Resolving Conflict to Avoid Addiction

Conflict is all around us. It can show up in different areas of our life, and is often a part of both personal and professional relationships. While some people avoid conflict at all costs, others seem to gravitate toward it. Someone who does not have the ability to effectively manage conflict is at risk for substance abuse, because drugs and alcohol become the tools these people use to manage their emotions.

Looking for Conflict Can Lead to Addiction

If someone is looking for confrontation, they may often get into trouble because of their words or attitude. These people are often risk-takers - acting before they think - and not always weighing the consequences of their actions. This attitude often carries over to drug or alcohol abuse or addiction, and the person may quickly become addicted to harmful substances. Many people even mix conflict with substance abuse, and go through life ruining relationships with friends, family, and co-workers. When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, their family and close friends tend to suffer the most. Negative attitudes, verbal abuse, and domestic violence are all the results of someone high or drunk who goes home looking for an argument. The combination of substance abuse and a confrontational attitude almost always results in violence.

Inability to Face Conflict Can Lead to Addiction

Other people are so afraid of conflict that they will do all they can to avoid it, and do not know what to do when faced with it. These people easily become depressed or lose control of their lives because of strained relationships, divorces, or arguments. Instead of moving on after a divorce or an ended relationship, some people turn to alcohol or drugs to get by. Instead of keeping a safe distance from family members intent on creating conflict, some people keep putting themselves in the line of fire, and then get high or drunk to self-medicate their pain away.

Unfortunately, we can't avoid conflict completely in our lives, and it is important to learn how to carry on even when faced with difficult relationships. Getting high or drunk is never the answer - it just makes the situation worse. Support groups can help people that struggle with a fear of conflict. Other people need to get professional help for a drug or alcohol addiction, and therapy to help them change how they treat others.