Bullying and Substance Abuse

by | Last updated Jul 24, 2023 | Published on Jul 17, 2019 | Specialized | 0 comments

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There’s a strong link between bullying and substance abuse. Bullied victims are much more likely to abuse different types of substances than those who haven’t been bullied. Bullying can take place anywhere. It can also happen to anyone.

With that said, this type of behavior is most likely to happen among students and young children. Studies have found that bullying tends to increase and peak after elementary school. It also increased during middle school years, but will usually decrease during high school years.

That’s not to say that bullying can’t happen elsewhere. It can happen at work, in home environments and just about anywhere.

With that said, students are more likely to be victims of bullying than other demographics. Studies show that 20.8% of students reported getting bullied in 2015. 70.6% of students claim that they have seen bullying at their school. Studies also show that there’s a direct link between bullying and substance abuse. Victims of bullying are more likely to abuse alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana.

These two issues are also likely to lead to depression among females more so than males. Females who struggle with depression and who are bullied are most likely to abuse various substances. They are more likely to struggle with co-occurring disorders, which is when a mental health disorder appears at the same time as a substance use disorder (SUD).

Since there’s a strong correlation between addiction and bullying, it’s vital that we look into these two issues. A better understanding of the two will help us figure out how to stop both issues. If we put a stop to bullying, we can also put a huge dent on addiction rates.

Breakdown of The Type of Bullying Experienced by Students

As students are the most likely victims of bullying, many studies have looked at the type of abuse that they experience. Students may endure all types of bullying.

Of the students who reported getting bullied:

  • 13% were made fun of, insulted or called mean names
  • 12% were the subject of harmful rumors
  • 5% were purposely excluded from group activities
  • 5% were pushed, tripped or spit on

Many victims of bullying experience more than one type of bullying at a time. They may have to deal with both verbal abuse and physical abuse.

Cyberbullying and Substance Abuse

Cyberbullying has become more and more prevalent in recent years. With more and more people relying on technology, social media has become an easy way to spread information. It has also become an easy way for bullies to target their victims. Bullies can use social media to reach their victims wherever they are. They can also rope in many other people to help them taunt the victim.

One of the reasons why cyberbullying has become so popular is that it’s difficult to assign responsibility to a single individual. It’s more of a group act. It’s also easy for culprits to stay anonymous. With that said, cyberbullying can do tremendous harm to the victim. The bullying is broadcasted for all to see. Recent studies have shown that there’s a significant link between cyberbullying and substance abuse. Teenage victims are more likely to consume alcohol or smoke marijuana. In fact, those who used marijuana are:

  • 1.5 times more likely to be victims of cyberbullying
  • 1.7 times more likely to engage in cyberbullying

Victims may even use illicit drugs or stronger drugs to cope with the cyberbullying. It’s not unusual to find victims of cyberbullying engaging in alcohol abuse or drug abuse. Victims are also more likely to experiment with different types of drugs rather than abstain from them.

A Look into the Bully’s Mentality

A recent study looked at 1,239 people who have bullied others. The study looked intimately at their personal lives to get a better understanding of their background. The results gave researchers more insight into the mentality of bullies. This information is important for anti-bullying campaigns. It’s vital that we, as a community, reach the bullies as well as the victims.

While there are many reasons as to why a person may engage in bullying, here are several of the most common ones:

  • Aggressive and violent behavior. Those who exhibit aggressive or violent behavior are more likely to engage in physical bullying. The aggression is a learned behavior.
  • Low self-esteem. Although many bullies appear confident, they actually have low self-esteem. They need to bring other people down in order to feel superior or better about themselves.
  • Previous victims of bullying. Victims often bully others. The bullying is often used as a defense mechanism.
  • Poor education. Those who have little or no access to education may not have a good understanding of other people’s beliefs and faiths. They may also be less accepting of others. These bullies may not even realize the consequences of their actions.
  • Stress and trauma. Bullies are far more likely to have experienced a stressful or traumatic situation in the 5 years prior to the bullying. People who bully due to stress and trauma do not have an outlet for relieving their stress. They default to bullying as a coping mechanism.
  • Unhappy home life. Among children, an unhappy home life can lead to bullying. 1 in 3 bullies claim that they feel as if their parents don’t spend enough time with them. As a result, they feel neglected and rejected.

