There is an undeniable link between aggressive, violent behaviors and substance abuse. Substance abuse, which is the use of prescription medicines, alcohol, or legal or illegal substances taken in a damaging way is not always an addiction, but it can still give negative consequences in behavior.

Although it is true to say that these things can lead to an addiction, in many cases substance abuse can be corrected and quitting is still an option for most people before they do become an addiction. The moment substance abuse evolves into an addiction, it can be impossible to manage without the help of external influences.

Reasons Why

Unfortunately, substance abuse may worsen a person’s tendencies toward being aggressive, or even cause them to start exhibiting aggressive behaviors. Here are some of the reasons why substance abuse may lead to aggressive behavior:

Substance Abuse Causes People to Think and Act Differently

Drugs can be powerful. Legalized, prescription drugs provide treatment for illness, which help people get better if taken as recommended. However, there are cases when prescription medicine or over-the-counter drugs are not taken within proper dosage limits.

When a person craves the satisfaction and relief that a particular drug brings, and takes it beyond the prescribed dosage, this can lead to substance abuse. Pain relievers are among the list of commonly abused legal drugs. Most drugs come with various side effects. Some can be milder than others, but a common side effect of substance abuse is how it affects a person’s behavior.

Substance abuse can cause people to act differently than they would without the drugs. This is usually due to how the drug affects a person’s biochemistry, causing unwanted changes within the body. A drug can affect an individual’s mind and body. It can cause a change in their way of thinking, and their emotions, which can then manifest externally through their actions.

Substance Abuse Increases Irrational Thoughts

Substance abuse can create irrational, erratic thoughts, and even paranoia. If a person becomes addicted to a substance, they may succumb to its powerful influence and lose their sense of control. They become enslaved by these substances causing irrational thoughts to arise. This can lead them to be aggressive if they feel they are not getting what they need or want to do.

People who abuse these substances can end up becoming manipulative, abusive, reckless, fearless, or violent. They may not even be aware of how the drug is affecting their behavior and taking over their sanity. The drug no longer becomes optional, but an ultimate necessity to their everyday living. Many people may become aggressive or irrational if their substance abuse takes over.

Substance Abuse Causes Mood Swings and Irritability

We only have to watch the news to see that many violent crimes in society are caused by alcohol or drug abuse. People who are intoxicated find it very difficult to follow even the simplest of directions.

When a person is under the influence of alcohol and other harmful substances, they can risk putting others and themselves in harm’s way. They can become aggressive because they feel like they are losing control. Quite often, these people can experience a temporary loss of sanity and self-control.


Abusing any type of drug can significantly affect a person’s life and damage their personal and professional relationships. People under the influence of these dangerous substances can end up presenting a completely different personality to others. They put themselves and others at risk, as they are not in control of their mind and body, and that can cause aggressive behaviors to appear.