Tough Cookie wrote:
I have found that sociopaths often tend to be abusers of drugs. In my case, my sociopathic boy friend was addicted heavily to drugs. It seem to me that sociopaths and drug addicts tend to hold very similar characteristics (i.e. manipulative, selfish, impulsivity). How is one able to tell the difference between the characteristics of sociopath and the characteristics of a drug addict?
You made a very good observation, that is, many sociopaths are addicts/alcoholics and many addicts/alcoholics have sociopathic tendencies. Remember, sociopathy is a spectrum, with mild, moderate and severe cases. Severely sociopathic people are called psychopaths.
Why the link between sociopathy and addiction? If you have read the material on this blog and on my website http://www.parentingtheatriskchild.com, you know that I propose that the best way to understand sociopathy is to consider the Inner Triangle. Addicts/Alcoholics have severe impairment of the Inner Triangle. I believe impairment of the Inner Triangle causes addiction in people who expose themselves to substances of abuse.
Coincidentally your choice of adjectives manipulative, selfish, impulsivity directly corresponds to the Inner Triangle! Selfish relates to an inability to love-the base of the Inner Triangle is Ability to Love. Impulsivity relates to Impulse Control and manipulative relates to Moral Reasoning- the sides of the Inner Triangle.
Why would an impaired Inner Triangle lead to addiction/alcoholism? The short answer is that balance in life means that loving the people in our lives has to be our greatest pleasure. When other things are more important to us than love, we become susceptible to substance abuse. People who are also impulsive and who lack moral understanding, do all kinds of things trying to fill the void caused by an inability to love.