There are many reasons why a person may become a bully. It’s quite complicated.

The Different Types of Bullies

There are many different types of bullies. While most people imagine bullies as people who are larger in size and more aggressive, the truth is that anyone can be a bully. Some bullies may look fairly innocent. Others may look like nerds.

The type of people who bully others can vary greatly. Each bully can have a different behavior, personality or style. They may also have different motivations behind the bullying. No bully will fit neatly into one stereotype or category.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of bullies that people encounter:

  • Bully victims. These bullies rise up after getting bullied. They bully others who they believe to be weaker than themselves. Their main objective is to regain power and control over their lives.
  • Group bullies. Some people are scared to act alone. Instead, they bully others while in a pack. They feel more insulated from the situation.
  • Indifferent bullies. These bullies tend to be indifferent about their behavior. They often struggle with some type of psychological disorder.
  • Popular bullies. These bullies have big egos and tend to be overconfident. They like having a group of admirers or followers, and bully to keep other people in line. They also bully others in an attempt to increase their social standing.
  • Relational bullies. These bullies can be just about anyone. These bullies usually have a knack for manipulating others. They often engage in bullying to maintain their power over a social group.
  • Serial bullies. These bullies tend to be calculated. They may appear innocent and sweet, but will actually lie and manipulate others. These bullies are skilled at deception.

Each bully will act in a different manner. He or she will choose different tactics to torment his or her victim.

Types of Bullying

There’s more to bullying than meets the eye. Many people see bullying as a certain action, but there are actually different bullying styles and tactics. Bullies use different types of bullying to harass and demean their victims.

Understanding the various types of bullying is vital in eliminating it completely. The community must rally behind the victims of bullying. They must know how to identify the signs of different types of bullying. This way, they can take action and help the victims.

Researchers have identified at least 6 different types of bullying. Let’s take a look at them below.

Physical Bullying

Physical bullying is perhaps the most obvious type of bullying. It’s what most of us imagine when we hear the word, ‘bullying’. It’s one of the easiest types of bullying to identify. It’s also one of the first types of bullying victims encounter.

As a result, physical bullying receives the most attention. It’s the poster child of many anti-bullying campaigns across America.

Physical bullying involves using physical actions to overpower and control the victim. Physical bullies are usually stronger, bigger and more violent or aggressive than their peers. They’re more outgoing, and will physically control their victims.

“A larger percentage of male students than female students (6% vs. 4%) reported being physically bullied in 2016.
National Center for Educational Statistics

Common examples of physical bullying include kicking, hitting, punching, slapping and shoving. Any type of physical attack counts as physical bullying. Victims may have obvious injuries, like bruising, black eyes and wounds, from the bullying. Injuries can range from minor to severe. Some injuries can lead to permanent, irreversible damage to the body.

Physical bullying doesn’t only cause physical injuries, it also psychologically and mentally damages the victim. Victims often feel powerless, scared and anxious all the time. They lose confidence in themselves.

Verbal Bullying

Verbal bullying involves the use of words and statements. It can also include name-calling or the spreading of rumors. The bully uses these verbal tactics to gain power and control over the victim. The verbal attacks are meant to belittle, hurt and demean the victim.

This type of bullying is often the most prevalent type of bullying at schools and workplaces. 77% of kids bullied in school experience this type of bullying. 44.2% of students who have experienced this type of bully reported name-calling. 43.3% of victims reported teasing and 36.3% of victims reported being the target of lies and rumors.

Bullies often choose their victims based on the way they may behave, act or look. It’s not unusual for bullies to target kids with:

  • Disabilities and special needs
  • Poor financial backgrounds
  • Different sexual orientations

LGBT students have reported the highest rate of verbal bullying. They are the most vulnerable group on school grounds. They may be bullied for their sexual orientation or their gender expression.

