Q: Can you speak to…or direct me to information on…the narcissist plus drug (specifically cocaine) addiction? For example, is there data to support any level of drug use by narcissists? If so, is cocaine a drug of choice, and why? What are some of the signs, and are the signs of a narcissist on cocaine the same as someone WITHOUT NPD on cocaine? How does one even begin to confront someone with NPD who is also ruining his life with a cocaine addiction…or is confrontation not suggested?
A: Please find a local chapter of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and see if they have a support group for concerned persons/family members. Either a counselor there or the support group can give you specific ways to intervene with a cocaine addict. A person’s underlying difficulties/issues cannot be dealt with until their substance abuse is first dealt with. Most addicts are not willing to go to NA until some life changing action forces them to go (court requirement, major auto accident, divorce or threat of divorce, business goes bankrupt, etc.).
Research does indeed support a high correlation between NPD and substance abuse. I cannot say that cocaine is a drug of choice, but they are prone to substance abuse as well as other high risk behaviors in general. They are at increased risk for substance abuse whether it be alcohol or drugs (legal or illegal). The signs of a drug addicted individual with NPD would most likely be more pronounced just as they are with alcohol. They lose what little inhibition they might have in either situation. Confrontation is not likely to succeed with a drug-addicted NPD. He needs to see where the benefit is to him and to his world to change- remember, they don’t care about other people’s opinions or hurt feelings.
Generalities don’t work (“you are ruining your life”) nor the fact that he is ruining the lives of his family members. He does not feel guilt or remorse. You could try showing him facts-in black and white- the financial losses he is incurring (loss of home in so many months will lead to homelessness due to X amount of dollars spent on cocaine each week) or the loss of good looks (before and after photo) or whatever it is that he most cherishes about himself whether it be his financial success, looks, athletic ability, academic success, popularity, or etc.