Drug Abuse

Understanding Thinking Patterns of Drug Addiction Patients

Those addicted to drugs live in the world of delusion and denial. They have distinct thinking patterns which enable them to continue abusing drugs despite knowing the consequences. Their brains are altered by chemicals which in turn develop an urge to consume illegal substances in order to get the desired high. Such addictive thinking patterns, characterized by impulsivity and aggression, can lead to isolation and issues in relationships, thus aggravating the addiction problem.

According to the Journal of Neuroscience, substance abusers may have a cognitive problem and their brains might not be capable of completely processing long-term consequences. Thinking patterns responsible for causing addiction to drugs are:

  • inability to deny or delay self-gratification
  • Considering selfish pleasure seeking as the top priority
  • non-conformity to the society
  • debilitated sense of duties toward society
  • heightened exposure to stress and anxiety
  • blaming everyone else for the surrounding negativity

Studies have shown that three underlying mechanisms, such as denial, self-obsession and irrational decision-making, fuel such addictive thought patterns.

Identifying addictive thinking patterns

Addictive thinking patterns can have a negative impact on work, finances and relationships. Many times, substance abusers cross all boundaries to obtain illegal substances and experience the euphoria. Here are some typical traits that can be seen in almost all substance abusers:

  • Drug imparts uniqueness: Substance users believe what they are doing in life is unique, and others haven’t faced anything similar. Due to such a thinking pattern, drug abusers continue to abuse drugs, despite seeing the consequences faced by other people.
  • Drug abuse increases creativity: This is a dangerous lie that using drugs can give a boost to one’s creativity. The misconception is based on the anecdotes of several artists, writers and musicians who rose to fame because they took drugs to become creative.
  • Recovery is boring: Prolonged drug abuse throws an individual into the depths of despair where people are often unwilling to escape from addiction and find excuses to return to drugs or alcohol. Besides, those who abuse drugs often have the fear that life in a rehab will be associated with boredom.
  • Attaining sobriety is miserable: This is a type of cognitive dissonance that helps drug abusers cope with their own wretched and miserable state. Drug abusers often hide their fears with such types of rationalizations and end up comforting themselves that sobriety is beyond their reach.
  • Battling cravings is a pain: Drug abusers fear that sobriety would mean a constant battle with their urges to use drugs, and often stay away from rehabilitation programs. Due to such a mindset, recovery seems to be more of a torture than a pathway to a happy life.
  • Sobriety is impossible for chronic relapses: Often, many substance abusers with a track record of failed attempts believe that sobriety cannot be achieved by all. What they don’t realize is that failures often lead to success.
  • Drug abuse is normal: Since most drug abusers are usually surrounded by likeminded people, they have a tendency to view sober people as abnormal.

Breaking free from addiction

Prescription painkillers or other addictive medicines suppress mental, emotional and physical pain. Drug abusers run away from their problems by numbing their abilities to see the reality. Access to a proper treatment and care is a challenging task in the treatment of drug addiction. But once someone decides to get rid of his or her addiction, there are numerous resources which can help them quit.

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