“74.1% of LGBT students reported being verbally bullied in 2012.
National School Climate Survey

Depending on the verbal attack, verbal bullying can be difficult to recognize and identify. It can be difficult for others to notice verbal bullying. The bully may not always yell or draw attention to themselves. It’s also easy for the bully to deny having said anything. This type of bullying is easy to dismiss.

Sexual Bullying

Sexual bullying is similar to sexual harassment. It involves repeated actions that are meant to humiliate or demean a person sexually. This can include crude comments, vulgar gestures and uninvited touching. In extreme cases, sexual bullying can lead to sexual assault. Sexual bullying can happen anywhere. It can happen in the workplace and at school.

At school, sexual bullying can start when children are as young as 5 or 6 years old. The relationship between victim and bully can be quite murky. A study involving 700 fifth grade students found that:

  • 14% of students considered themselves as bullies
  • 12% of students considered themselves as victims
  • 8% of students considered themselves as both bully-victims

Bully-victims are both bullied and bullies themselves.

In general, girls are often targeted more often than boys. Girls may experience sexual bullying from both the other gender and their own. For example, boys may make crude comments about their bodies. On the other hand, girls may call each other demeaning names, like “slut” or “tramp”.

More Examples of Sexual Bullying

Not a lot of attention is drawn toward sexual bullying. Not everyone may be aware that they are being bullied. Here are some more examples of sexual bullying:

  • Sexual taunts, comments and threats
  • Inappropriate physical contact that makes the recipient feel scared or uncomfortable; this can include hugging and kissing
  • The distribution of sexual material, like photos or videos
  • Pressure to spend time alone with another person
  • Pressure to be in a relationship with another person
  • Games with a sexual element that make the victim feel uncomfortable or scared
  • Unwanted phone calls, texts or messages of a sexual nature
  • Pressure to engage in a sexual act with another person
  • Sexism to conform to specific gender norms

Sexual bullying can start from sexting, which is a common scenario as of late. Sexual bullying can also involve both verbal and physical abuse.


With the rise of technology, a different medium is used for bullying. Cyberbullying involves the use of electronic devices, like computers, cell phones and tablets. The bullying can be done through text messages, emails, social media posts and more.

This type of bullying involves name-calling, rumor-spreading and shaming. It can also involve making online threats, posting hurtful and harmful images or hurtful messages. This form of bullying is most common among young adults and teenagers, and the issue is growing. More and more young adults and teenagers are being bullied year after year.

With how easy it is to spread information through the internet, cyberbullying can involve a lot of people. This has amplified the effects of the bullying.

The bullied victim may be targeted by many people that they know and don’t know. Some of the bullies may even be anonymous, as they hide behind a computer or phone screen.

The cyberbullies often do and say things that they would not have the courage to face-to-face. Anonymity gives them courage. They feel insulated from the situation. As a result, they’re often more mean and cruel.

“From 2007 to 2016, the amount of victims of cyberbullying have doubled from 18% to 34%.”

This type of medium for bullying has become incredibly common. It’s so common that 88% of teenagers who use social media report having seen some type or form of cyberbullying on their social networks. 69% of adults have reported seeing mean or cruel behavior from their social networks.

Recent studies have found that:

  • 15% of teenagers, who use social media, are victims of cyberbullying
  • 13% of adults, who use social media, have experienced cyberbullying
  • 80% of all high school students have experienced some form of cyberbullying

Females are more likely to be victimized than males. Some ethnicities are also more often targeted than others.

Victims of cyberbullying often feel as if their personal space is invaded. The bullying never ends, and the bullies can reach out to them almost anywhere and anytime. They may not even feel safe in their own home.

As content posted online can stay there forever. This type of bullying often leaves a permanent mark on the victim’s life. They can’t escape it. Cyberbullying has claimed the lives of many young adults and teenagers.

