Narcissism and Drug Addiction: The Link

In this blog, we will cover the connection between narcissism and addiction, from the types of narcissists–including grandiose and covert–to whether all addicts are inherently narcissists. This complex psychological problem cannot be fully explored in one blog alone, but we can cover the highlights and show where the overlap between narcissism and drug addiction occurs and assure you that just because you may struggle with addiction does not mean you would receive the diagnoses of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). 

If you or a loved one could benefit from 12 Steps to Recovery, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn about our comfortable residential setting.

Narcissism and Addiction

It’s not uncommon for those with narcissistic traits to turn to alcoholism or drugs to cope. Alcohol or drugs can boost the self-esteem issues of individuals who struggle with NPD. Below we have highlighted some key questions that many ask when exploring this topic. 

Are Addicts Narcissists?

The simple answer is no; not all addicts are narcissists, addicts come from all walks of life. There is a connection between the two groups, but it isn’t as black and white as you may think. Addiction amplifies narcissistic traits because individuals may stop caring about themselves and therefore, the people they love. This may cause them to act cold or seek validation constantly, similar to the way a narcissist might. 

Being in a Relationship with a Narcissist Addict

If you are in a relationship with someone diagnosed with NPD who has turned to substances, it is wise to take a step back and set up many boundaries. This is a dangerous situation for both parties and requires professional intervention. Entitlement and manipulation can destroy your relationship and hinder their recovery. 

Narcissism and Sexual Addiction is There a Link?

Narcissism can often appear in the world of sexual addiction. Sexual addiction can provide control and constant validation that so many of those with this disorder seek. Spiraling into this self-destructive addiction is something people with narcissistic traits should watch out for. 

Can Drugs Cause Narcissism?

Drugs and alcohol may make the individual appear to be narcissistic, but it cannot cause narcissistic personality disorder. NPD is a complicated disorder with many debates around its conception. Research suggests that narcissism is associated with impulsive behaviors, low self-esteem, and difficulties in forming genuine connections with others which are all symptoms that can arise when one becomes addicted to substances but are not inherently narcissistic. 

The Connection Between Addiction and Narcissism

There are many types of narcissists, if you believe you may be struggling with traits of narcissism, it could be that you need to consider sobriety or reach out for help from a professional. To further understand how a narcissist behaves, we have put together a table below. Remember, often people with NPD lack the self-insight to even consider they may be a narcissist, so addicts searching for whether their addiction has made them a narcissist or is because of this personality disorder, are usually in the clear. 

Table: Types of NarcissistsCharacteristics
Grandiose NarcissistSeeks admiration, believes they are exceptional and entitled
Covert NarcissistPresents as modest while harboring a sense of superiority
Malignant NarcissistDisplays aggression and manipulative behavior
Communal NarcissistCraves validation through helping others

Get Help with Myrtle Beach Recovery

Narcissism and addiction have a complex relationship. While some with these traits are lured into the world of substances, many are kind, caring people who are simply suffering. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, let Myrtle Beach Recovery help you with our 12-step immersion program. Our experienced staff will help you work through the steps to help you regain control of your life. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you on your journey to sobriety.