Bullying and Addiction

Bullying, an altogether too common experience for adolescents and teenagers in school, leads to substance use for both the victim and the bully. The harrowing effects of bullying push victims to find solace in drugs, while bullies themselves may be prone to substance use due to troubled home lives or a possible proclivity for risk-seeking.


It’s understandable why victims of bullying would turn to drugs. When they must deal with torment and terror every single day, drugs can take away the pain. Kids get beaten down and told that they don’t matter, and these ideas have horrific, long-term effects on people, including low self-esteem and lack of self-worth. Bullying during youth can also cause lifelong trauma that results in emotional issues and even mental illness, both triggers for drug use. Ending bullying early and assisting kids in receiving treatment in addiction treatment centers can help them get on the right path again and renew their sense of self-confidence.


Surprisingly, bullies themselves are at risk of drug use too. A study that surveyed nearly 75,000 middle and high school students found that kids who bullied others were more likely to use substances than non-bullies. 11.4% of middle school bullies and 31.7% of high school bullies reported marijuana use, compared to 1.6% and 13.3% of non-bullies, respectively. So what causes bullies to use drugs? Researchers posit that both bullying and substance use are deviant behaviors, and an underlying link for both may be poor impulse control or risk-seeking. Bullies are also often bullied themselves or dealing with issues at home, such as abuse, lack of attention, or entitlement. If not addressed during adolescence, these behaviors can escalate into addiction and treatment in an addiction recovery facility.


Much like addiction itself, bullying can be curbed by protective factors or encouraged by risk factors. For example, having strong family bonds, where kids can talk about what they’re going through, helps kids process and learn healthy behaviors, and good discipline teaches kids that certain actions are inappropriate. An interest in school and learning and a positive group of friends who don’t bully also protect kids against bullying, while early aggressive behavior and an environment of poverty, crime, and rampant drug use are warning signs for later addiction. Education, prevention, and awareness are key for stopping both bullying and addiction. Many drug rehab centers have programs for families and young people to help them break free from the effects of addiction.


If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, please call or email our compassionate representatives from Right Path Drug Rehab to learn about our luxury drug rehab program where clients recover in privacy and peace. With an experienced, caring staff who are qualified to treat dual diagnosis, our clients’ recovery is our highest priority. Clients participate in group and one-on-one counseling sessions, cultivate a supportive network of sober peers, and uncover the underlying causes of their addiction. When leaving treatment, clients are equipped with skills to cope with cravings and avoid relapse. Please contact us today to turn your life around.

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