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Antisocial Personality Disorder and Substance Abuse


Personality disorders can be debilitating, affecting a person’s ability to relate to those around them and move about in the world. This is exacerbated when addiction is introduced into the mix. For instance, for a person who is antisocial, becoming intoxicated can make their behaviors and thoughts all the more damaging to those closest to them. Banyan Treatment Centers Heartland is analyzing the relationship between antisocial personality and substance abuse.


Antisocial Personality Disorder vs. Psychopathy

Psychopathy is a much more well-known word when discussing the actions and behaviors of those who struggle with it. For instance, if a person commits acts of violence, especially without reason, they may be called a psychopath. While this isn’t always incorrect, their sickness is a bit more intricate than this one word. In fact, psychopathy is considered a severe form of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).

Common antisocial behaviors associated with this disorder include extreme self-centeredness and a noticeable lack of empathy. The selfish behavior that they display is rooted in their inability to view those around them as individuals with feelings. Instead, they will view these people to their own end, making it difficult for them to maintain meaningful relationships.


Other symptoms associated with ASPD include: 

  • Continually engaging in illegal actions
  • Difficulty maintaining personal obligations
  • A noticeable pattern of deceit and dishonesty
  • Aggressive or impulsive behaviors
  • Chronic lack of remorse for their actions
  • Disregard for how their actions affect others
  • Patterns of these behaviors develop during a person’s early years (before 15)


Like most mental health disorders, substance abuse can make symptoms more intense. If a diagnosed individual is unable or refuses to stop their drug or alcohol use, they may benefit from addiction treatment at our Heartland treatment center.


Personality Disorders and Addiction

Studies show that over 22% of people with a personality disorder will also struggle with some kind of substance use disorder.1 Regarding ASPD, studies found that 16% of patients struggled with antisocial personality disorder and substance abuse consecutively.2 Alcohol abuse is one of the most frequently abused substances among this demographic, which can exacerbate the aggressive or violent behaviors they exhibit.

People with ASPD can also have a unique relationship with substances like stimulants or marijuana. Regarding the former, the use of ecstasy and cocaine is common in diagnosed individuals, which can make the impulse behavior they exhibit that much more intense. Regarding the latter, antisocial individuals may have difficulty controlling the amount of marijuana they use. Additionally, the age a person starts using it is usually much earlier in people with a diagnosis. No matter the substance, someone struggling with this kind of dual diagnosis should seek out help as soon as possible.


Find Recovery With Our Illinois Drug Rehab

Substance abuse is likely to only make a person’s mental illness more unbearable. If this is the case and a person still chooses to partake, it could be a sign they are struggling with an addiction. One of the first ways this should be addressed is with our Heartland detox center. We offer a variety of substance-specific detox programs that can help patients prepare their bodies and mind for the treatments to come.


To learn more about our available programs and our Heartland drug treatment, speak with the intake specialists at Banyan by calling 888-280-4763.



  1. NIH – Personality Disorders
  2. NIH – Comorbidity of Personality Disorder among Substance Use Disorder Patients: A Narrative Review


Related Reading

The Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder

What Is an Addictive Personality?

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Antisocial Personality Disorder and Substance Abuse
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