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Addictive Personality and Alcohol / Drugs: Fact or Fiction


There has been a growing interest whether or not there is such a thing as an addictive personality. Although this question is hard to give a precise answer, there are many ways to examine it.

Doctors and researchers alike are working hard to provide an explanation on why people use, abuse, and become addicted to drugs and alcohol. They have come up with reasons such as, genetics, experiencing a traumatic event, and certain psychological traits that attribute to an individual’s personality. Some experts have suggested that because some addicts share similar personality traits, there may be such a thing as an addictive personality.

What is an Addictive Personality?

An addictive personality is various personality traits that are thought to make an individual person predisposed to an addiction. People who have an addictive personality are not only at risk for developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol, but they are also highly at risk for becoming addicted to food, shopping, exercise, gambling, sex, etc. It is possible for the person to switch from one addiction to another or to become addicted to multiple things at one time. An individual is considered to be at risk for developing an addiction when he or she displays various signs.

Signs of an Addictive Personality

Impulsive Behavior: The person may seem to dramatically jump from various emotions and change their opinions or way of thinking.
High Stressed: They may seem to become easily stressed. What may seem like ‘no big deal’ may seem like it is the end of the word to this person.
Difficulty Socializing: The person may have a hard time talking to other people or going to public events.
Against Conformity: The individual may be against things that are considered to be ‘the norm’ in society.

The Argument

The problem is that many people have the above signs and are not addicted to anything. So while there may be certain personality traits that many addicts display, there are almost always various underlying factors. Some researchers believe that addiction is genetic and others believe it comes from a person’s childhood; what exactly causes it is still not 100% known.

Understanding the Why’s

When one is trying to understand a drug or alcohol addiction, they must be able to understand the different reasons why a person would want to use drugs or alcohol in the first place. There are of course some people who are simply curious; they get high once or maybe a few times and then never use again.

It is the people who turn to drugs or alcohol as an escape that have the biggest chance of developing an addiction; an escape from physical, mental, or emotional pain. Drugs and alcohol ‘kill’ mental, emotional, and even physical pain. A person may begin to use drugs because they are recovering from an injury and are prescribed addicting opiates, have lost a loved one and are using antidepressants to ‘forget’, working long hours and are smoking meth to stay up, etc. There are numerous reasons as to why people turn to drugs or alcohol, but many professionals would agree that it is not simply an individual’s personality. Professionals working in the drug and alcohol field suggest that pain can make a person susceptible to an addiction. Once a person begins to use drugs or alcohol, the actual cravings can cause personality traits of an addiction.

Lack of Control

If there was any one personality trait that could contribute to a drug or alcohol addiction, it could be the struggle with control. There are many people that are unable to control themselves. For example, some people cannot go out to a bar and have just one beer, they are unable to control themselves and end up drinking too much. When a person is unable to control themselves, they are at a higher risk for developing an addiction over time.

Conclusion, Each Addict is Different

Physical, mental, or emotional pain can cause an addiction. The cravings that a person develops when addicted can cause the individual to behave differently and change their personality. A lack of self control may be a factor in a drug or alcohol addiction. All in all, each and every person is different. This means that each and every reason for a drug or alcohol addiction will be different; even if it is only a little different.

It should be noted that there are certain personality disorders that can make a person more prone to compulsive behavior, but a small percentage of addicts have this. While there may be personality traits that many addicts share, it does not necessarily mean that these traits are the ‘sole cause’ of an addiction; one must also consider the other struggles and difficulties that the addict is going through.

There is Help

If you or someone you know has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, please contact The Cabin Chiang Maitoday.

1 Comment

  1. This was a really quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this too taking time and real effort to make a good article but what can I say I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done.

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