Prejudicial Bullying

Prejudicial bullying happens when a person is bullied based on prejudices. The person being bullied is being bullied for their race, religion or sexual orientation. The bully may engage in cyberbullying, verbal abuse, relational abuse, physical abuse and even sexual abuse. This type of bullying can lead to hate crimes.

The bullying usually occurs due to stereotypes and prejudices that a person has against an entire group of people. These learned beliefs are misguided. They cause the bully to treat a certain demographic differently.

Here’s a more in-depth look at the three most common types of prejudicial bullying:

  • LGBT bullying. This is also known as anti-gay bullying although it encompasses all sexual orientations and gender identities. Victims don’t necessarily have to be homosexual. Some victims are taunted and called names because of their mannerisms or style.
  • Racial bullying. This type of bullying singles out people because of their race, ethnic background or skin color. The victim is often called racist names or excluded from the general group due to fear, a lack of understanding or hatred. The bullied victim often becomes embarrassed of their identity.
  • Religious bullying. This type of bullying often stems from a lack of understanding and knowledge. The bullies don’t understand the traditions, etiquette and beliefs of a different faith.

Prejudicial bullying comes in all shapes and forms. Victims may be harassed sexually or abused physically or verbally. In extreme cases, this type of bullying can lead to hate crimes.

Relational Aggression

One of the most subtle forms of bullying is relational aggression. This type of bullying is malicious and sneaky. It often goes unnoticed, and is also referred to as emotional bullying. To put it simply, relational aggression is a form of social manipulation.

Unlike other forms of bullying, which directly target the victim, social or relational bullying is an indirect type of bullying. The bully will attempt to damage the victim’s reputation and relationship with others. He or she may try to manipulate other people’s feelings and actions. The bully is attempting to maintain a higher social status than the victim.

This type of bullying can be easy to miss. Most victims of bullying don’t report this type of behavior. Also, others are less likely to intervene.

In most cases, females are more likely to take part in relational aggression than males. This is especially true for young adolescents from 5th to 8th grade. Those who take part in this type of bullying are often referred to as “mean girls”. This type of bullying can also take place in a workplace environment.

Examples of Relational Aggression

Relational aggression is any action or attempt in damaging the victim’s relationship with others and reputation. There are many different types of actions that can be considered as relational aggression. Here are some examples:

  • Spreading rumors or gossip about the victim
  • Deliberately ignoring or excluding the victim from social activities
  • Enlisting the help of others to isolate the victim socially
  • Breaking confidences or sharing secrets of the victim
  • Forming cliques and establishing rules to get the victim to stay in their place
  • Manipulation situations to make the victim look bad

The entire goal of relational aggression is for the bully to raise his or her own social standing. This gives them more power to control and bully others.

Relational aggression is a learned behavior. It usually stems from the bully’s low self-esteem. It’s also a way for the bully to create some excitement in his or her life.

Risk Factors for Bullying

There are many risk factors that may make a person more likely to get bullied or to bully. Those with more risk factors are more likely to fall into one of the two groups. No single factor will influence whether a person gets bullied or becomes a bully.

For the Victim

Some people are more likely to be bullied than others. Victims of bullying often possess more than one of the following risk factors:

  • Are unable to socialize well with others
  • Have less friends or few friends
  • Have difficulties getting along with others and are seen as annoying
  • Are perceived as being ‘different’, whether this is due to their weight, outward appearance or behavior
  • Are perceived as weak or unable to defend themselves
  • Struggle with anxiety, depression or low self-esteem
  • Suffer from either an intellectual or developmental disability

Some victims are less likely to speak up about their experience. They’re more likely to suffer silently. These victims will often receive the most abuse.

For the Bully

Two different types of people are more likely to become bullies than others. These people include those who are:

  • Well-connected with their peers, are popular and enjoy dominating or having power over others
  • Isolated from their peers and struggle with depression, anxiety or low self-esteem

These two types of people may exhibit risk factors that make them more prone to bullying. This doesn’t necessarily mean that those with more than one risk factor should be concerned. Common risk factors include:

  • Being overly aggressive or getting easily frustrated
  • Constantly thinking poorly of others
  • Getting less parental involvement
  • Having difficulties following rules and orders
  • Having friends who are also bullies
  • Viewing violence in a positive manner

Bullies don’t have to be tougher or stronger than their victims. Many bullies may actually have the same build as their victims.

