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What are the addictive personality traits that make an individual more susceptible to abuse drugs or alcohol? An image may come to mind of those struggling with addiction. This image has such a strong hold that many people even worry about their own personality traits and if they can be considered addictive. They want to know what to look for to stop substance abuse before it starts. In truth, a mixture of both fact and myth go into creating the so-called addictive personality.
The term addictive personality traits should, in fact, be adjusted slightly into the traits of those who have a high risk for addiction. These are not people with an addictive personality, per se, but instead, people who, through many factors, have a high chance of developing an addiction. People with this risk do have some similar traits. Some of these traits include:
Genetics plays a large part in deciding who might develop an addiction or substance abuse disorder. If an immediate family member experiences addiction, the risk for other close relatives to experience the same becomes much higher.
Other mental health issues contribute strongly to addiction as well. Many people have mental health problems they have never sought help for and thus end up self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. Depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, panic disorders, PTSD, antisocial personality disorder and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia can all increase the risk of self-medication with drugs or alcohol.
Those with a strong attraction to taking risks and trying new things also have an increased risk of wanting to try hard drugs. These people may already have high dopamine levels in their brain and thus be less sensitive to its effects. This causes them to want stronger sources of pleasure.
People who feel a sense of disconnection with life may turn to substances to assuage their feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Apathetic people have a similar need to find something that allows them to feel good–anything at all.
Lack of impulse control or the ability to self-regulate themselves in the face of a reward can also lead to addiction. For example, a person who consumes alcohol may have the ability to regulate their consumption and know when to stop. Someone without this ability may continue to pursue the good feelings of drinking until they experience negative health effects such as passing out or vomiting.
Addiction can also form out of a compulsion due to habit. Somewhat of an opposite to those with impulse control problems, people with a rigid need for habit and focus can also fall prey to addiction.
The main myth of addictive personality traits is that they are all confined to one easily identifiable, generic personality. In fact, several of the known traits that can lead to addiction, belong to distinctly different personalities. A person who succumbs to addiction may only have one of these traits and still end up struggling. At the same time, many people with traits that have led to addiction in others may never fall into that struggle.
Behavioral therapy at a quality addiction treatment center such as Beaches Recovery in Jacksonville, Florida can help those with addictive personality traits recognize and overcome their triggers. Even a gateway drug such as marijuana can begin the struggle with addiction and, if untreated, lead to something stronger such as heroin or meth. Beaches offers:
If you or someone you know has fallen prey to addiction, reach out to Beaches Recovery today at 866-605-0532. We can help you stop addiction and substance abuse from controlling your life no matter what your personality.