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The Link Between Bullying and Substance Abuse

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Our existence is a Pandora’s box full of natural surprises that nobody can truly predict. Some like to believe there is a higher power that has a purpose for them while doing for them what they cannot not do for themselves. Others may hold onto the belief that destiny has already created it’s path and they are just pawns of fate in the game of life. Then there are some that convince themselves that life is but a dream as they row their boat merrily merrily down the stream into oblivion.

There’s a lot that happens in such a short period of time in this long life were given. Some things happen that we have to learn to roll with the punches, where in other times we have to take a stand and assert ourselves. There’s no question about it though that there is plenty that will remain out of our control. It’s reasonable to believe that none of us have the tarot cards that spell out our future clearly. It’s up to us to decide that future.

We can fight or make peace. We can bully or nurture. We can obsess on chemicals or feed off wisdom. The choice of that future lies completely in us. So in that same breathe, we are the key deciders of all, but not everybody will deal with their problems in the same manner.

This is why it’s easy to recognize the link between bullying and substance abuse go together like disease and rot. More times than not, one poisonous thought feeds into another. In the end regardless of that person’s beliefs, it’s going to take action before any mental antidote can be concocted.


Bullying Others

A wise person once said, “Bullying builds character like nuclear waste creates superheroes. It’s a rare occurrence and often does much more damage than endowment.” They couldn’t be more on point. The link between bullying and substance abuse can instill strength, but the psychological imprint typically casts more of a negative shadow.

For starters, it’s important to understand that bullying and drug abuse are both symptoms of deeper psychological issues. Bullying is a learned behavior that manifests itself through misunderstood emotions and mirrored mannerisms. Substance abuse is correlated with alcoholic thinking, which is known to be a disease to those living in the 21st century. Put the two together and we have a person acting out in ways that they are completely unconfident about. The link between bullying and substance abuse camouflages the greatest of insecurities for some when applied in the right manner.


Bullying Ourselves

When looking deeper into the link between bullying and substance abuse, a vast majority of the time they are related through a revolving door type butterfly effect. Somebody who was bullied as a child goes on to bully later in life. This often reflects itself upon classmates, co-workers, or their very own offspring down the road. Bullying can make its presence known in many a different manner such as:

  • Telling lies/spreading false rumors about someone
  • Pushing others around to cause fear
  • Leaving someone out of activities to cause harm
  • Calling someone names/teasing them
  • Engaging in physical violence/making threats

It’s a dismal scene to uphold for both parties. The person being bullied may begin to see themselves as an outcast or victimize themselves even to a dangerous degree. They may harbor resentment or look for an escapism of sorts that later turns into full blown addiction. In regards to addiction, whether the victim or the one victimizing, bullying and substance abuse give a perfect bridge for chemical dependency to take over(often under the fueled circumstanced of self-pity).


Bullying Ourselves Through Substance Abuse

As prior mentioned, those who engage in bullying and substance abuse are proven in study to show more mental health issues than those not involved. The act of bullying can stem from psychiatric issues such as depression, attention deficit disorder, or conduct disorder. Many begin bullying and don’t honestly understand why they act the way they act. They want to get along but have aggressive mannerisms that compel them to do otherwise. The problem is how that behavior is felt and channeled. Some bullies who are self-aware may feel guilty and ultimately fall into substance abuse due to feeling understood by peers.

Laura Crothers, a nationally recognized expert on childhood bullying and a psychology professor at Duquesne University, stated “In terms of perpetrators, bullies themselves, there seems to be a connection between engaging in bullying and using or abusing substances. The idea is that children who are aggressive at a young age tend to seek out peers who are also non-rule governed“. Many a time, bullies may start finding themselves associating with people not conducive to recovery or any positive reinforcement. The longing to fit in while adversely causing themselves to not fit in is wherein a large paradox lies. It’s often subconscious sabotage.



When the effects of bullying and substance abuse are undergone together, we have tinted windows over our thinking. We see things in a selfish perspective, only moving and breathing to take care of number one- our own selves. Introspection is much of the time an answer to this mental crisis we put ourselves through. We have a choice to be scummy, or to be the reason somebody puts a smile on their face.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of reaching out for help/advice. We can’t always see things from the perspective of those on the outside looking in our windows. For many, when it comes to bullying and substance abuse, it needs to be pointed out to them. How can somebody change something if they can’t see it’s existence? Regardless of that belief, we hold the courage to change the things we want to inside. There’s always power sleeping within. When it comes to bullying and substance abuse, it’s on us to decide the size of our footprint left on this world.

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