Signs and Symptoms that Someone Is Getting Bullied

Depending on the victim, the signs of and symptoms of bullying can be difficult to spot. With that said, there are some warning signs that can be good indicators. Recognizing these warning signs is important in putting a stop to bullying. The victims may not always ask for help or report the offence.

Here are some common signs and symptoms that someone is being bullied:

  • Anxiety, depression or loneliness
  • Attempts to miss school or work
  • Changes in appetite and eating habits
  • Headaches and stomachaches
  • Difficulties sleeping and/or nightmares
  • Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities, work or school
  • Lost or destroyed personal belongings, like clothes or books
  • Low self-esteem
  • Overall fatigue
  • Poor work or school performance
  • Self-destructive habits like running away or self-harm
  • Social isolation or a sudden loss of friends
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unexplained injuries

These signs and symptoms can also point to mental health disorders, like depression, and drug or alcohol addiction. If you suspect someone of being bullied, make time to talk to him or her. Victims often feel neglected, isolated and scared. A simple conversation could help them get out of a desperate situation.

How to Spot a Bully

Just like how it’s important to know how to spot signs of being bullied, it’s also important to know how to spot a bully. Take action against bullying by confronting the bully and educating him or her on the damaging effects of his or her actions.

Bullies may use different tactics to inflict harm onto their victims. Some obvious signs that a person may be a bully is if he or she:

  • Displays increasingly aggressive behavior
  • Gets into verbal or physical fights
  • Has friends who are also bullies
  • Has unexplained pocket money or new belongings
  • Is competitive and obsess over popularity or reputation
  • Often blames other people for his or her problems
  • Refuse to take responsibility for his or her actions

It can be difficult to spot a bully. Many bullies hide their actions. Some may even make an effort to conceal the damage they’ve done. They may wish to trick the world into believing that they’re an outstanding citizen.

A person’s environment can also determine whether or not he or she will bully others. Bullying often a learned behavior. Even if it isn’t, it often stems from discontentment with one’s environment.

The Effects of Bullying

Bullying can have a tremendously negative effect on the victim. Some of the damages can be lasting and permanent. Studies show that the effects of bullying include:

  • An increased risk for poor adjustment at school
  • An increased risk for difficulties sleeping, anxiety and depression
  • A bigger risk for developing both mental health issues and behavioral problems
  • Poor physical health; victims of bullying are twice as likely to experience health issues like headaches and stomachaches
  • The development of low self-esteem or a negative way of seeing themselves
  • Poor relationships with friends and family
  • Poor school or work performance
  • Prolonged victimization even into adulthood
  • Psychiatric disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Suicidal thoughts

Bullying can also lead to substance abuse. This can cause the victims to fall deeper into depression or to experience worsening psychiatric problems. Substance abuse can cause neurochemical levels in the body and brain to go completely haywire. This can affect a person’s behavior, emotions and mental state.

Substance abuse can also ruin lives. The substance of choice can completely take over the abuser’s life. He or she may lose control over his or her life due to drugs or alcohol. The victim may become mentally, chemically and physically dependent.

Places Where Bullying Can Happen

Bullying can happen anywhere and everywhere. It can also happen to anyone. Bullying happens in schools, at workplaces, at home and in public places. The bullies can be a colleague, a boss, a friend, a family member, another student or a stranger.

There is no place where bullying cannot happen. It can happen in familial environments and professional environments. For example, it can happen at home. Children can be bullied by their parents. It can also happen in public places or in workplace environments.

Also, bullying happens equally in urban, suburban and rural areas. There are many different faces to bullying. As a result, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where bullying happens. You can expect bullying to happen anywhere and everywhere.

