Researches are constantly searching for trends and commonalities between addicts of all kinds, because this helps them to develop better prevention and treatment methods. Researchers for the National Academy of Sciences, have amassed evidence that supports what addiction counselors all over the country already suspected: there is a certain type of personality that is common among addicts, generally known as an addictive personality.
What is an Addictive Personality?
Having an addictive personality generally means there are components of your makeup, you attitudes, reactions, likes, and dislikes, that make you more likely to develop an addiction. These traits can be the result of both environmental and genetic factors that increase the risk of addiction. Many people who have an addictive personality never struggle with drug addiction, but when an addictive personality and frequent substance abuse are combined, you’re probably headed for trouble.
What Character Traits Make the List?
The NAS study noted that addicts of all different kinds, from drug addicts to gambling addicts, tend to have certain characteristics in common. These characteristics can be an indication that a person is predisposed to becoming addicted to something, whether it be behavioral or substance based.
- Thrill Seekers: These people trend towards impulsive behavior, sensation seeking, and demand instant gratification.
- Loners: The addictive personality is somewhat socially isolated and antisocial.
- Nonconformists: A lack of respect for rules, and a disregard for societal expectations fuel the addictive personality. These people will show little interest in achieving the goals society says they should meet.
- High-Stress: Addiction is more likely to develop during stressful times in life, such as during adolescence. Those who seem to be more affected by stress, or who manage it more poorly than others may have an addictive personality.
Addictive Personality Traits Don’t Have to Lead to Addiction
If you read the list of addictive personality traits and thought, “That person sounds awesome!” you’re not the only one. These character traits are not necessarily negative, and can actually be the hallmarks of a pretty fun person, especially when seen only one or two at a time.
Not everyone who exhibits these traits has a truly addictive personality, and not everyone who has an addictive personality ends up a drug addict. Some people who are predisposed to addiction end up as neat freaks, keeping a spotless home, or enjoy the adrenaline rush of extreme sports. Many, many other factors feed into the risk of substance addiction, and an addictive personality is just a small part of the equation.