How Addiction Can Change Your Behaviors

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Addiction can affect brain function and affect your behavior in a way that others see as manipulation. Substance use disorder and addiction is a complex condition that affects millions of people worldwide. People with addiction become emotionally and physically dependent on the substances they consume. Chronic substance abuse can affect how your brain works — both in the short and long term. This can lead to changes in your daily behavior that others may see as a change in your personality. In this article from our Hamkade Counseling Center website, we examine behavioral changes in addiction.

Behavioral changes in addiction

Desperation to obtain this substance may lead to behaving in deceptive or fraudulent ways. The stigma surrounding drug use may also cause a person to act in a way that prevents drug use. If your loved one has a substance use disorder, learning about these changes in their behavior can help you learn how to respond appropriately.
While we are talking about people with substance use disorder using methods such as manipulation to try to control others, it is important to note that this is most likely due to changes in the brain caused by substance abuse. People with substance use disorders are not inherently “manipulative” people. And not all people with substance use disorders use manipulative tactics to control others. Some use it but have no problem with substance use.

What is the effect of drug abuse on the brain?

Behavioral changes in addiction can challenge the brain. Substance use disorder can affect the brain and behavior in the short and long term. Below we will study all of these sections.

short term changes

Taking the drug causes certain brain chemicals, including dopamine and endorphins, to be released into an area of ​​the brain called the basal ganglia. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward, which makes a person come back for more. Endorphins and other natural opioids cause euphoria. In addition, different types of drugs have different short-term effects. For example, stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine can produce a temporary state of alertness and energy.

long term changes

With increased drug and alcohol use, the brain’s reward circuitry is increasingly affected. Due to the constant flow of dopamine, the reward circuitry becomes less sensitive, which means that natural rewards may not have an effect anymore. The person begins to need the substance to feel happy and rewarded. According to research conducted in 2020, the long-term effects also extend to the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. These two areas of the brain are responsible for controlling impulses and making responsible decisions.

Can substance use disorder affect behavior?

He examines behavioral changes in addiction in this section of the article. Over time, brain damage caused by long-term drug use can have lasting effects that can affect a person’s mind and behavior in important ways. This can cause the person close to you to act in ways that were not usual, which may include manipulative behaviors. Manipulation is when a person acts in a certain way to try to control the way another person thinks, feels and acts. People with substance use disorders may use manipulative techniques because the substance they are using has affected their objective judgment and reasoning.

In addition, a person with a substance use disorder may experience withdrawal, which can be a painful and sometimes life-threatening process. For this reason, the desperation to get the money to buy more of the substance to avoid withdrawal symptoms – which may lead to this change in behavior – may begin. Manipulation can also be used to deny their drug use or to shift blame from themselves to others as a reason for their use, making them feel guilty about their behavior.

Use and manipulation of materials

Behavioral changes in addiction can be related to manipulation, which we will discuss in this section. It is not always easy to detect manipulation. But here are some common manipulation techniques. Remember that although these methods are not specific to a substance use disorder, they may be used by someone living with or without a substance use disorder.

He lies

Research conducted in 2015 showed that lying can be an important sign of frequent drug use. Some common examples you may hear from someone with a substance use disorder include:

  • “I stopped using. I will not use this money for drugs.”
  • “I didn’t drink last night. I said, ‘I don’t have a problem, you can’t fire me.'”
  • I promise to stop my behaviour. This is the last time. Just pay me for another drink.

Guilt and behavioral changes in addiction

A person with a substance use disorder may also try to feel guilt for hurting others, reminding them of what they owe you, or playing the victim. Some examples of submission to sin are:

  • “How can you do this to me?”
  • You should support me after all I did for you when you were little. “
  • If you don’t help me and I end up in prison, it will be your fault.”

Behavioral changes in addiction are very different and complex. You may find that a person with a substance use disorder is very nice or friendly, but only when they want you to act a certain way. For example, they may call you for the first time in months when they need the money. When you give them, they may go back to their normal behavior.

the silent treatment

Giving someone the silent treatment is a common technique of manipulation. This happens when a person stops talking to you, either passively or aggressively, until you act the way they want to. It is also called the “cold shoulder”. Not dealing with you is not necessarily a manipulative tactic. People may have different reasons for not wanting to interact. But when this silence is used to control you, it can be seen as a form of manipulation. If you have a problem in this area, you can contact our experts and consultants at Consultation Center.

How do you deal with manipulative tactics?

Behavioral changes in addiction are very difficult with manipulative tactics. Manipulation can be painful. But remember that it is not the fault of the one you love. Substance use can often affect a person’s mood, behaviour, judgment, and insight. If you feel that a loved one with a substance use disorder is using manipulation to control you, try to keep the following in mind.

  • Create and stick to personal boundaries: It’s important to maintain your boundaries, whether it’s learning to say “no” or setting limits on how much money or support you can give.
  • Learn about substance use disorder: When you understand that addiction is a mental illness and how it affects the brain and behavior, it may become clear why your loved one is behaving this way.
  • Keep calm: Dealing with manipulative tactics with anger can make the situation worse.
  • You are not responsible: Remember that you are not responsible for the happiness of others. The problems of your loved ones are not your fault.
  • Encouraging Healing and Support: Try to encourage your love. As long as they continue to use the substances, they may engage in manipulative behaviors.
  • Focus on self-care: Try to make sure you get enough sleep, exercise, eat nutritious meals, and connect with the people you love. Self-care is important to maintaining your health while providing support for your loved one.

A final look at behavioral changes in addiction

Substance abuse and addiction often cause people to act in ways that may manipulate their loved ones. People with addiction may use manipulative techniques to control another person’s behaviour, thinking, and feelings. They can also use it to access materials or hide the extent of their condition. No matter the reason, manipulation is not your fault or the fault of your loved one. Substance use can affect the way the brain works and lead to long-term damage that may affect their behavior and mood. If you notice that your loved one is experiencing changes in their behavior, remember that this is not their fault.

Learning more about drug use and how it affects the brain can help you understand and recognize changes in your loved one. It also helps you learn to deal with these changes while providing support. The neuroscience of substance abuse and addiction can have a special impact in the field of behavior. Evidence from neuroimaging and the relationship to treatment may work differently for all cases. In fact, it can present the treatment process in a more specific way.

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