Places Where Students Are Bullied at School

As students are some of the largest demographics to get bullied, many studies have looked into this demographic. At school, bullying tend to happen in the following places:

There’s no place for the victims to run. They can be tormented by the bullies everywhere that they go. Many victims experience cyberbullying. This means that they aren’t safe even when they’re away from school. They may still get bullied even when they’re in the comfort of their own home.

What to Do if You’re Being Bullied

If you’re getting bullied, it’s time to take action. Don’t let the bully walk all over you. You, too, can make a huge difference! All you have to do is be willing to take the first step. Here’s what you can do if you’re being bullied:

  • Avoid unsafe places where you may become a target
  • Engage in activities that will improve your self-esteem and your mental health
  • Gather as much evidence, like witnesses, emails or text messages, as possible to document the entire situation
  • Stay in a group or with your peers to prevent the bully from targeting you
  • Talk with an authority figure or confide in a friend about the bullying if possible
  • Try to get out of the situation as safely and calmly as possible
  • Walk away if confronted with the situation

Don’t let the bully define who you are. Don’t let the bully get inside your head. Instead, try to do what you can to improve yourself. This can include taking classes to improve your communication abilities. It may even include making new friends that have similar hobbies.

If you are reporting the bullying, make sure that you lay out the facts. Explain how the bully behaves or what he or she is saying or doing to you. It’s best to have as much evidence as possible at this time.

What You Shouldn’t Do

Now that we’ve explored all of the things that you should do if you’re getting bullied, let’s take a look at all of the things you shouldn’t do. Here are some of the things that you shouldn’t do:

  • You should NOT fight back or bully someone else
  • DO NOT think that it’s your own fault or feel like you deserve it
  • You should NOT keep the bullying to yourself
  • DO NOT skip school or work to avoid the bully
  • You should NOT feel afraid of opening up and letting other people know what’s happening
  • DO NOT hurt yourself
  • DO NOT respond

No matter what you do, be safe. Keep in mind that you deserve to feel safe wherever you are. Don’t back down from the bully. It’s time to take action and to put a stop it. Both males and females should stand up against bullying.

Using Confidence to Deal with the Bullying

One of the best ways of dealing with bullying is to stay positive and confident. Don’t let the bully know that he or she is getting inside your mind. Instead, your confidence can scare the bully away. It’ll also show him or her that you are not an easy target.

Confidence is key in dealing with a bully. Here are some ways that you can use your confidence to help you:

  • Be assertive. Face the bully face-to-face and look him or her in the eye. Stand up straight and keep your body language firm.
  • Be calm and tell him or her to give it a rest. A simple NO or GO AWAY can make a huge difference.
  • Ignore the bully and continue on with your own activities.
  • Respond with kindness. Killing the bully with kindness can completely throw him or her off track.
  • Stay positive. Constantly talk positively to yourself. Don’t let the bully get you down or make you feel belittled.
  • Use humor to throw him or her off.
  • Use the same mantra or line to throw him or her off.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with a bully is to believe in yourself. You must have faith in yourself and be confident in who you are. Don’t let anyone else assign a value to you.

How to Prevent Bullying

The effects of bullying can be incredibly damaging. The victim often lives with a scar for the rest of his or her life. It’s critical that we, as a society, band together to try and put a stop to bullying. If we can prevent it, we can avoid many sad outcomes.

To prevent bullying, everyone in society has a role to play. Some different ways to prevent bullying include:

  • Allowing children to do what they love. This includes various activities and hobbies. These activities can help boost self-confidence. It can also help kids learn how to socialize and how to make friends.
  • Being a model citizen. If you want to prevent bullying, you must model how to treat others with respect and kindness. Be kind, respectful and patient.
  • Educating people on the different beliefs and faiths. It’s important that everyone develops a good understanding of where the differences and similarities lie. We’re all much more alike than we’d like to believe.
  • Helping children understand bullying. Talk about bullying and how it affects other people. Make sure your kids know that bullying is unacceptable.
  • Keeping the lines of communication open, so that victims feel comfortable enough to report the abuse. In particular, since children are mostly targeted, it’s important for parents and teachers to check in with kids.

