Treating Aggression and Addiction Together

Last Updated: February 16, 2023

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As if addiction was not challenging enough to deal with, behavioral issues thrown into the mix can exacerbate the problem. In fact, addiction and behavioral issues or mental health disorders are often intertwined with one another.

In particular, aggression and addiction are often paralleled. Professionals in the realm of addiction treatment often note associations between addiction and aggressive behavior, both of which can lead to negative repercussions.

Aggression often reveals itself in people who suffer from substance use disorder. Not only are such links observed in addicts, there are studies out there to back them up.

recent study from the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse discovered that some mice developed a susceptibility to addiction-fueled aggression when exposed to protocols that mimic human addictive behaviors.

More specifically, approximately 70 percent of the male mice chose to show aggression toward physically inferior mice, even if that meant suffering the consequences of not getting access to food as a result of their choices.

The researchers were able to make the connection between being exposed to certain conditions with a higher susceptibility to developing compulsive aggression. The conclusion made was that such susceptibility involves some of the same motivations stemming from circuitry in the brain that is disturbed in addiction, which is likely to also happen in humans. Such findings may be very helpful and useful when studying addiction and its link to compulsive aggression.

Science reveals that a correlation exists between aggression and addiction, and the inclination to be aggressive or violent might even be an important risk factor for violent attacks against others and even suicide in those who suffer from addiction.

According to an article in Psychiatric Times, about three-quarters of people entering a treatment program for addiction have demonstrated some level of aggressive behavior. Those who are not able to effectively manage their own anger often act without thinking and take out their angry outbursts on themselves, which explains a certain portion of suicides.

Further, the SAMHSA National Household Survey on Drug Use discovered that 40 percent of addicts claim to participate in some form of aggressive behavior on impulse.

People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are known for engaging in unhealthy and even dangerous behavior. Their drug of choice interferes with their ability to effectively deal with their emotions, including anger, which prompts them to reach for drugs or alcohol in an effort to numb these feelings in favor of more pleasurable ones that are often brought on when they use.

These negative emotions do not disappear, and instead, build up over time. At some point, such emotions will boil over when the addict is no longer able to keep them bottled up inside.

Addressing Aggression Can Support Long-Term Addiction Recovery

Anyone who struggles with both addiction and aggression in Ohio should ensure that both of their issues are addressed. In fact, targeting aggressive behaviors can have a positive effect on addiction and reduce the urge to use as a means to deal with built-up anger.

At Ohio drug rehab facilities, addicts who also struggle with aggression can have personalized programs designed specifically to tackle co-occurring disorders such as behavioral and mental issues along with substance abuse. These treatment centers will not only help treat the addiction but the aggressive behavior as well.

With the implementation of therapeutic counseling sessions with a licensed behavioral and mental health therapist, addicts can effectively deal with any negative emotions that may be at the root of their addiction. Since both addiction and aggression often go hand-in-hand, treating them both at the same time just makes sense.

To find a center that treats co-occurring disorders, call today to learn about admission.

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