How Addiction and Nonconformity Are Too Often Connected To Each Other

Nonconformity is a common trait for many people at different stages of life, and it’s certainly not always a bad thing. Sometimes it can be healthy and even beneficial to rebel against people, institutions, and ideas. The issue, though, is when nonconformity leads to more damaging problems, as in this case, substance abuse and addiction.

Nonconformity, very simply, is the failure or refusal to conform to defined societal standards. Those who fail to conform are typically considered deviant, or relatively criminal or mentally ill, depending on the context. There are many reasons for nonconformity, but for many people, it is quite common to go through a period in their lives where they wish to be different, or buck major societal trends and customs. For addicts in a Florida drug rehab center, though, the desire for nonconformity runs a bit deeper.

Nonconformity is very common among addicts, as these people tend to already be predisposed to break the rules of society in favor of seeing themselves as rebels and forging their own paths. Not every addict has this personality, of course, but many seek to shed societal norms either consciously or subconsciously, and this desire is almost exacerbated by their desire to use drugs and alcohol to prove their status as a nonconforming “other” among the normal people in society.

Unfortunately, nonconformity can then be a major challenge for former addicts who are trying to break the cycle of substance abuse and get clean. For many, years of substance abuse has led them to see and use their nonconformity as a relative coping mechanism, legitimizing their drug use by seeing themselves as different, and even terminally unique. That pattern plays out in the lives of addicts who relapse into substance abuse problems when it becomes clear to them that they are not achieving a level of uniqueness or nonconformity like they are accustomed to while they go through rehabilitation and recovery.

For many alcohol addicts, nonconformity that is not checked during treatment can lead to something called dry drunk syndrome, where the former addict is physiologically clean from substances, but their behavior suggests otherwise. These people, while no longer abusing drugs or alcohol, still go through appalling behaviors in the name of nonconformity and in a cry-out to be unique. It is critical that for these individuals, addiction therapists take special care in treatment and rehabilitation to promote nonconforming behaviors and unique personalities in a healthy, sustainable light.

Nonconformity can surprisingly be one of the real stumbling blocks relative to seeking treatment for substance abuse, but for individuals bent on recovering from their problems and surrounded by a team of medical and psychological professionals, nonconformity can become a thing of the past and a trait that does not weigh down the former addict on their road to recovery.


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