There are many different types of anti-bullying campaigns out there. These campaigns educate the masses and help prevent bullying. They give children in both middle and high school insight to bullying.

By preventing bullying, we can also prevent substance use in children. Children who struggle with substance use disorder need substance abuse treatment. There are many different specialized treatment programs available in rehabs for drugs and alcohol.

As of now, there is still a lot that unknown when it comes to preventing bullying. There are many different anti-bullying campaigns out there. Researchers are still looking at the effectiveness of these campaigns. To put a stop to bullying, prevention is key.

How to Help Someone Being Bullied or Cyberbullied

If you notice someone is getting bullied, the last thing that you should do is walk away from the situation. If you decide to stand up to the bully, you can effectively stop it from happening. You can even save the bullied victim.

“Did you know that 57% all bullying situations stop when a peer intervenes?”

There are many different things that you can try doing if you want to help someone who is being bullied. Some of these things include:

  • De-escalating the situation as much as possible.
  • Documenting instances of the bullying, so that it can be reported properly.
  • Gathering and storing any and all of the evidence.
  • Encouraging others to support and stand by the person who is being bullied.
  • Leaving with the bullied victim.
  • Reassuring the bullied victim that it is not his or her fault.
  • Reassuring others that you won’t either yourself or other people in your area.
  • Staying close to the person being bullied. Those involved in bullying are less likely to target those who are in a group.
  • Telling the bully to stop.
  • Using confident body language to address and stop the bully from acting up.

There are quite a few things that you can do to make a difference. The main goal is to stay by the side of the bullied victim. There’s strength in numbers. If the bully sees that the victim is part of a group, he or she may be less likely to try to isolate the victim.

Kill Two Birds with One Stone by Stopping Bullying and Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Since substance abuse and bullying often come hand in hand, stopping bullying can indirectly stop substance abuse. Those who have started to abuse drugs or alcohol due to bullying should look for help. They should receive external support from others to learn how to stand up to the bullies. They also should get drug or alcohol addiction treatment to help them get back on the right track.

Keep in mind that many victims of bullying struggle with low self-esteem and other mental health disorders. As a result, they should seek dual diagnosis treatment. This type of treatment will help them get better both physically and mentally.

By stopping bullying once and for all, we, as a society, can also help keep addiction rates low. Bullying affects not only the victim, but also society as a whole. It creates a vicious cycle of abuse that never stops. Bullied victims often become bullies themselves.

If you know someone who has been bullied, keep an eye on their actions. They may abuse alcohol or drugs to cope with their situation. As their addiction worsens, their mental health will further spiral out of control. If you find out that the bullied victim is struggling with a substance use disorder, get them help immediately.

Both bullying and substance abuse can cause chronic health issues. Counseling and therapy is often recommended. Both of these treatment options can heal the side effects of bullying and substance abuse. Healing one will help heal the other.

Written by: Justin Kunst

Written by: Justin Kunst

As a member of the Amethyst Recovery Center marketing team, Justin Kunst dedicated his time to curating powerful content that would reach and impact individuals and families who are struggling with substance abuse.


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On average, 250 Americans die every day from a drug overdose. Opioid misuse is a public health crisis that has hit the United States, but for many Native Americans and Alaska Natives, it's more than just a headline. This article will explain why Native American...

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The LGBTQ Community and Substance Abuse
The LGBTQ Community and Substance Abuse

As many people know, addiction doesn’t discriminate; however, some groups are more likely to be affected than others. The LGBTQ+ community is one of these groups, and drug abuse and addiction among these individuals is a huge problem.  There are many reasons why the...

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Disabilities Guide to Substance Abuse
Disabilities Guide to Substance Abuse

Disabilities and substance abuse are strongly linked. Nearly 1 in 5 American struggled with a disability in 2010. At this current time, a lot more Americans may have a disability. Studies show that the number and percentage of Americans who struggled with a severe...

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