Is there a Link Between Addiction and Personality?

Is there a Link Between Addiction and Personality?

There often lies the question of what makes one person more vulnerable to addiction over another. Research has shown us that genetics can have an impact, especially if immediate family members struggle with it. Additional factors, such as the environment, one’s upbringing and neighborhood, social circle and more can influence a person’s susceptibility to addiction – but what about personality?

A 2014 article published in the journal Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports reviewed recent research as it relates to personality traits, and there are 2 main traits that seem to correlate often with addiction: impulsivity and sensation-seeking. People who are impulsive often act before thinking it through – they may quickly decide to do something (such as use substances) without considering the consequences of their actions. While impulsivity can be a great quality when it comes to decision-making and similar situations, it can be quite dangerous for someone who is faced with the opportunity to use substances.

Sensation-seeking, on the other hand, is a trait that often leads a person to seek out thrill, novelty and/or adventure. A person with a sensation-seeking personality often aims to engage in activities that bring them excitement – and for some, substances provide an opportunity to fulfill that desire. If impulsivity and sensation-seeking are highly correlated with addictive behaviors, does that mean every person with these personality traits is at high-risk for addiction? Not quite.

We are all different, and one personality trait may be exhibited differently in one person over another. Author Maia Szalavitz, in reference to her book, Unbroken Brain, told The Scientific American in 2016, “Fundamentally, the idea of a general addictive personality is a myth. Research finds no universal character traits that are common to all addicted people.”

What matters most is not who is struggling with addiction over who isn’t, but rather how we can education everyone to watch out for signs of substance abuse. The more we can provide support for our communities, the more lives we can save.

If you’re ready to begin your journey towards restoration of the mind, body and spirit, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today.

The mission of The Beach House is to provide success in the recovery process and elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located right on the coast of Malibu, California, expert clinical care and a holistic view of the recovery process is provided to ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey today, call us at 310-924-0780.

Saving Lives; Healing Families.

Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.