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  • Writer's pictureChris Thompson

Personality Traits and Addiction: 4 Common Tendencies



If you’re an addict, you’ve no doubt heard the expression ‘addictive personality,’ but what does that mean?


Are there certain personality traits that make it much more likely you might develop an addiction? While there is no one type of personality related to addiction, there are some common tendencies that can increase the risk of developing an addiction.


Let’s look at these 4 common personality traits associated with addiction.


1. Impulsivity


While being impulsive can make you the life of the party, it can also make you more prone to addiction. People who are impulsive don’t always think things through, and they might not see the risk associated with certain decisions.


Research conducted by psychologists in several universities in Israel and the United States in 2018 found that addicts score higher on impulsivity as compared to people without an addiction problem. They also scored higher on neuroticism and lower on the trait of conscientiousness.


2. Rebel Child


People who consider themselves nonconformists are also more likely to suffer from a problem with addiction. This may be related to the feeling of isolation that many addicts describe.


They frequently feel they are fundamentally different from their peers, and while individuality should be celebrated, it also can make you feel very lonely. It can be that lack of perceived support from their closest loved ones that can cause them to turn to alcohol or drugs when they encounter difficult situations.


3. Adrenaline Junkies


People who are adrenaline junkies and sensation seekers try to find new experiences with a multitude of sensory input. While everyone does that to some degree, people who report they do this all the time are also more likely to suffer from some kind of addiction.


Such people often engage in adventure sports and other activities, regularly attend parties, and they are more likely to drive recklessly. This is typical behavior for many young men, in particular, and they are part of the group that suffers from the highest rates of substance abuse problems.


4. Nervous Nellies


People who are, by nature, more anxious or who have a low tolerance for stress are more likely to try to use some kind of substance to calm their fears and reduce their stress.


They might suffer from problems with sleeping, shortness of breath, panic attacks, or other symptoms of anxiety. If they don’t have positive coping mechanisms to help handle their stress, they can easily make the choice to use substances like drugs or alcohol to help.


Peer Communities Can Help


The idea of an addictive personality really minimizes the complexity of the interaction between someone’s personality and their environment. One thing that definitely helps people deal with an addiction or work through a problem without turning to substance use is being able to reach out to a community of peers who understand the urge to use.


Sober Sidekick is a social media platform of other addicts who know all about those kinds of urges. You can reach out to helpful, supportive peers 24/7, join a virtual AA meeting, contact an accountability partner, or talk with a professional. You are not alone, and Sober Sidekick can help.



Image: Freepik


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