they started experimenting, and they may be unable to see how they can improve their lives. They aren’t in control of their decisions.

Antisocial behavior is exacerbated by school failure and a lack of school attendance. Students who felt more related to their schools and cared for by their teachers are more academically driven and receive better grades. Students who feel good about their schools are less likely to engage in problem behaviors such as delinquency and antisocial behavior.

Destructive Route

If left untreated, opioid addiction can worsen people’s antisocial behaviours. They could be much more impulsive, able to do things they would never have thought of before. This may lead to violent actions against oneself or others in some situations. In certain circumstances, this may lead to criminal activity such as fraud or animal cruelty. These activities could result in imprisonment, and the penalties could be severe.

People suffering from these illnesses can also feel more distant and lonely, which may prevent them from recovering. Connecting with others and knowing how they think and what they require is key to breaking an antisocial behaviour trend. When people misuse drugs, they can become engulfed in their fog of intoxication, unable to communicate with others or even see them at all, preventing them from making the connections that could help them recover.

According to a study published in Psych Central, antisocial habits fade with time, with the most severe symptoms disappearing when an individual hits 40 or 50. However, most people will accept that 50 years of life will cause significant harm and that people with ongoing drug addictions may continue to act in many ways after the candles on their 50th birthday cake have been blown out. 

It’s just not the kind of conduct that should be tolerated in the hopes of it going away on its own. Instead, it’s the kind of behaviour that needs to be approached head-on and in a constructive way.

Taking Measures to Lower the Risks

Addiction impairs a person’s ability to adhere to social expectations, while antisocial behaviors contribute to a lack of empathy for others and criminal behavior. Basically, it exacerbates antisocial personality disorder symptoms and leads to more severe antisocial behavior, such as illegal conduct, abusive behavior, and disrespect for others’ rights.

A child’s self-regulation ability is a primary risk factor for problem activity. The ability to monitor and manage impulsive behavior and emotion regulation makes children more susceptible to drug use, antisocial behavior, poor academic performance, and poor behavior. Bad regulation is likely to correlate with other risk factors (for example, youth with poor regulation skills may be less able to withstand peer pressure).

A person suffering from drug abuse and antisocial behavior will gain essential life skills if they are treated simultaneously. It also lowers the risk of illegal activity or risky behaviour, which benefits a loved one’s health and well-being.

According to the University of North Carolina5, drug misuse makes antisocial tendencies more serious, preventing a loved one from desisting from illegal activities. When a loved one seeks clinical care for addiction or anti-social behavior, he discovers better ways to deal with the condition’s effects and starts to change his antisocial behavior. Professional therapy gives a loved one the tools they need to move forward and make positive changes.

Approach with Caution

People who engage in antisocial behaviors are used to using drama and coercion to achieve their goals, so it’s not shocking that they will respond in unappealing ways when confronted with their actions.

People Like This can Express their Dissatisfaction in a Variety of Ways, Including:

  • A scream
  • Hitting the goal
  • Implying that the speakers are deceiving
  • Leaving the room

It could be beneficial to hire an interventionist. Specialized in addiction, these professionals know how to engage clients in a discussion that is cheerful and caring instead of hurting and damaging antisocial behavior. These experts may also help inform the family about addiction’s complexities before the conversation begins. They are aware of the emotions the person they love might be experiencing. If the conversation goes in the wrong direction and the individual starts misbehaving, the interventionist should provide leadership and guidance about antisocial behavior.

The family should enroll the individual in a recovery program that can improve after a successful intervention. It’s tempting to concentrate solely on the addiction at this point because it’s the issue that’s causing the family the most pain. Still, it’s important to note that antisocial behavior is also present underneath drug use and abuse. In some instances, the behavior is caused by a diagnosable type of mental disorder, which must be handled.

A battery of mental health assessments may be given to the individual at starting a treatment program. Professionals can discover that the individual has an antisocial personality disorder, schizophrenia, or even depression at the end of this testing period. With this diagnosis, a comprehensive recovery plan may be devised to resolve all individual concerns.

Dual Diagnosis services like this may be perfect for the person you care about, but finding one on your own may be difficult. We will assist you. Please contact us on our toll free number 615-490-9376 to help you find the best facility for the person with antisocial behavior.