Addiction And Entitlement: What’s The Connection?

For non-addicts, the behavior and patterns of addicts is nothing short of a complete conundrum. Addicts seem to lack all reason and logic and hardly pay much attention to the norms of society, especially as their drinking and/or drug use becomes progressively life-consuming. Non-addicts, unfamiliar with these patterns, may take the addict’s words or actions personally, not understanding that they are simply acting like an addict. But that doesn’t always make it easier.

Addicts are hard to predict, and the character defects will manifest uniquely for each person. But there are a few traits that seem to hold across the spectrum, regardless of the drug of choice. Many families have, of course, noticed that addicts tend to be deceptive, which may lead to the assumption that all alcoholics are liars and that this is something they are doing intentionally. Experience shows, however, that the addict becomes less capable of distinguishing fact from fiction as the addiction progresses. And when in pursuit of the drug or behavior they need to “survive,” the distinction is even less important.

Why Do Addicts Have A Sense Of Entitlement?

Why do Addicts Feel Entitled - ChristianDrugRehab.comAnother common trait that tends to baffle friends, spouses, parents and siblings of addicts is the tendency toward a sense of entitlement. Though the addict may have lost jobs or a house, may be contributing nothing financially and isn’t working hard to gain anyone’s respect, the addict seems to project a certain sense of power in what they are doing.

Naturally the family and friends of the addict, the ones who feel the brunt of the addict’s actions and decisions most acutely, will be shocked and even angered. This is natural. However, it may help to understand that this is a behavior pattern that is simply a product of addiction. While understanding the behavior doesn’t fix it, it may help family and friends to have more compassion for the addict.

In even the kindest people, addiction leads to extreme selfishness and self-centeredness. Indeed these are some of the very central characteristics of addiction. Addiction almost requires selfishness and entitlement because in the context of addiction, the highest priority is the perpetuation of the condition. If the addict is thinking about anyone or anything else, they can’t get the needed fix. Addiction is a selfish condition that requires unity of purpose and focus: obtaining the drug of choice and maintaining the high.

The Antidote To Entitlement: Sobriety And Service

Before the addict can look at cleaning up their behavior and relationships, the addictive behavior has to stop. No real healing or restoration can take place if the addict is not clean. But it doesn’t stop there; getting “dry” is not enough.

Christian drug rehabs not only help addicts get sober, they also work holistically to help addicts examine the underlying causes of addiction while looking at the character defects that fed (or were fed by) the addiction. As addicts come to know God in recovery, they begin to see how the addiction has impacted and hurt the people they care about. They see how their selfishness and sense of entitlement put everyone else quite low on the list of priorities.

Sobriety and recovery also provide an antidote to the entitlement that so often accompanies addiction: service. The 12-step program has always been based in service for this very reason. Addicts are naturally selfish, and in order to live in sobriety, this selfishness and entitlement must be replaced with service and generosity. It is a vital key to lasting sobriety.

Believe In Yourself And Your Addicted Loved One…God Does

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