Addictive behaviors that can cause problems for friends and family

Addiction sometimes causes people to exhibit problematic and extreme behaviors. These behaviors can cause problems for the individual’s life and may be difficult for family and friends to understand.

Learning more can help you better understand these behaviors, find support resources, and learn coping strategies.

Disturbing behaviors related to addiction

According to the American Academy of Addiction Medicine, one of the defining characteristics of addiction is that it causes people to engage in compulsive behaviors, even if these behaviors lead to negative and harmful consequences. Although addiction is not an excuse for these behaviors, it does help explain why they happen.


An addicted person may lie for various reasons. They may lie to avoid conflicts due to drug or alcohol abuse. They may also mislead friends and family because they do not want to change their behavior. This may also be a way to avoid being negative or opposed.

Although such behavior can be frustrating and destructive, it is important to remember that these lies are often motivated by feelings of shame, embarrassment, regret, and fear.

In this case, it may be helpful to be empathetic, strengthen your boundaries, and encourage your loved one to seek treatment.

Hidden addiction

People who are addicted to substances, alcohol, or behavior often conceal the nature or severity of the problem. This usually includes hiding evidence of addiction or making excuses for behaviors caused by addiction.

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People who are addicted to drugs must be cautious about storing and keeping drugs and paraphernalia (needles, pipes, etc.), and usually hide them in front of their family members. People with alcohol use disorders may hide bottles around the house. People with sex addiction may hide their pornographic content, website links, or evidence of extramarital affairs.

Respect the privacy of your loved ones, but don’t accept weak explanations or excuses when you stumble upon evidence of addiction. Acknowledge your awareness and enforce the consequences of crossing the border.


People who are addicted may also avoid talking about this issue. This is a way to put family members in a state of addiction by threatening to expose the risks of what is happening. This places a burden on whistleblowers and makes them responsible for the subsequent social humiliation of the family.

If this avoidance problem is accompanied by other problems, such as abuse, you must seek help. Break the silence and tell someone who can help.


Addicted people may also steal, usually out of a sense of despair. This may involve withdrawing money from a loved one’s wallet, using money from a joint bank account, or sometimes even more serious theft.

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Denial involves refusing to face the reality of addiction, usually by minimizing or rationalizing the problem. This denial may prevent the person from getting help and allow the addiction to continue for many years.

It is natural that change will take time and progress gradually. But if you are trapped with your loved ones, you may actually have them trapped.

Usually, only when addicts realize the consequences of losing a relationship, they will actually take action.

what can you do

You can use multiple strategies to deal with problematic addictive behaviors. It is important to take care of yourself and seek support and help.

Create and execute boundaries

The boundary is the limit you are willing to tolerate or accept in your relationship. Examples of where you might set boundaries with addicted loved ones include telling them not to drive under the influence, not allowing alcohol or drugs at home, and refusing to make excuses to cover up personal alcohol or substance use.

You can establish boundaries by first clearly explaining your expectations. Let them know that if you cross the line, you will leave the situation. Once you set these limits, it is important to follow the consequences.

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Learn more about addiction

Being educated about the effects and treatment of addiction can help you feel more knowledgeable and capable. Look for information from trusted sources that provide reliable information through science.

Some resources you might refer to include:

Seek support

Support groups and helplines can also be great resources for family and friends of addicts. These resources can connect you to information, peer support, counseling, and information about treatment.

Consider contacting organizations such as Al-Anon Family Group, Anonymous Alcoholics, Cocaine Anonymity, Narcotics Anonymity, or SMART Recovery.

Very good sentence

Dealing with the addictive behavior of a loved one can be difficult, so it is important to find a way to cope. It is also important to ensure your own well-being and safety and to seek help in times of danger.

Because addiction is a brain-based disease, it is affected by brain chemistry, genetics, experience, and other factors, so it is difficult to overcome. However, it is important to remember that addiction is treatable.

Encourage your loved ones to seek help. It is recommended to talk to their doctor as a good starting point. Their doctor can recommend treatment options, which may include medication, psychotherapy, support groups, and other rehabilitation resources.


Addictive behaviors that can cause problems for friends and family
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