Misperceptions abound about why people commit serious crimes and eventually find their way into prison. Some of the misconceptions have been around a long time and persist despite mounds of evidence to the contrary.

A person’s use pattern and prospects for “recovery” are always heavily influenced by their personality dynamics, which is why it’s so essential for character issues to be taken into account in treatment.

The interrelationship between substance use and character is often complex and poses many challenges for providing the right kind of help.

Folks who already have significant character issues carry their deficient regard for the greater good and their feelings of grandiosity and entitlement into their forays with substance use. And it’s perfectly predictable that they soon develop patterns of use that are high risk and that their substance use both exacerbates their existing problematic behaviors and creates disturbing new ones.

Unlike their more “neurotic” counterparts, mostly character-impaired borderlines don’t just inadvertently manipulate out of their neediness and inadequacy. Rather, they more deliberately engage in dramatic, often hostile gestures to keep others both entangled and exploited.