How is Antisocial Personality Disorder Linked to Addiction?

Antisocial Personality and Drug Addiction - Are They Connected__

Antisocial personality disorder is a mental condition linked to abnormal thinking and perception of interpersonal relationship with other people.

Therefore, someone suffering from this can’t distinguish right from wrong, are always in trouble, and can be aggressive and violent. For example, they may be people who have difficulty holding jobs or maintaining relationships. People with antisocial personality disorder are also prone to drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.

Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder

There are some troubling behaviors which can indicate that a person has antisocial personality disorder. The following is a list of the most common ones.

  • Lack of empathy with others or what’s happening around
  • Cynicism
  • Full of negativity
  • Aggressiveness
  • Opinionated
  • Overly self-assured
  • Lack of concern for his/her future, family or friends as well as his or her behavior towards others
  • View ordinary tasks or work as less important and may refuse to do them
  • Failure to obey or follow social norms and may become public nuisance
  • Drugs and alcohol abuse and addiction is likely to happen
  • Reckless and like to engage in dangerous acts including sexual misconduct, destruction or property or committing crimes
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Why is Substance Abuse Associated With Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Research shows that they often associate antisocial personality disorder with substance abuse. This is because these individuals may do dangerous things and cause trouble to amuse themselves.  Additionally, they don’t have respect for the well-being of themselves and others. As a result, they don’t see the negative effects of drugs and alcohol abuse. Therefore, their overall perception is negative because they may develop substance abuse. Moreover, they are in self-denial about their health condition and tend to be aggressive when advised to seek help.

Treatment for Antisocial Personality Disorder and Addiction

The treatment for antisocial personality disorder can be a struggle because of many things. In fact, they don’t advise people with this to enter treatment facilities due to their troublesome behavior. Furthermore, because they have no remorse, they often put the blame on others. According to a study, treatments could be more efficient if it is a court order. Otherwise, they will never agree to try any addiction treatment program if their loved ones suggested it.

The treatment for substance abuse linked to it could also be tough for a therapist. As a result, they often recommend medication to reduce the patient’s addiction problem. Furthermore, they design the treatment programs especially to educate the person about his or her addiction and behaviors. For example, therapists might use cognitive therapy to help people with their addiction.

At the same time, a drug interventionist might help to plan and implement the treatment process. After, the interventionist will ask the family to choose a program. This could be based on the family’s budget or location. After entering the facility, the patient will go through a series of tests to verify the conditions. Consequently, once they have a proper diagnosis, they’ll design a special program to deal with the patient’s problems.

Are There Complications if We Don’t Treat a Person With Antisocial Personality Disorder?

People with this mental disorder might face the following problems if they don’t get the proper treatments:

  • High risk of drugs and substance abuse
  • Repeating crimes leading to imprisonment
  • Prone to mood swings such as irritability, depression, or anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder (BPD)
  • Narcissistic personality disorder
  • Self-harm and could lead to suicidal attempts or homicide

How can We Diagnose a Person With Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Presently, only highly trained professionals have the right to diagnose a person suspected of antisocial personality disorder. Regrettably, family physicians or GPs are not properly trained nor equipped to provide an accurate diagnosis. In fact, they cannot use laboratory or genetic tests to verify this disorder.

Causes of Antisocial Personality Disorder

According to researchers, there are no specific causes of antisocial personality disorder. However, theories point possible causes to the following factors:

  • Biological and genetic factors
  • Social factors (the interaction of the person during his or her early development phase with family members and others)
  • Psychological factors like person’s personality, environment, and ability to handle stress

In conclusion, there is no specific factor proven to cause this condition. Additionally, it might very well be a combination of all of these causes. Regrettably, research also shows the higher percentage of parents passing this disorder on to their children.

How is Antisocial Personality Disorder Linked to Addiction?

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  • There might be a third factor that causes both antisocial personality disorder and tendency to drug/alcohol abuse. Toxic exposure is correlated to numerous psychiatric disorders and impulsive behavior. Diets high in carbs and omega-6 oils can cause chronic inflammation that has many effects, including harm to brain development and functioning. High inequality mimics the stress of poverty and has been correlated to many health and psychiatric problems (see The Broken Ladder by Keith Payne and The Spirit Level by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson).

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