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Psychological Risk Factors Associated with Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

After writing  about the Biological Risk Factors let us take a look at the Psychological Risk Factors associated with Alcoholism and Drug Addiction. The Psychological Risk Factors revolve around a set a mistaken addictive beliefs that using alcohol and drugs is good for me and not using these substances is bad for me. There are three other Psychological Risk Factors, namely, Confused Morality, Antisocial Personality Traits and Poor Judgement. All these can intensify the addictive beliefs. Let us look at them in some detail as this can help explain why some people become alcoholics and addicts.

The Psychological Risk Factors                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             1. Addictive Beliefs:  It is the mistaken belief that alcohol and drugs are good for me and not drinking alcohol and using drugs is bad for me.                                                                                                                                  2. Confused Morality: A lack of clarity in distinguishing right from wrong and good from bad.                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Antisocial Personality Traits: A strong need to be dishonest, challenge authority, break rules, victimize others, tendency to blame others, and a deeply held conviction that I have done no wrong until I am caught.              4. Poor Judgement: A tendency to make bad decisions that cause problems and unnecessary suffering and pain.

We shall look at these factors in more detail. As we look at these factors remember that it is a two way street. Addictive Beliefs, Confused Morality, Antisocial Personality Traits and Poor Judgement make it more likely for the person to start using alcohol and other drugs that leads to abuse and addiction. However, the reverse is also true. When High Risk People start abusing alcohol and other drugs they are more likely to develop Addictive Beliefs, Confused Morality, Antisocial Personality Traits and Poor Judgement that set them up to continue using alcohol and other drugs.

Psychological Risk Factor # 1: People at high risk of alcoholism and addiction develop and cultivate eight primary addictive beliefs. These addictive beliefs become the foundation for habitual ways of thinking, acting and feeling that justify the regular and heavy use of alcohol and other drugs. They tend to believe that alcohol and drugs are good for them because they make them feel good and improve their personality. They are seldom get over intoxicated and rarely suffer from after effects of heavy using. Everything seems fine. Their pain and problems seem to disappear. They feel they are a better person because of using alcohol and drugs and they seem to get along better with every one else. So they do not see any problem in continuing to use alcohol and other drugs. Here are the eight primary Addictive Beliefs:-                                                                                                  1. Alcohol and other drugs are good for me and not using alcohol and drugs is bad for me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Alcohol and drugs make my life worth living and without alcohol and drugs my life is not worth living.                                                                                                                                                                                                3. I need alcohol and drugs to survive and without alcohol and drugs I cannot survive.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           4. Alcohol and drug centered lifestyle is good and lifestyle based on other things is bad.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       5. Supporters of my alcohol and drug based lifestyle are my friends and people who oppose my alcohol and drug based lifestyle are my enemies.                                                                                                                           6. I need alcohol and drugs to have a good time in life and I cannot have good time without drinking and drugging.                                                                                                                                                                             7. It is Okay to use alcohol and other drugs heavily, frequently and abusively.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         8. Alcohol and drugs are safe and I will not have any problems and I will not become addicted to alcohol or drugs.

Psychological Risk Factor # 2: Confused Morality: A confused sense of morality is the second Psychological Risk Factor. People with a confused sense of morality cannot differentiate between right and wrong and do not understand the concept of good and bad. They tend to make emotional reasoning to make moral judgments. People who tend to use emotional reasoning while making moral judgments tend to believe that if it makes them feel good it must be a good thing and if it makes them feel bad then it must be a bad thing. As a result of Confused Morality people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs are unable to judge their alcohol and drug use from a moral perspective. They are often unable to see the adverse consequences of their using alcohol and drugs as bad for them. They tend to see them as a price which has to paid to have a good time. Addicted people fail to distinguish between good and evil. They do not know which things to value. They also believe that things of value should always bring them fun, excitement and thrills. They have no idea that to have things of value you must invest time and effort. They cannot see what is good  or bad about  alcohol and drug use for them and the ones they love. When they consider the balance between the good and bad aspects of their drinking and using drugs, what is the right thing for them to do.

The other two Psychological Risk Factors will be discussed in the next blog.

All the Biological and Psychological Risk Factors are explained in detail during the therapy sessions at Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic which helps the patients understand why they have become addicted to alcohol and drugs in the first place and that is why Sahyog is the Best Nasha Mukti Kendra in Delhi by far.