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Is Your Personality Type Linked to Addiction?

Why can some people enjoy one glass of wine, while others are compelled to drink two bottles? Is it a matter of self-control? Of character? Or, are some people just “hard-wired” to addiction?

Are You Destined to Do Drugs?

Although it’s not a diagnosed personality disorder, the addictive personality is recognized by most psychologists and substance abuse professionals. It is defined by a set of personality traits that increase the likelihood of addiction. Studies estimate 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. population has an addictive personality.

Although many traits are associated with an addictive personality, the following four personality types are predominant in many cases of drug addiction.

The Impulsive

Although everyone likes to “let loose” from time to time, habitual impulsive behavior is a major indicator of an addictive personality. These individuals may not consider negative consequences when instant gratification outweighs precaution. In recovery, it’s important for these individuals to practice impulse control and recognize impulse triggers.

The Non-Conformist

The non-conformist may be averse to certain goals valued by society and likely has a level of disdain for authority. These individuals may not recognize their behavior’s negative impact on their life and others’ lives. In recovery, these individuals must be receptive to treatment methods and value the importance of support systems.

Quick Personality Fact: Along with a susceptibility to addiction, substance abusers with an addictive personality may also find certain parts of recovery more difficult.

The Sensation-Seeker

The sensation-seeker is always looking for new experiences and becomes bored easily. These individuals are the adrenaline junkies and risk-takers, and their openness to experimentation may lead to forming addictions. The sensation-seeker may underestimate the diligence and structure needed to sustain recovery.

The Anxious or Stressed

Continually anxious or stressed individuals may find relaxing and contentment difficult. From stressed “Type A” personalities to individuals with anxiety disorders, these individuals may turn to substance abuse for relief, eventually forming a dependency. During recovery, it’s important for these individuals to learn relaxation methods and coping techniques.

Personality Wrap-Up

These personality types are not, in and of themselves, negative. In many aspects of life, Type A personalities, risk-takers, thrill-seekers and non-conformists enjoy great success.

Although you may identify with one (or more) of these personality types, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are predestined to a life of addiction. However, it’s important to recognize certain personality traits, especially when dealing with substance abuse.

Additional Reading: Recovery and Getting Your “Natural” Happy Back

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