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addiction behavior traits

What Are Some Drug Addict Behavior Traits?

Drug dependence involves physical, mental, and spiritual damage. Drug addiction gradually increases, and it can be quite telling. All drug addicts exhibit similar characteristics. These are known as drug addict behavior traits that might indicate someone is struggling with substance abuse. 

Of course, not everyone who exhibits these behavior traits will indeed suffer from addiction. But, they’re more likely to have a compulsive personality that could lead to addiction. 

Factors That Influence Addiction

While there’s a myriad of reasons for addiction, there are two main factors that influence addiction. Genetics plays a huge role in childhood and adolescent development. A family history of addiction makes it much more likely a child will end up addicted to themselves.

Science has discovered a direct link between addiction and genetics. Genetics accounts for approximately 50% of an individual’s likelihood to be an addict.

Another factor is trauma. According to the National Trauma Consortium, 90% of female alcoholics were physically, emotionally, or sexually abused as children.

Children growing up in unstable homes often don’t learn healthy coping mechanisms. Because the child never learned how to deal with struggles in a healthy way, they’re prone to turn to drugs and alcohol as a solution to problems.

Individuals who have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are at risk for addiction as well. People living with PTSD have been known to use drugs and alcohol to numb anxiety, fear, and emotional pain.

Characteristics of Drug-Dependent People

Someone struggling with drug and alcohol addiction can quickly become an expert in hiding it from family and friends. Some noticeable characteristics of drug-dependent people include:

  • Chronic, progressive, and relapsing addiction
  • Denial of their struggle
  • Continuous lying and deceit to maintain their addiction
  • Continuation despite negative consequences
  • Noticeable changes in normal behavior
  • Inability to cope with life stresses
  • An inexplicable need for freedom and autonomy
  • Breakdown of social and religious values

Most Common Drug Addict Behavior Traits

Once someone becomes an addict, even if they’re functional addicts, certain behavior traits come to surface and show their true colors. Beyond their impulsive and compulsive behavior, some characteristics can quickly go unseen if those around them are not paying close attention. 

Compulsive Lying

First of all, an addict continues to lie to themselves regularly. As the addiction progress, lying, stealing, and violence become a regular feature. These behaviors can ruin family relationships and even social connections. The drug abuser starts to weaken his friendship with non-abusers, breaks promises, and lies.


As addiction progresses, addicts start to neglect their self-care and responsibilities. Drugs become their priority, and the physical and mental effects of drugs can make it difficult to manage everyday responsibilities. After a while, it’s common for drug and alcohol addicts to neglect self-image, hygiene, and even their family, work, and school responsibilities. 

Criminal Activity

Drug and alcohol addiction can be a very costly disease to maintain. Even when they choose cheap drugs, addicts often miss payments, lack employment, and struggle to make ends meets. The drug abuser spends all their money on drugs and alcohol. 

As the need for drugs increases, they spend more money, eventually leading to debt and borrowing and selling of goods from home, workplace, and school. Drug abusers become involved in many illegal activities such as street crimes, violence, extortion, and even murder.

Blaming Others

Perhaps one of the most tell-tale signs of addictive behavior is blaming. As drug addicts try to escape reality, unable to see their rationalizations, they often blame those around them. Those struggling with addiction blame their behaviors on bad luck, life circumstances, their troubles, or even someone else for pushing them into addiction. 

Manipulative Traits

Most people surrounding an addict will do anything to help them get better. However, addicts exhibit manipulative personality traits that can wreak havoc on the family and social relationships. Addicts are likely to use their manipulative skills to get money from friends and family members to maintain their addiction. They can use these to retain control and make those around them they” stop using drugs when, in reality, they have no intention of breaking their habit.

Other common drug addict behavior traits:

  • Perfectionists
  • Black and white thinker
  • Risk-taker
  • Prone to anxiety
  • Impulsive
  • Low self-esteem
  • Arrogant
  • Resentful
  • Angry
  • Demanding
  • Non-conformist
  • Restless
  • Irritable
  • Discontent
  • Victim mentality
  • Fearful
  • Defensive
  • Withdrawn 

The Downside of Drug Addiction

The effects of drug dependence cause physical, mental, economic, and social problems. Effective treatment involves a multidisciplinary approach in which health, education, social welfare, community, and family components should all be incorporated.

Can I Make Someone Go to Rehab?

In short, yes, you can — at least in Florida. Someone can be involuntarily admitted into a drug rehab facility if there’s reason to believe they have substance abuse. However, forcing someone to go to drug rehab might not solve the issue. Remember, drug rehab isn’t a 100% secure plan—over 60 people who go to rehab experience a relapse after leaving the treatment center.

Most of the time, forcing someone to go to a drug rehab center is the last hope. Ideally, it would be best if you tried to talk to your family member or friend and commit to treatment. When someone is ready to change and get better, the odds of a full recovery and relapse prevention are higher.

Seek Substance Abuse Treatment Today

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse problems, ask for help immediately. Please, call Lighthouse Recovery Institute today and speak with our addiction specialists to learn more about our comprehensive and personalized addiction treatment programs.

Our addiction center offers unique and personalized treatment plans for substance use disorders because we believe no two addictions are alike. The journey towards recovery is a long one, but together and with your family and friends’ support, we’ll make it. 

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